It’s been a little while since I wrote a life lately post—whoops! The last one I wrote was in August, and I feel like my life really sped up in September and never really slowed down. I am hoping things are bit calmer when I go back to work next week. I took two weeks off this holiday season and it was so needed. I was starting to feel really burned out and in need of a break just to relax. While the first part of my break was busy—but in the best way!—since it was Christmastime, the back half of break has been very low key. I’ve been going to a lot of spin classes, reading, catching up with friends, and doing things around my apartment, like cleaning my makeup brushes and touching up the paint on my green lacquer dresser.
Later this month, I am heading to New Orleans, Louisiana to work the football national championship game with my day job, but other than that, I plan to stay put here in DC. One thing I’d love to do more of this month at home is cook dinners with my sister and my cousin—last week, we made What’s Gaby Cooking’s chicken farm gnocchi bake and it was delicious! I’ve come to realize I actually don’t mind cooking, what I dislike is having to eat leftovers of the same meal for days (a recurring problem when you live alone!), so cooking together is a great solution. If you have any go-to recipes, please send them my way!
To kick off the second day of the new year, here’s a little look at my life lately!
SILVER MIRROR FACIAL BAR IN DUPONT /
If you follow me over on Instagram (I share a lot more in real-time over there—would love to have you follow along!), then you know I’ve been to Silver Mirror Facial Bar in Dupont a couple of times over the past few months. Skincare is something that has always been very important to me, and is increasingly important the older I get. Since I am 29 now, my biggest priority is preventing any signs of aging and making sure my skin stays hydrated and free of breakouts. While I have always loved a facial, I haven’t always loved the prices. Though Silver Mirror has now invited me in for two complimentary facials, I wanted to share a little bit about them with y’all here (under no obligation to do so!) since I think their focus on skincare results at an affordable price point is a great way to work maintenance facials into a routine.
Silver Mirror offers a range of different facials, and their aestheticians will recommend the best treatment for your personal skincare needs. You can book either a 30-minute or 50-minute facial as a one-off treatment, or you can sign up for a monthly membership, which offers some great savings.
Both times I’ve been in, I’ve done a 50-minute facial—the first time, I had the anti-aging facial done, and the second time, when I was in just days before Christmas, I had the sensitive skin facial since the winter dryness was really impacting my skin. During the treatment, I really felt like my aestheticians customized the facial to me and my needs, and also maximized the time we had together. My most recent facial, the sensitive skin one, started with a non-irritating, moisturizing deep cleanse, and was then followed by a gentle exfoliation and light extractions. After extractions, she used oxygen therapy infused with skin-healthy vitamins to hydrate and nourish the skin. To wrap things up, she chose an oatmeal mask, custom mixed for my skin’s needs, and then did circulation-stimulating LED light therapy to calm my skin down after 50 minutes of treatment. It’s been about a week since I went in to Silver Mirror, and my skin is so much more hydrated and the few acne blemishes I had are all but gone. (Some of them were stress-related, I think! Adult winter break has been good to me in more ways than one!)
While my aesthetician did recommend some products for me at the end of my facial, I felt no obligation or pushiness to buy them! She asked me about my current skincare routine and made some suggestions that would help improve it. One thing she did recommend for me (that I ended up buying!) was the Sanitas Papaya Pineapple Mask to be used as an exfoliant once or twice a week. Since this mask essentially takes off the dead layers of your skin, when you put on your products like serums, moisturizers, and eye creams, they work much better!
Silver Mirror is located conveniently in Dupont right near the Metro for all my local gals—and they also have two locations in New York City! The facilities are so clean and everyone is so welcoming. The beds are comfortable and there are phone chargers so you can charge up while you’re enjoying your facial. The one thing I will flag is that if you want a really private space to enjoy your facial, Silver Mirror probably isn’t your place. Since they really focus on being a consistent part of your routine vs. a one-off luxury, each of their treatment areas is just sectioned off by a curtain, so it’s still really easy to hear what’s going on around you in the facial bar—but I will say, they always have an amazing playlist going.
While I don’t currently have a membership at Silver Mirror—I am considering one for 2020! If you’re looking for a great one-off facial or something more regular for your skincare routine, I’d definitely recommend popping in for a treatment and seeing how you like it.
DRY JANUARY /
After making spirits bright this holiday season, I decided I am going to do Dry January again this year. You may recall, I did Dry January two years ago, and after 31 days of no drinking, I felt great, was sleeping so well, and lost weight without changing anything else. Last year, I didn’t take it on since I didn’t feel like I needed a reset as badly, but this year, I was really craving a fresh and healthy start to 2020 and so am excited to forgo wine and margaritas for a while.
While I will be traveling to New Orleans this month and it will definitely be a challenge not to drink there, I’ve always found winter is a great time to cut back and change any unhealthy habits since I typically have less social plans and spend more time at home, making it easier to stick to my routine. Cheers to starting the new year off on a healthy foot!
A BAD CASE OF FOOD POISONING /
At the beginning of December, I had a huge event at work one Friday and it was one of those projects where once it’s done, you can feel the stress literally leaving your body. After work that day, I went to get a manicure and then picked up a salad on my way home. After lounging for a while, I went to bed. I’m lucky in that sleep comes easy for me, and I rarely wake up in the middle of the night. However, a few hours after I went to bed that night, I woke up to extreme nausea, which was so unusual for me. I ended up getting sick for the next several hours and felt so, so weak. I was also really sad because I was going to miss one of my good friend’s bridal showers and a UVA watch party with friends because of my illness.
Since I couldn’t get out of bed, Monica and my sister, Jennifer, both came to my rescue. Monica ran to CVS and picked up gatorade and ginger ale for me, and later that afternoon, my sister came over with chicken noodle soup, crackers, and other supplies. Jennifer stayed at my house for several hours to make sure I was okay, and never got sick—which, combined with how quickly it came on after I ate dinner—makes me think I had a really bad case of food poisoning.
Luckily, I felt much, much better on Sunday and was able to return to work on Monday, but it reminded me that our health really is the most important thing we have. I am such a terrible sick person—I hate not being able to go at full capacity, and can only imagine the mental anguish that accompanies chronic pain or long illnesses. This small bout of food poisoning combined with some health news within my extended family make me so grateful I have my health—and keeping and improving it is something I want to prioritize in 2020.
KEEPING UP WITH THE KARDASHIANS /
I’ve long been a fan of the Kardashians, but when I cut cable when I moved to my Dupont studio in 2018, it was one of the shows I stopped keeping up with (hah!) because it takes them so long to put the newer episodes on Hulu after they air. After I had maxed out on cheesy Christmas movies, I decided binge watching the last three seasons of Keeping Up with the Kardashians would be my next move. The show is mindless, but I forgot how addicting it is, and I actually love that I saved so many to binge. As soon as one episode ends, the next one auto-plays—I don’t have to wait a whole week to enjoy a new episode. I also watched Kourtney and Khloe Take the Hamptons since I had never seen it. It was filmed about five or six years ago now and it’s crazy to see how much the family has changed in that time.
BLOGGING IN 2020 /
One thing I’ve been thinking a lot lately is my blog. Over my “adult winter break,” I’ve actually had the chance to sit down and catch up on all my favorite blogs, something that I used to do all the time and has become a rarer and rarer occurrence for me as my day job becomes more demanding. (I still read blogs often—but I often read posts that bloggers share on Instagram or someone sends my way; rarely do I ever sit down at my computer and scroll through a ton of posts at once!)
Reading all of my favorite blogs again has made me more excited about my own blog, and it’s reminded me that I should write the blog I’d want to read. While there are definitely many posts I wrote in 2019 I am really proud of, there are some things I want to change for 2020—especially how I share DC restaurant-related content, which I talked about in this post. This coming year, I really want to focus on just spending my time on writing content that is something I’d really want to read or adds value (like a travel guide!) and is worth my time writing—it’s not just something I’m writing because I feel like I have to (i.e. a post in a series just because I set up the series that way!).
One thing that’s the same across all the blogs I love to read is that I feel like I know my favorite bloggers really well. I feel like I’ve shared a lot of my life on the internet over the years, but I am also a private person and don’t necessarily want to share more than I already am. I also don’t ever want to make my blog a full-time endeavor, as I love working in an office too much to work for myself. So, I have to balance spending my free time in a way that makes me feel refreshed and ready to go back to work—which doesn’t always include sitting down on my couch to write a lengthy post. And I’ve realized I don’t want outfit photos to be part of my bread and butter anymore.
All of this to say, I’m a really different person than when I started my blog five years ago (!) and back then, I think I had a lot more drive to prioritize my blog, growing my audience, and really hustled to make it happen. Now, I think I view my blog more as a creative outlet and a fun way to document my life. But, since I do still spend a lot of time on my blog, I want to make sure it’s still something that’s a value-add to my life. At this time, I still 100% believe it is—I just think I need to work on evolving it to something that might be a little more like Cuyana’s motto—fewer, better things.
I also know I’ve been talking about my blog in this way for a while now—so I promise I’ll shut up about this transition I feel like I’m in and just work towards the new normal!
I’m excited to see what 2020 has in store! I’ll make more of an effort to make these life lately posts happen every month or two since they’re some of my favorite to write—and I think y’all enjoy reading them, too! x
Loved getting to catch up on your last few months! Food poisoning is the worst and no fun to deal with that alone. 🙁 Excited for your blog plans in the new year!
Thank you so much! Happy new year to you, A! x
So fun catching up friend! I’m so glad you had such a refreshing winter break and have such clear direction for 2020! Can’t wait to see what the year has in store!
Thank you so much! Happy, happy wedding year, friend!
Katie! I’ve loved reading your blog these past several years and can’t wait to keep following along in 2020. Keep sharing more posts like this one, so fun to read about your likes & goals!
See you at spin again soon 🙂
Aw thank you so much, Sarah! So glad we met through blogging! See you at spin! x
I’m so sorry you had food poisoning! To this day, having food poisoning was one of the worst experiences of my life. Seriously terrible.
Looking forward to seeing and hearing from you in 2020!!
Ugh, so so sorry you’ve had to deal with it, too! Definitely not fun at all!