Shopping List: Valentine's Day For The Ladies

Valentine's Day is one of those days that causes some controversy. (Using the term 'controversy' very, very lightly here.)

I'm an old, married woman which means that ultimately I'm not too bothered about it either way. Still, there are certain aspects about this "holiday" that make me squirm – the pressure to couple up, the marketing campaigns aimed to convince that it's always better to be in a pair than on your own...that sort of thing. Though the marketing and messaging around Valentine's Day can be awful for lots of reasons, let's not let that spoil our feelings about the 14th of February. 

If you approach it properly, Valentine's Day can be pretty fun – fun because it's kind of ridiculous, fun because there's candy, fun because it involves nice feelings. There's also Galentine's Day on the 13th, and let's not forget the fact that Valentine's Day itself is a good excuse to gift yourself, your girlfriends, or a loved one something sweet. 

Cue Huckberry. As you may remember from posts past, these guys are the best when it comes to gifts for gals and guys alike. Whether you're searching for a gift for yourself or your best girlfriend, here are a few of my favorite Valentine's Day gift for the ladies:


Robin Reetz

I’m an expat currently living between London and North Carolina. I'm the Home & Living Editor at Clementine Daily, handle partnerships and more at DesignGood, and create content for folks like Teen Vogue. Also, I love independent designers. Find out more about me here: http://secondfloorflat.com/about-me/

Good Reads: 29 January 2016

The snow's been gone for just a few minutes and I miss it already. I always think that if it's going to be cold, it should snow. Cold, grey weather is a little boring.

This weekend will be pretty chill. There will be some some thrifting (see below on faux fur coat thoughts), some donut eating, some new product sampling (I'm having a big moment with skincare) and some all around, generally great hanging. 

Before it begins, there was some gold on the internet this week, so maybe check out the links below before you take off. Have a good one!

feeling pretty proud of this dude and his photography work. 

best thing i read this week. this was the second best.

saw this really beautiful, interesting movie this week. if you like miranda july-ish stuff, you'll like this.

official: we run this thing.

a gorgeous pre-fall collection

score 100 for mattel. (the foot thing – how is that just now being fixed?)

excited for this short film, the mission behind it, and the mission behind this awesome project.

on the hunt for a great faux fur coat. anyone have any leads for me?

almost died over these shoes this week.

thankful for the day i started following kanye on twitter. (#waves)

bread forever.

folks in the north carolina area, go to my very talented friend's store opening party on saturday!

 

a few new additions to the designer directory: sara barner / the stell / home-work / aeron / the great lakes goods  

more by me: how to start a feminist podcast / home tour: jordan grace owens


Robin Reetz

I’m an expat currently living between London and North Carolina. I'm the Home & Living Editor at Clementine Daily, handle partnerships and more at DesignGood, and create content for folks like Teen Vogue. Also, I love independent designers. Find out more about me here: http://secondfloorflat.com/about-me/

betsy & iya's Unu Collection

On my elusive "someday" list is an idea I had a few years ago to take a boutique road trip.

A boutique road trip would be just like a regular road trip, except that it would be structured around various shops and boutiques. I'd stop by several in any given city, then move on to the next. Maybe a West Coast boutique road trip would include Mohawk General Store, Otherwild, YES, Seven Sisters, and Portland's betsy & iya (amongst many, many others). 

This trip is sadly not on the horizon, but I still like to imagine picking a piece from each store as a souvenir of my crazy fun trip. From betsy & iya, I'd have to choose a piece from their recently launched Unu Collection – which features minimalist, geometric, everyday jewelry that both blends in quietly and demands attention through its lovely, simple design. 

Nice, rgiht? Shop the full collection here, and check out their (very symmetric, very cool!) Instagram feed here.


How To Maintain Your Energy

I almost constantly feel nervous.

It's not as horrible as it sounds, though. Instead it's more like a low-level current that runs through me almost constantly. Because I have this hum of energy that vibrates through me and drives most everything I do, I probably appear more extroverted than I am.

Take speaking in crowds, for instance. I hate it, as lots of people do, but that low-level nervous energy of mine is so great that I'll force myself to make a self depreciating joke or speak first in a meeting, just to get my inner self out there. It's partly because of my fear that if I don't say something quickly or do something to make everyone feel comfortable, I may not say anything at all. 

That energy – the one that keeps my brain constantly ticking, thinking, analyzing, creating – it drives me, pushes me to work harder, meet people, tackle that next project – and it, obviously, makes me who I am. But it can be tiring. Other introverts, those of us with sensitive and active minds that require greater periods of rest, will understand.

All of this is fine and good on an everyday level, but when it comes to special days – holidays and vacations – it can be difficult. Spend a day touring a city with a group friends, attend a series of highly-social activities, or even change your diet for a few weeks, and those energy levels can start to slip. 

Luckily, as this creature of habit and homebody with a true love for travel has learned, there are ways to maintain that energy in a healthy and sane way when you're off your routine. This allows you to keep up that big energy throughout long work days, and travel successfully with friends and family alike.

Here's how it's done:

1. When possible, surround yourself with people who "get" you

There's a saying that traveling with someone for a few days will teach you more about that person than knowing them for several years. I'd say that's true, and while finding yourself in the (often professional) situation of traveling through a new city or country with strangers can be a very positive thing, when at all possible try to travel with people who know and "get" you. People who understand that after five hours of tourist-ing, you may need to be alone in your room with a book for an hour-ish. 

If the people with you on a vacation or holiday "get" your energy levels, they'll know and understand that you just need some time alone, thanks. No misunderstandings, no hurt feelings.

 

2. Take an abbreviated time out

Let's say you're visiting friends or family, or are just in the middle of a very long, taxing work day and you don't quite have the ability to go sit alone and let your brain breathe. Instead, find activities and rituals that will help you "recharge" your batteries even on a micro-level. For example, put on headphones and listen to music that chills you out, or maybe walk to a nearby coffee shop and grab a tea. Do something that will take you outside of your element, even for a moment, and you'll feel better.

 

3. Go to bed early

Don't feel the need to "take advantage" of your holiday or vacation by staying up late if that doesn't feel good for you. If you're socially or physically drained, let yourself slink off to bed to read, write, or think. Stretch, light a candle, and just hang. It'll make all the difference in the world and give you the energy needed to get you through that next day of socializing or travel.

 

4. Stick to a routine 

Perhaps most importantly, hold on to your routine for dear life – on holidays, vacations, and even on the weekends. Eat the same foods when you can, and when you travel bring your favorite sweats or comfy socks – anything that makes you feel yourself and grounded on the outside will help to do the same to your mind on the inside. I promise.

 

Any thoughts on maintaining energy when you're out of your element? It's not easy for any of us, and especially not for introverts. Tips and shared experiences are always welcome!


Robin Reetz

I’m an expat currently living between London and North Carolina. I'm the Home & Living Editor at Clementine Daily, handle partnerships and more at DesignGood, and create content for folks like Teen Vogue. Also, I love independent designers. Find out more about me here: http://secondfloorflat.com/about-me/

Shopping List: Winter Sale Picks

This is around the time of the year that my whole "minimalist shopping" thing is challenged.

You see, it's January – the period that the entire Northern Hemisphere has collectively decided to be the most 'meh' time of the year. It's finally cold. Expensive, warm things are finally on sale. And, to cap it all of, I just got a new rewards card. So yeah, you could say the conditions are right for a little winter sale shopping.

Instead of making ill-considered sale purchases, instead I usually Pin my heart out in an effort to control myself and my obsessive (not quite compulsive) shopping habits. With that in mind, here are a few winter sale picks currently on that list of obsessions:


Good Reads: 15 January 2016

Bowie.

I'm not over it, even in the slightest. Has anyone else been hit as surprisingly hard about this as I am? He seemed like someone that would never die, and I don't really want to believe that he did.

As I have been all week, I plan to spend the weekend listening to Bowie playlists. Otherwise, I'll be catching up Oscar noms and getting rid of some of that remaining holiday and winter clutter accumulation. (Adulting, as its finest.)

A few favorite links of the week are below for some reading before you check out on Friday. Whatever you're up to, I hope you have a good one!

Bed Stuy, Brooklyn

leslie jones, showing us all how it should be done.

just when i thought transparent couldn't get any better – there was season two.

what to do if you win the lottery.

this very smart post may be holiday themed, but it can be applied to any weekend or vacation. routine = key.

an inspiring interview with refinery29's christene barberich.

"life should be fun and full of girls who inspire each and every day." liking this new site.

adding to my "to read" list.

all about that simple, geometric jewelry. betsy & iya just launched their unu collection and it's a total winner. 

a beautiful, heartbreaking read.

with the onset of some actual winter weather, this blanket is starting to feel like a good idea. (don't judge)

by this point, i'm sure you've seen "making a murderer", right? (confession: i'm a #stranger)

 

david bowie, class act.

and

"thank you, mr. bowie. you changed our lives."

 

a few new additions to the designer directory :

penny sagereality studio / heart heart heart / away / sunday supply / sophie monet


Robin Reetz

I’m an expat currently living between London and North Carolina. I'm the Home & Living Editor at Clementine Daily, handle partnerships and more at DesignGood, and create content for folks like Teen Vogue. Also, I love independent designers. Find out more about me here: http://secondfloorflat.com/about-me/

Paloma Wool

I love Paloma Wool – a Spanish line described by the designer as a "project about getting dressed and about space or ideas that are created around the act of getting dressed." To me, it's where art and fashion and form and function and shape collide.

Paloma's clothing features interesting, simple silhouettes with an emphasis on tailoring and negative shapes, with lighthearted, hand drawn patterns thrown in for good measure. In addition to the clothing, Paloma dabbles in ceramics. You can buy her beautiful vases, which echo the clothing line's feel of impactful simplicity, here.

What I love about this line is that what's there is what's needed – no more, no less. A few lookbook shots of the latest collection are below: