The beginning of June marked the beginning of history being made; and for me personally, it marked the recognition of a new level of awareness & accountability I need to hold myself to forever going forward. I wrote all about the promise I intend to keep when it comes to being an ally in both my personal & professional lives. I’m so happy to see that this much-needed moment is not just a trending topic, but one that’s rewriting history as we speak. CHANGE is happening and it’s about damn time!
In other June recap news, I turned 29 on June 28! Even back in April, I had a feeling I’d be having some sort of a quarantine birthday this year, as there was absolutely no way the pandemic would be gone by the summer. Now I feel like we won’t be leaving our houses without a mask for the next year, but it is what it is.
I realize how lucky I am to have a birthday celebration at all, with people outside my established Quarantine crew nonetheless. We had a small gathering of 20 people in my parent’s backyard (BTW – in NJ, you can have up to 500 people gathering outdoors legally) and everyone who came over did his/her part to ensure they were COVID-19 free prior to celebrating. It’s been 11 days since gathering and luckily, no one has come down with any symptoms or signs since the backyard gathering (yay!) Even though things are so different now, I’ll always remember and appreciate this particular birthday year; for it brought me closer to my family, my friends, and myself as a result.
Outside of June “events,” here are a few updates on life in general & just things I felt like sharing with you guys :]
Things I’ve Been Buying
Although we’re not mandated to stay-at-home these days (lol for now..) I’ve still been guilty of making an online purchase here or there. I know I’m not alone on this one! I mean, having a package to look forward to receiving still gives me butterflies like it did back in March – it’s the little, simple things right? Anyways, here are a few things I’ve recently got that have made me super happy:
– This everyday tank dress which works as a 2-in-1 making for an adorable beach/pool coverup option as well.
– After suffering from endless muscle knots in our backs, we got this Theragun massager dupe from Amazon and honestly the best thing we could’ve ever gotten ourselves. I can’t find a reason why this one is any less better than the $400 one in terms of quality, so def go for it if you’ve been considering one.
– Another Amazon find we LOVE is this cold brew coffee maker that fits so perfectly in our fridge. Holds up to several cups worth AND lasts two weeks refrigerated!
– I treated myself to a pair of Hermès Oran Slides for my birthday after wanting them for 3+ years. I did happen to buy a very similar pair beforehand, just to make sure I liked the style of sandal before committing to the original. Honestly, it’s crazy how alike the dupe pair is to the real thing when compared side-by-side. So def recommend this budget-friendlier pair if you’re considering the Oran but not ready to invest in it just yet. Ps, recommending sizing up 1/2 or 1 full size depending on your foot width because the slide (both dupe and real thing) runs narrow. I have pretty standard feet (in my opinion) and went with a 8.5 in the dupe, which fits fine but I opted for the size 9 in the real thing since EUR brands run even smaller than US.
– Cloth Masks + Hair Bows from The American Weekend Society. Seriously the cutest prints EVER! The cloth masks are amazing and so breathable too. Collections are launched monthly and sell out quick so I recommend setting a calendar date for the next one coming up – find dates on the site homepage.
– Since “open container” has become somewhat of a thing here in NJ, these Yeti Colsters have been great to carry our beers during our evening walks at the end of the work day. Come in short, slim & tall boy sizes, available in several colors & great for the boat/beach as well.
– And while on the topic of getting outside, we’ve also found setting up a picnic spot in the park during the weekday evenings/weekends we’re in Hoboken so enjoyable. In order to bring refills & snacks along, this adorable canvas mini cooler has been so handy. Also got this incredible mini bluetooth speaker which has ENORMOUS sound – kinda wild something so little can drop bass like a club stereo can. Best part: It’s completely waterproof! Like, submerge it in the pool and it’ll still work waterproof. It’s been fantastic for taking on the boat with us too.
By the way – I recently launched my Amazon Shop which has everything I’ve ever purchased all in one spot if you wanna check it out!
As I’ve mentioned on IG Stories a few times, I’m currently training for my first half-marathon! Thomas somehow managed to persuade me to sign up for one in September which, should it be most likely cancelled, we’ll still run on our own thanks to the already posted route map (sarcasm implied here.) I have to admit I’m nervous as hell to run something like this but I’m also excited to be taking it on. Before Quarantine, I’ve never run more than 3 miles at a time. Now, a 6 mile run feels casual. Crazy how things change once your mind & body get accustomed to a new normal (like wearing masks.)
I’m not doing anything crazy in terms of intense routine to prepare but I have been following the Nike Running Club tips on half-marathon/marathon training, which has helped me stay on schedule with each week closer to the race date. I’ve also been using the free Map My Run app on my phone to track my miles, pace, and split pace numbers.
Ps – I never used to run in shorts until I got this pair from ALALA. They’re amazing; built-in compression and ultra flattering. I now own 4 pairs of them because its all I choose to wear now. Seriously, once you try them you’ll never go back to working out in leggings during the summer. Use my code TildenUP20 for 20% off anything on the ALALA site too!
Playlists + Podcasts I’m Listening To
Whenever I’m running, working or doing household things, I love listening to something while doing it. It helps keep me in the groove and makes certain tasks more bearable, like running that extra mile or tackling a mountain of dishes in the sink. Here’s what I’ve been listening to lately:
[Mellow Playlists] – Coffee Shop Chill, True Jazz, Jazz II, Easy Listening II
[Upbeat Playlists] – Happy Beats, Friday Beers Tasty Licks, Work.It.Out, Have A Great Day!
[Entertaining Podcasts] – The Morning Toast, The Office Ladies, Hype Girl, The Great Indoors
[Informative Podcasts] – How I Built This, The Journal, Second Life, Stuff You Should Know
Plants Plants Plants!
Another frequent topic of discussion on my IG/Blog has been about my ever-growing indoor garden of houseplants. Quarantine definitely brought this obsession out full-force and I have no ragrets (not even a single letter.) Plants have brought me SO MUCH JOY during this dark, unpredictable time and being able to share what I’ve learned with you all has given me that feeling of purpose again, which felt like it disappeared for a bit until now. Plus, seeing how many of you have been inspired to start or begin a plant journey on your own is nothing short of rewarding. It legit makes me all emotional knowing I’ve been able to bring this wonderful world of plant parenthood into someone else’s home, so s/he can too experience the joy that I’ve been feeling as well.
In case you haven’t checked out some of my latest plant care blog posts, here they are listed below. I’ve also shared several tips on my IG Stories, which all have been saved to my Plants 2.0 + Plants 3.0 Highlights. My next post in the works is all about beginner plant propagation, which I’ve been dabbling with since March and find so much fun (and rewarding too!) I recently took Hilton Carter’s online plant propagation class & learned SO MUCH! Hoping to have this post up by mid-July so make note if that’s a plant care topic of interest!
Seeing that the Fourth of July came & went, the rest of July will most likely be spent going back & forth weekends from Hoboken to the Jersey Shore. Thomas and I are lucky to have grown up in the same beach hometown and still have both our parents living right around the corner from one another. It’s been nice to have our separation (from family) during the work week while having something to look forward to (aka the beach & river) on the weekends. We’re both grateful for such circumstances and realize not everyone has such an opportunity to escape home base these days with everything going on still.
HOWEVER – I do have some exciting news that I can’t share yet.. ugh I know, rude of me to trigger the suspense. But once the time comes, you know I’ll be breaking it to you guys in full detail both here & on Instagram. All I can say for the time being is STAY TUNED!