clear skin + updated skincare routine

Processed with VSCO with b5 presetSkin, its super important and actually the largest organ in our body, yet it can be oh so easily be forgotten about…well at least until trouble is spotted. I’ve had my fair share of skin problems, granted I never had a serious acne condition, but from high school until last year I dealt with patches of acne on my face, neck, back, chest, and sometimes even my arms. At the times I thought it would never go away and I definitely stressed over it when I couldn’t hide it. But alas, my mother was right and eventually, it would clear up. I attribute it clearing up to a few things…

stressing less. This was a big one for me. The times when my acne is the worst is when I am under a lot of stress. And yeah, it’s not super easy to just quit stressing. (As an avid worrier, I would know. ) But I do think that reducing my stress has been key to my skin clearing up. This year my acne has been almost no existent and I think part of that is because I have been taking steps to reduce stress. Like, not procrastinating on studying + assignments, spending more time outdoors, and having solid ways to manage my depression and anxiety.

more water. This one should be pretty obvious, everyone I know who promotes health, promotes drinking more water. It is honestly one of the simplest things you can do for your skin. I’ve always kind of liked drinking water, I find it super satisfying, but if that isn’t the case for you, then find ways to make it more enjoyable. Try adding lemon slices or other fruits, or make little goals to have so much done by lunch, or even try drinking it with a straw. Honestly just find something that works and get that water in!

a more balanced diet. Eating healthy is one thing, but also eating a well-rounded diet is crucial. I spent all of high school eating super healthy all day and then eating tons of “unhealthy” foods at night, because I neglected to satisfy my cravings during the day. For example, this morning instead of just drinking a green smoothie for breakfast, I also had two eggs with vegan parmesan cheese. And at lunch I had a buddha bowl but then also had vegan yogurt for dessert and a chai latte and a fig bar for a snack. I still eat healthy, but I avoid restricting myself. I’ll probably eat a big dinner tonight and have dessert after and that is OK. So yeah, I eat more, but I try to keep it pretty healthy and balanced.

simplified natural skincare routine. For the past 4 years I’ve exclusively used dr. bronner’s rose castile soap as my face wash and I’ve found it to work super well for my very sensitive skin. (Oddly specific, but the rose is the only one scent that I’ve found to keep my skin clear + clean.) And then beyond that things have changed recently but I try to keep my skincare routine super simple + natural.

So then you ask…Emily, what exactly do you do? Continue reading


Learning to Love What I Own

A couple days after I cleaned out my closet at home.
I spend years with a closet full of clothes and a desire to keep buying more, yet simultaneously feeling like I had nothing to wear to everyday. Last year I bought a book by Mari Kondo, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. After reading it, I got rid of some clothes and other possessions, but I still couldn’t get rid of somethings even if they didn’t bring me any joy. I spend another fall buying more clothes for my first quarter in college. I always felt like I had a lot of clothes, but I was in for a surprise when I met my roommate. There is no judgement here, but she had considerably more clothes than I did. This made me feel somewhat better, but I was still struggling to get ready in the morning, and I wasn’t loving what I came up with either.

Fast forward to christmas break, I was surfing through Netflix looking for something to watch while I was knitting. I remembered bookmarking a documentary called The True Cost awhile ago and so I decided to finally watch it. Upon finishing it, I felt completely different. All of the sudden I had no desire to go out and purchase more clothes or shop at stores that support fast fashion. The documentary had gotten me on a roll and I started watching Youtube videos about sustainable fashion. After a couple of days, I decided that I didn’t want to buy anything new that would support fast fashion. But I didn’t stop there, it was another day and I was searching for an another documentary. This time I stumbled upon one about minimalism. After finishing it, I felt ready to make some big changes. I started with my old room at home and started getting rid of things that no longer brought me joy or no longer served a purpose for me. By the time I was done I felt like a big weight had been lifted off of me. Instead of my clothes lying in a heap, I laid them out on the floor and every morning it was easy to pick what I wanted to wear because all the items that laid before me, were pieces that I loved.

When I got back to my dorm room I spend several hours, packing away anything that didn’t bring me joy and unpacking and organizing that things that did. And since then, everyday it has taken me seconds to pick out my clothes and I don’t feel uncomfortable or mismatched like I use to. I even found ways to pair pieces that I loved, but never wear…like the skirt pictured above. I wear that outfit every week now, alternating between a black or a grey sweater.

Eventually I would like to try out the concept of a capsule wardrobe, I counted the pieces that I have currently in my closet and it totals up to around 50 pieces including shoes and not including workout clothes and I still have some summer clothes stored away at home. I think it would be cool to try project 333, but I haven’t decided yet.

The other really cool thing that I’ve noticed since paring down my possessions is how its affect my anxiety. I feel less anxious everyday. I’m not worried about how I look anymore, because I love all the pieces in my closet, and I’m not faced with extra decisions everyday that can lead to ramping up my anxiety. I discovered that something as simple as getting ready each day was actually starting my day with a dose of anxiety. I had too many choices and it was always overwhelming. But now my day starts out easy and stress free.

Let me know your thoughts on minimalism.

Favorite Shoes


Over the past couple years I’ve discovered that I don’t need tons of shoes, in fact, I tend to only wear 4 pairs consistently. Recently I added the pair of Birkenstocks pictured above and it was one of my best purchases I made last year. It’s interesting to see that all of my favorite shoes happen to be shoes that will last me a long time. I’ve had the Birkenstock sandals for almost 5 years now, the teva boots for 4 years, the chacos for a year, and the Birkenstock clogs for only about 2 months. Yet I know that with love and care I will be able to keep wearing all these shoes for many more years. Continue reading