All About Loungewear

Dressing casual is not a new concept for me as even before the pandemic my everyday attire was Lululemon leggings and a sweatshirt, but with life remote, comfort has become a priority. As much as I love shopping, I can no longer justify buying the cute dresses and going out tops that I see and love. I like getting out of my pajamas each morning but want to be comfortable sitting at home. The rising popularity of loungewear has complimented both my shopping habit and desire for comfort.

Pangaia

Pangaia is a loungewear brand that has the best sets. They come in tons of colors and you can make a set out of so many shapes. Pretty much every design or color has a sweatshirt, t-shirt, hoodie, short, and all different shapes and cuts of pants to choose from. This way you can mix and match to create a set that feels the best to you. The quality is amazing and the company is too. Pangaia is a sustainable brand, using innovative sustainable materials and working toward becoming completely earth positive.

Splendid

Splendid clothing, in general, is the comfiest ever, but their loungewear is like wearing a blanket. It’s so soft and light you won’t want to ever take it off. They have an awesome holiday sale going on right now. I like changing in the morning but you could definitely catch some great Z’s in splendid then wear into your day looking cute and casual.

Boys Lie

The Boys Lie beanie is sold out everywhere and I keep seeing them in every color all over social media. Their sets are so cool, definitely more out there and colorful. I have a feeling that when we go back to school we will be seeing a lot of Boys Lie apparel.

Reformation

Sustainable loungewear! I really like Reformation loungewear because there is such a variety. You can get pieces that are super comfortable and good with a sweatpant or jean. A lot of rising loungewear companies are really expensive and although these aren’t cheap, their cleaner carbon footprint makes you more confident in your spending.

P.J. Salvage

Everyone knows P.J. Salvage for their adorable pajama sets that you can slip a jacket over and get away with wearing them out. I recently just got two robes from them and refuse to take them off. If you are looking for a robe that you want to be cute and comfortable, P.J. Salvage is the place to go. Everyone should have a great robe.

A Summer Outside

This summer, plans with friends shifted from cold basements to beautiful backyards. With the pandemic, being outside was the safest way for friends and family to gather. While there may have been some inconveniences to keeping outside, the change of scenery and inclusion of nature to my relationships had a positive effect on my summer and I’m sure others.

Instead of everyone spread out among different rooms and areas inside a house, we all would sit around the fire pit together. This comfortable environment led to some amazing conversations, bonds, and growth. We would go for walks if we were bored and got creative with ways to keep busy away from TVs and activities indoors. We got to watch the sunset above us every-night and sometimes wake up to sit at the beach for sunrise. I enjoyed and appreciated the outdoors more than ever before and saw its positive effects on my relationships and mental health.

Nature Is Beautiful

Nature is Beautiful is a lifestyle brand, focused on promoting a deep and intimate relationship with our natural world. They believe in “ACEing Nature” a practice that I felt especially connected to this summer with all of my time spent outside. First, we must Admire the beauty that surrounds us. Then Connect with the forces that govern us, and finally Explore the mysteries that captivate us. An experience that clears our mind of anxiety and despair and in my case, left me with gratitude and love for myself and the friends and family I was so lucky to be spending time with within nature at that moment.

I gravitated towards Nature is Beautiful’s missions when I read about their commitment to donating a portion of sales to charity, specifically, causes supporting mental health awareness. You can shop Nature is Beautiful apparel at natureisbeautiful.com

I encourage everyone to make this wonderful connection with nature and reflect on their summers outdoors and how that time positively affected your relationship with yourself and others, and appreciate just how lovely it was.

My Favorite Books

Crazy Rich Asians

Kevin Kwan

This is my favorite book of all time, I am always re-reading it. Not only does it immerse you into the luxury world of Singapore society, but Kevin Kwan also gets every reference just right, every hotel, designer, socialite, or even golf course he mentions are spot on. The little details are to be appreciated just as much as the incredible wit, wealth, and personality each character bring. If you have already seen the movie reading the book will be just as enchanting if not more, it’s a real page-turner.

The Singles Game

Lauren Weisberger

The Singles Game is my favorite beach read. It follows a young female pro-tennis player who’s game and social celebrity are rising at the same time and the costs of both being so public. There’s romance, travel, and lots of tennis. It’s an entertaining look into the life of a pro-athlete in the public eye.

I Am Malala

Malala Yousafzai & Patricia McCormick

Malala’s autobiography was an inspiring, humbling, and impactful story. Those who tried to silence her gave her the voice to make real change. Every line in this book is so powerful, you have to step back to take in all the good she has done in the fight for girls education.

The Way I Used To Be

Amber Smith

This book follows Eden through her four years of high school following an assault by a close family friend. Within the four years, Eden unpacks the trauma of that mixed with a complicated family, friend, and romantic relationships. The author does an incredible job of depicting the feelings, thoughts, and behaviors of a high school girl which I related to and enjoyed. The best part of this book is the end, It was so brilliant, I read the last 200 pages or so in one sitting.

Great Gatsby

F. Scott Fitzgerald

The hype and literary praise for this classic are absolutely deserved. I’m very apprehensive when picking up anything labelled “classic” or any period piece but I could not put this down. I found myself annotating and analyzing like an English teacher by choice. There are so many wonderful things to say about this book that has already been said, but I want to tell people to not be overwhelmed by its fancy accolades as it is a great book to be enjoyed and understand. It also is a fantastic discussion book.

Einstein’s Dreams

Alan Lightman

This book was part of my English curriculum last year and I am so thankful for it. The well-done writing perfectly complements the overwhelmingly brilliant content. It’s a collection of stories, each about a different world with a new conception of time. Each one was more interesting than the next described in emotionally moving scenarios. As part of my work for the class, I was to write a summary on the last page of each theory. I frequently read through them late at night and appreciate Lightman’s genius.

Do You Mind If I Cancel?

Gary Janetti

Writer and producer Gary Janetti’s autobiography had me laughing out loud. A witty take of annoying things in everyday life, funny stories in his life, through his always hilarious point of view. Each chapter is something completely different and it was a fast and fun read. Additionally, if you don’t already follow Gary Janetti’s hysterical Instagram I highly recommend it.

Normal People

Sally Rooney

Set in Ireland, Normal People follows two teenagers relationship through high school, college and beyond and how their undeniable bond and love for one another repeatedly pulls them together despite their efforts to go about their lives separately. It was such a subtle love story and a realistic story of life. The perfect before-bed read.

The Notorious RBG

In losing someone so influential to our world we are called to look back at their impact and honor it. In doing so these past few days my timeline of feminine achievement has shifted immensely. How could someone I walked the earth with have to fight so hard for the privileges I don’t have to think twice about? I was deeply saddened to hear of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s passing but, I was also scared. RBG moved human rights mountains, and with an unfit replacement for her seat on The Supreme Court, that hard work and progression can be reversed.

Born in Brooklyn 1933, the women’s rights activist was 1 of 9 women in her Harvard law class, A law clerk to a judge in the US District Court, The first woman hired with tenure at Columbia University School of Law, an ACLU general council member, and a Judge of the US Court of Appeals.

In 1993 President Bill Clinton appointed Judge Ginsburg to the Supreme Court, filling the seat vacated by Justice Byron White, making her the second woman ever to be on the bench. It’s hard, to sum up, all she accomplished in her lifetime.

Before Ginsburg, State – Funded schools didn’t have to admit women. In the United States v. Virginia case, Ginsburg argued that it is unconstitutional for schools funded by taxpayer dollars to bar women.

Ginsburg paved the way for the Equal Credit Opportunity Act which allowed women to sign a mortgage or have a bank account without a male co-signer.

She helped make large strides toward equal pay. Her opinion and call to action on a pay discrimination case of 2007 inspired the public and congress to strengthen equal pay protections.

Ginsburg’s crucial vote to keep Roe v. Wade preserved a women’s right to choose and was a strong brick in the legal wall that protected the right. This right is in jeopardy with RBG’s passing.

She pushed to protect pregnant women in the workplace from being fired and excluded unjustly.

Ginsburg’s vote in the 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges case allowed queer women and the rest of the LGBTQ community the right to same-sex marriage in all 50 states.

In addition to her mark on the legal world, RBG became a role model for all women to be a confident, hard-working female leader. An unlikely pop-culture Icon that is celebrated and continues to empower all generations. RBG fought the good fight her entire life.

It is clear that Mitch McConnell will not rest in giving the prestige position to Trump’s candidate. In doing so he is neglecting RBG’s dying wish and dishonoring her life’s work. Ruth Bader Ginsburg showed up everyday in sickness and in health to fight for our civic rights. Honor her by showing up to the polls and taking part in your civic duty. Vote.

All About Masks

Masks have become a normal part of our everyday lives and we are still getting aquatinted to how to properly wear and pick them. I want to put pretty much everything you should know about masks in one place.

The Mask Test

When looking to purchase a cloth mask you should be asking yourself a few questions to make sure what you’re buying will actually keep you and others safe.

Layers

Obviously, a one or two-layer face covering is better than none but for the full effect, it’s recommended for your mask to have at least three layers or more.

Material

Look for a high thread count dense material. Flimsy or see-through materials do not provide adequate protection from droplets and aerosols. The outermost layer of your mask should not be pure cotton as it’s incredibly absorbent and can hold onto germs. Instead, the outer layer should be polyester or a cotton-polyester blend. You can have the innermost layer cotton as it makes the mask more comfortable by absorbing the moisture from your breathing.

Fit

Make sure your mask fits well around your face. Gaps around the edges let in and out possibly contaminated air.

Candle Test

Put on your go-to mask and try to blow out a candle. If it goes out it means that your mask doesn’t adequately stop the flow of air. If you can blow air out, air can leak inward just as easily.

Water Test

The virus is carried through water droplets. If these droplets land on your mask you want the outer layer to repel them. If you place a drop of water on the outside surface of your mask and it is absorbed right away it’s a fail, if the drop forms a water bead, the mask passes.

Cleaning Reusable Masks

First, it’s important to know how to safely remove your mask as to not spread the germs from face to face contact onto your hands or other surfaces. Wash your hands before removing to avoid placing germs on your face. Do not touch the front of your mask but rather use the ear straps to remove the mask and put it directly into your washing machine. You should wash your mask after every wear. Fabric masks can be washed in your regular machine in hot water and then tumble dried on a high setting. You can also hand wash your masks by scrubbing them with hot soapy water for at least 20 seconds and then drying them on high heat in your dryer.

Cut The Straps

Disposable, blue surgical masks cannot be laundered or cleaned and should be thrown away often. Recently, these masks have caused serious harm to the environment and have uprooted attempts to rule out single-use products. If you are in a position to wear a reusable mask I highly encouraged it but if you must wear a disposable, please cut off the ear straps before tossing it. Like all of our waste, these masks are ending up on our beaches and the straps are getting tangled up with wildlife. Cutting the straps off and disposing of your mask properly can help save the earth and the animals that should not be affected by this.

For Every Occasion

Every-Day

Masks 4 Hope – Masks 4 Hope is a non-profit started by two teens who sell protective reusable face masks. All proceeds are donated to the Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital in NY and Island Harvest Food Bank. They are super cute and the purchase you’re making to protect those in your community can help countless others in another. Go to @masks4hopee on Instagram and DM to order! They ship anywhere!

Atoms Everyday Mask – with a polyester blend outer layer and a copper-lined ionized quartz yarn inner layer germs can literally not get through this mask. It’s incredibly breathable and comfortable and comes in 5 sizes and a variety of colors.

Athletic

Athleta Made to Move Masks – These masks have a strong reputation as a good sports option. With many gyms and workout studios requiring masks, you want something breathable, durable, and protective. These mask come in a pack of three.

Dressed Up

Skims Mask – I LOVE Kim Kardashians Skims mask, not only are they incredibly comfortable but they make me feel protected and fit well. Their neutral colors go with any outfit and are perfect to wear out to dinner or when you dress up.

Wearing a mask is a sign of respect and can save lives. Send a picture of you in your mask to @show_your_mask to be featured on their Instagram!

4 Tips to Reduce Screen Time

With school online and zoom calls and texts replacing almost all interactions it’s been hard on our brain and our eyes to be looking at our screens all day. I have been thinking through ways to set healthier habits and stay off my phone for even a few extra minutes here and there.

Alarm Clock

For convenience purposes, I like to set my morning alarm on my phone every night. However, when we wake up to our phones the first thing we do each day is looking at a screen. It’s recommended to stay off your phone for at least 30 minutes after waking up. Recently I switched back to my physical alarm clock and I have noticed a big change. I try to get up and get ready before checking my phone and beginning my day.

Screen Free Meals

It can be challenging to stay off your phone when eating lunch or having a snack but putting your phone down or turning off the tv can be a good way to stay off screens while still doing something. This also can benefit your meals, as eating while being distracted can cause mindless eating and you will be able to enjoy your food more.

Turn Off Your Notifications

The constant dings and notifications make it so hard to keep your phone down or to stop hopping from app to app. It’s unnecessary to get a notification when someone comments on your post or likes your tik-tok. Turning these off in settings make your phone less enticing when you check the time or look to see what your parents texted you.

Call People

My friends know that I prefer calling over texting or FaceTime and leave incredibly lame messages to those who don’t answer. Sorting out a plan or just catching up is easier and more personable when done with the phone to your ear. Calling is still on your phone but you aren’t physically staring at the screen the whole time.

Ways to Motivate Yourself for the School Year

With school starting online, and not much else going on it’s been really hard to motivate myself to do things that excited me before. Here are some apps I use to get myself organized and excited.

Google Keep

I use google keep all the time to keep myself organized. I have a list for class’s and extracurricular’s, day to day work, things to buy, movies to watch, and books to read. I color code them and then check each item off when I’ve finished it. It’s super rewarding to complete a list and they help me to keep things in order. You can pair Google Keep with your school email to make it part of your google drive to have it on your computer and as an app.

WOOP

I use the WOOP app to set health, professional, and interpersonal goals for myself. WOOP is a four-step process to start working at a goal. You WISH for what you want, visualize the OUTCOME, think of possible OBSTACLES, make a PLAN. You can track your progress on the app and complete your goals big and small.

Motivation

My friend Elliana introduced me to Motivation. It sends me 10 notifications daily of inspiring quotes to keep me motivated. I can save ones that resonate with me on the app. It’s nice to open your phone and read positive things.

Disposable Camera Craze

You’ve seen them all over your feed for months. People took them on vacations, had them at their birthday parties, and documented their summers with the plastic camera. Why do people pay to wait for pictures that are most of the time dark and grainy?

I’ve brought disposables on winter break, weekend trips, and other special getaways this year and something keeps me buying more. Something is exciting about taking a picture and capturing a moment then waiting days to see it. You can’t take 100 pictures until you get the right angle or lighting. The anticipation of going to pick up the developed pictures and then go through them is an adrenaline rush. It seems stupid, but having in the moment memories in in print in your hand is really cool. But, I must admit, it can be disappointing to find the inevitable dark shots or one with a thumb in it.

Disposables can be pricey and aren’t great for the environment. My friend Trina uses a digital camera to capture the same effect, except her pictures almost always turn out well and can be uploaded digitally at home. I’ve seen Trina with her camera in hand all summer and decided to ask her some questions about it.

From the response it seems that she loves carrying the camera because the pictures are cool and give off an old school vibe. It’s fun for her to take pictures of her friends because she loves them and it captures candid memories. When Trina gets her photos on her phone she always sends them to the people in the photo. Similarly, when I share my disposable pictures, people are really appreciative to have these awesome photos on their phones and sometimes even post them.

With the ability to take pictures and videos all the time, we lose appreciation for the little moments we capture. I treasure every picture I took on a disposable camera and all digital pictures sent to me because they are extra special.

5 Days at Camp

I have gone to Chippewa Ranch Camp in Northern Wisconsin for 6 summers and truly would not be who I am without it. I was devastated to find out that my final summer as a camper would be cancelled due to the virus. Like other camps across the country, Chippewa is renting out cabins in a family-camp model to those who want to be up at camp for even a little this summer. My amazing parents and my summer sisters immediately organized a trip for us to be up at camp for one 5-day session in the cabin we were supposed to call home this summer. It was the happiest I have been in months.

Day

We spent the majority of the time at camp out on the lake. Each group was given a skiing/tubing time daily. It was crazy how long we were able to tube and how many turns we were given while skiing with such little people at camp. We sat on the water-trampoline for hours a day listening to music, tanning, and chatting with one another. We got to sail out into the middle of the lake and swim around out there which we would never be able to do at regular camp. We would sit on the dock after dinner during sunset. We also hung out on land, playing tramp ball, newcomb, and relaxing on our porch.

Night

Nights at camp are magical as they turn from colorful sunsets over the lake to bright stars above the North field. Lucky for us that other age groups were at camp the same time we were, we all got together to organize our own “evening activities.” We played tan and white capture the flag one night which was incredibly energetic. The second-year JC’s organized a campfire where we sang, laughed and shed a few happy tears. We had a lipsync where my cabin performed a repetitive dance to “Never Say Never” by Justin Bieber. Afterwards, if we didn’t run out for ice cream, we would sit on the porch all night talking about life, catching up with counselors, and appreciating our day. We slept soundly in our camp beds.

Eagle River Eats

This experience was unique in the sense that along with the camp food we got to visit all of our favorite North Woods eateries.

Red Canoe

As a camper, seeing the staff come back with their red canoe coffees and smoothies always made me a bit envious. The sandwiches here are incredible. My favorites are the morning panini and the red canoe. The iced latte is so creamy and amazing.

Cathy’s

Chippy girls see Cathy’s as a place of happiness. With visits after winning lipsync, color wars, and just an all-camp trip for fun, Cathy’s is filled with good vibes. My go-to flavor is pirates booty, a caramel ice cream with m&m’s and oreo. I also love jolted cow (coffee ice cream with brownie) and Mississippi mud (mocha ice cream with chocolate) for a double flavored cone.

Kobe Sushi

After weeks without Asian food at camp, Kobe sushi is a town day must-visit. Even just being up there for a few days we had to visit Kobe and enjoy. We play it safe with vegetable rolls and miso soup and the sushi rice is so good.

Briq’s

I’m not an Agawak girl but I have to give props to their go-to ice cream place. I got the “Brownie Briq Mountain” and every bite was delicious.

Although I wish I could have been at camp for 8 weeks this summer, I am so grateful that I got to have this unique experience in the beautiful place that is my second home. I love my camp friends so much and they really are my sisters. I would not be where I am without every hug, smile, word of encouragement, and laugh they have given me for the past 7 years. I am forever a Chippewa girl.

Travel with Dyl: Venice

Venice is in the running for my favorite place on earth. On our boat ride from the airport into the island I was in awe. To be honest, until right then I didn’t even know that there were no cars in the city. What I really loved about Venice though is that sometimes it felt like our little secret. I’m not sure how or why but at night or even during the day we would be the only ones walking through the small streets or over the beautiful bridges. Just my family in this Italian dream. This post will surely be an ode to Venice.

Favorite Meals

Vino Vino

We didn’t have any reservations on our first night of the trip. After a short chat with the concierge, we were making the first of many enchanting walks to dinner. This was a real hole in the wall Italian place. Fresh and delicious and the Cacio e Pepe was the best I’ve ever had.

A Beccafico

A Beccafico was a small place with the best pasta. I was sceptical of some dishes at first but the flavor combinations were perfect. My favorite pasta I had on the trip was here, conchiglie shells filled with ricotta with the best tomato sauce.

Conca d’oro

Pizza, Pizza, Pizza! I was stuffed after this meal. The best appetizers and made to order pizzas. Clearly, mine was cheese, pesto, and eggplant, but honestly, I’d eat a Conca d’oro pizza with anything on it.

Sites

Walking through Venice is enough of a site but there are so many beautiful things the City has to offer.

St. Mark’s Square

Walking into St. Marks Square on my first night with the lights illuminating it was magical. Saint Mark’s Basilica was enough to make my heart stop for a moment. On Christmas eve we attended an open Mass at the Cathedral and it was no small production. Walking through the piazza at any hour was so beautiful it almost made me forget about my terrible fear of the pigeons that swarmed the area.

Rialto Bridge

The oldest and most gorgeous of the four bridges that span the grand canal. It ties beautiful pictures like this one together and provides the most spectacular views of Venice. While taking this painting-like picture I almost lost my balance on the small dock I was on the edge of and was about to fall into the Grand Canal. Thankfully, I did not.

Murano

An island known for its spectacular hand-blown glass making. After watching a demonstration of artists at work we explored the most beautiful gallery, filled with chandeliers, mirrors, glassware, and other spectacular items. We learned how families perfect certain techniques and styles for generations and breed their children to do the same. After our tour, we sat down to design and order our own sets of handmade glasses. Seeing them displayed in our bar reminds me of this magical day.

Burano

Following our trip to Murano, we stopped in Burano. Unfortunately, it was a cloudy and cold day but the colorful houses and beautiful streets of Burano put a smile on our faces.

More Fun

Gelato Views

The small gelato shop next to Saint Mark’s Basilica became an after-dinner must visit for us. Eating our delicious treat with the stunning views of the square was more than surreal. My go-to flavor pairing quickly became Dark Chocolate and Stracciatella.

Gondola Rides

Did you really go to Venice if you didn’t ride a gondola? It is remarkable how many of these there are in the tiny canals of Venice. It’s definitely a little nerve-racking but the gondoliers seem to have it down to a science.

Lights

Christmas lights in Venice is reason enough to brave the cold and come during the holidays. Illuminating even the smallest of streets at night made everywhere you walked out of a movie. The hanging lights made the Island soar and made its beauty visible to everyone at all hours.

I miss Venice every day and long to be walking its streets. My entire trip to Italy was magical and made me gain an appreciation for history and architecture that holds true today. Io amo l’Italia.