Confidence is key.
I don’t like the concept of “resolutions” but I do like to set goals that I can put into place for progressive change.
- Take control of the device that is stealing my time. I’m reevaluating my time usage with apps and redefining my relationship with ‘always-on’ work emails (especially the weekends).
- This will be the year I finally learn to say ‘no’. I find that I commit myself to things because I feel pressured, I don’t want to let people down, or FOMO.
- Accept myself. I have reached a point in my life (approaching 30) that I feel pleased with the person I have become. For too long, I’ve questioned almost every move and overthought so much of what I’ve done. It’s time to accept who I am and be confidence in the person I have become.
4 and 5 are carry over goals from last year, but I like them so much I want to continue them.
- Find happiness in the person staring back at me in the mirror every morning. Last year, I found myself to be more critical of my body than ever before. On average, I worked out 5 days a week because I wanted to transform my body into what I saw when scrolled on Instagram. I want to continue that momentum, but I want to resume it for different reasons. (And that shirtless photo? I finally took it.)
- Keep reading. I really enjoy it. It’s a wonderful escape from my iPhone and the world war we’re facing. It also makes for great conversation between friends and strangers alike.
Finding the perfect gift is, well, challenging. According to research published by the Association for Psychological Science, a good gift is both useful and high-quality. Seems pretty straightforward.
Below, you’ll find a selection of my favorite finds. Happy shopping!
Blue Light Blocker, $56
W&P Sphere Ice Tray, $17
W&P Porter Bottle, $35
Fire TV Stick, $35
Selfie Cork, $10
Looking for more ideas? Check out my 2018 Holiday Gift Guide.
It was not my first time to Lisboa, but this trip was the first time I felt that I really had the opportunity to appreciate how wonderful this city is.
You’ve probably noticed Lisbon creeping into your IG feed and that’s because it’s made a resurgence over the past 5 years with tourism accounting for much of its economic growth.
If you’re visiting Portugal’s capital for the first time, I think three days should be a perfect amount of time to really enjoy and immerse yourself. There are so many things to do in Lisbon that you can be a busy or as chilled as you please.
To start, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with Lisbon’s different regions.
- Belem: The charming district to the west of Lisbon and is the setting for many of the city’s most iconic tourist attractions.
- Alfama: Begin your adventures in Lisbon here with trendy cafés and a gorgeous panoramic viewpoint.
- Baixa: The heart of Lisbon with magnificent plazas, wide avenues, and grand architecture.
- Bairro Alto: Fashionable and stylish by day while trendy and cool by night.
What to eat
Piri Piri Chicken, Pastéis de Nata, Sardinhas… There wasn’t one bad meal. Keep in mind, dinner is normally served between 2000 and 2200, depending on whether it’s a weekday or weekend. Anything earlier is a snack or lanche.
- Pastéis de Nata: My mouth is watering just thinking about these creamy egg custard tarts, with a flaky crust, and a dusting of cinnamon and sugar. Make sure it’s served warm.
Where to eat
- Sacramento do Chiado
- Mercado da Ribeira (aka Time Out Market)
- Café Martinho da Arcada: One of the oldest restaurants/cafés in Lisbon
- Varanda do Hotel Ritz Four Seasons: Breakfast will blow your mind
- La Trattoria
What to do
- Tuk Tuk Tejo: Tuk Tuk’s are a famous method of transport in Asian countries, but these three-wheeled taxis are buzzing all around Lisboa and it’s a really unique way to explore the city for a few hours with a knowledgeable guide.
- Mesaluisa: If you do only one activity whilst in Lisboa, please make it this market to table cooking class with Luísa. This is not simply a cooking class, it is an emersion in Lisboa. It was an eye-opening experience that you will never receive on any tour. that you will never get in a tour. You’ll begin at Mercado da Ribeira (aka Time Out Market) where you will determine the menu and Luísa will guide you through the market gathering all the ingredients necessary whilst having lovely conversations with the vendors. Next you will go to Luísa’s kitchen where you will be greeted by the lovely Ana and together you all will prepare the meal, drink wines, and swap life stories. Luísa and Ana make you feel like old friends for a visit and you will leave planning to return. I booked this through Airbnb Experiences.
- Eduardo VII Park
- Tram 28
- Explore Belém: Padrão dos Descobrimentos (Monument to the Discoveries), Belém Tower, Jerónimos Monastery
- Explore Barrio Alto & Alfama
- Basílica da Estrela
- Jardim Botânico (Botanical Garden): One of my favourite things to do in every city is a visit to the botanical garden. This garden is quiet and serene right in the middle of bustling streets.
- Viniportugal: Wines of Portugal Tasting Room offering the opportunity to taste wines from different regions of the country.
- Go on a day trip to Sintra
Where to stay
- Currency: Euro (€) and many places accept credit cards
- Language: Portuguese. Speaking Spanish won’t win you any favours.
- Weather: Summers are hot and crowded, while winters are mild but rainy. The seasons of change, spring (March-May) and autumn (September-October), offer a sweet spot.
- LGBT: Portuguese society is very accepting of homosexuality and Lisbon has visible LGBT scenes, with gay bars, nightclubs, and other venues, as well as an annual Pride parade.
PS: Please contact me with any questions as you start planning your getaway.
I don’t know about you, but air travel always dries out my skin and leaves me prone to breaking out upon arrival at my destination (it’s the worst!). But, if I’m proactive throughout the flight, I can arrive at my destination with much more cooperative skin.
#DYK: Cabin air is often less than 20% humidity, whereas at home, humidity is 30-50% or more.
Over the last few years, establishing a skincare routine whilst flying has become a mission and I’ve settled on a lineup of products to help. So, after years of international travel, I think I’ve finally perfected my long-haul skincare routine.
Btw: Everything in this routine can be done from the comfort of your seat — no need for back and forth to the lavatory.
While I don’t travel wearing makeup, I like to start with a clean slate before I begin my skincare regimen. I love Cetaphil’s Gentle Makeup Removing Wipes because they contain aloe vera, green tea, and chamomile. My skin always feels smooth and fresh. It’s good practice to clean your skin once onboard, as well as before landing because cabin air isn’t hygienic.
Right after the first meal is served, my regime kicks into high gear ✔️
I always travel with face masks (including for when I arrive and am fighting dry, puffy-faced jet-lag). I prefer jelly masks focused on hydration vs. paper masks (they dry too quickly in the recycled cabin air). Most masks indicate a 10-15 minute window to let them set, but I try to go for about 45 minutes. If you feel uncomfortable applying a face mask, fear not — opt for Glow Recipe’s Watermelon + AHA Glow Sleeping Mask. Gently pat the mask into skin until absorbed. Once you’ve hit the 45 minute mark, wipe it off with the Cetaphil Gentle Makeup Removing Wipes.
Once the mask has begun harden and lose moisture, remove it and tap the mask’s serum into skin. Now apply Ole Henriksen’s Truth Serum. Pause and enjoy the citrus scent.
Next, I whip out my skyn ICELAND Icelandic Relief Eye Pen and dab the cream gently on under my eye area. I absolutely swear by their Relief Eye Cream in a jar for dark circles, so this on-the-go pen is a necessity.
Now it’s time to lock in the serum and eye cream with an ultra-rich moisturizing cream. It’s a must-have for applying multiple times throughout the duration of the flight. La Mer’s Crème de la Mer is my obsession, but if the price tag is too high, grab Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream.
At this point, I’ve arrived at another critical moment in this routine: sleep. Once the eye cream and moisturizer have had time to sink into my skin and I’ve made myself comfortable (as comfortable as one can be), I turn off my overhead light, recline, and put on my Slip Silk Eye Mask. Slip’s eye mask is crafted from the highest grade mulberry silk with the perfect amount of shine, thickness, softness, and durability.
Quick side note: Right before you slip on your eye mask, add a thick layer of Carmex Classic Lip Balm to your lips.
About an hour before touch down, I start to prep my skin for arrival. I use Cetaphil Gentle Makeup Removing Wipes to remove excess product and any dirt from the recycled air.
Prepare for arrival…
Even with my routine, I’ll wake up to dry skin. I’ll mist Tata Harper’s Hydrating Floral Essence on my cleaned skin. If you’re sat next to a rando, this may be a good moment to head to the lavatory to spritz your skin and brush your teeth.
Next, I apply skyn ICELAND’s Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels and leave on whilst I eat breakfast and hydrate with still water. These eye masks help my face mimic a good night’s sleep, even if I didn’t have one.
My final step is swiping on Tata Harper’s Be True lip treatment. It helps lips look fuller and feel softer.
Ps: I live and die by Glossier’s Zit Stick. This portable pen is 5% Benzoyl Peroxide with Tea Tree Oil and Capryloyl Salicylic Acid.
This may seem like a lot of products and steps, but feel free to pick and choose what works best for you. Do you have a fave I missed? Share it with me in the comments or slide into my DMs on IG or Twitter.
This weekend, I’m celebrating the final weekend of Pride Month in my This Is A Gay Sock socks from Bonobos.
Visibility of the LGBTQ matters. When the community is actually seen by society (as opposed to being unseen or invisible), people are able to see something represented, they’re better able to understand and grasp who those people are, and this creates an important shift in social consciousness.
This weekend is significant. We celebrate the 50th anniversary of Stonewall. On June 28, 1969, New York police raided the Stonewall Inn, the largest gay bar in the U.S. (at the time). Raids on gay clubs were common, but this time was different. Outside, protesters threw coins, then beer cans, and at some point, hurled bricks, fuel-filled bottles, and garbage bins at the officers inside. The first Pride march occurred one year later to commemorate the riots.
Fifty years ago, being gay was virtually illegal and anti-discrimination laws nonexistent. Every year since proves to be pivotal, especially now, as it’s met with the aggressive roll back of LGBTQ rights from the Tr*mp administration. I’m sad when I think back to the 2016 rally when he declared, “I will fight for you while Hillary Clinton brings in more people that will threaten your freedoms and beliefs.”
A few items to note…
Opposition to the Equality Act (H.R. 5); Transgender people were banned from serving in the military; Transgender people in federal prisons now housed by sex assigned at birth; Retracting plans to count LGBT people in the 2020 Census; Declining to appoint an LGBT liaison for the White House; Religious liberty policy could allow federal employees and federal contractors to discriminate against LGBT people; The Justice Department argued the Civil Rights Act of 1964 doesn’t protect gay workers from discrimination; State Department cancelled visas for unmarried same-sex partners of diplomats to the United States; Vice President Mike Pence has a history of discrimination against the LGBT community
It’s #PrideMonth all over the country, as well as the world. And you know what that means — brands are cashing in and launching limited-edition rainbow design collections.
Here’s a look as some of my personal favourites.
20% of sales will be donated to the National Park Foundation to support Stonewall National Monument.
GLAAD has teamed up with ASOS and 100% of the proceeds from the ASOSxGLAAD collection will be donated to support GLAAD’s culture changing work.
100% of sales from American Eagle’s 2019 Pride collection will benefit the It Gets Better Project.
For this year’s Pride, 10% of the global sales price from this collection will support the work of the United Nations’ Free & Equal campaign.
Gap + Pride Collection will done 15% of sales to the United Nations Foundation in support of the UN Free & Equal Campaign for LGBTI equality.
Express will donate 25% of the net income to GLAAD to accelerate acceptance for the LGBTQ+ community.
10% from each sale will be donated between two amazing pride charities: OutRight Action International and LGBT foundation.
Original Penguin Pride collection supports ALL OUT, a global movement for love and equality.
Up to $25,000 in proceeds from the Pride Collection will be donated to GLSEN.
Featured image via Michael Tercha/Chicago Tribune
So, there’s no denying that the singles released this week were particularly auh-mazing! First, Katy Perry officially released ~the~ BOP of the summer with Never Really Over and Miley Cyrus released a six-track EP (which was just ok, imo). But worry not, there’s also new tunes from Camila Cabello, Rita Ora, Cheryl, MIKA (finally), King Princess, and more.
Never Really Over / Katy Perry
Party Up The Stree / Miley Cyrus (feat. Swae Lee, Mike WiLL Made-It)
Find You Again / Mark Ronson + Camila Cabello
Glad He’s Gone / Tove Lo
Ritual / Tiesto, Jonas Blue + Rita Ora
Spicy / Herve Pagez & Diplo (feat. Charli XCX)
All My Friends / Madeon
Do Me / Kim Petras
Let You / Cheryl
Sad Forever / Lauv
Cheap Queen / King Princess
Cruel To Be Kind / Ea Kaya
You so Cool / Eva-Lina
Jealous / Ingrid Michaelson
Castles / Freya Ridings
Mermaid / Be The Bear
I See Red / Geowulf
Ice Cream / MIKA
Love Yourself / Sufjan Stevens
U / Goldroom + Chela
Don’t forget to subscribe to my Spotify profile to stay up-to-date on all my playlists. Have a song I should hear? Leave a comment with your suggestion!
What a week it has been! I’m not sure if it went fast or slow, but I’m sure glad it’s finally Friday.
In the 22nd season premiere of the animated series ARTHUR on PBS, Arthur, Francine, Buster, and Muffy, learn that their third-grade teacher, Mr. Ratburn, is getting married. A man. (Yay! But was I the only one who didn’t know ARTHUR was still on the air?)
Photo credit, PBS Kids
Side note: Arthur has been a part of pop culture with numerous memes being used to surmise adult problems and situations (most famously the “fist“).
Favourite Thing Not to Talk About
Renée Zellweger as Judy Garland in the upcoming biopic, JUDY.
Was Judy Davis not available?
— Solomon Ray 🌹 (@solomonraymusic) May 10, 2019
PS: If you don’t get the joke, Judy Davis portrayed Judy Garland in the 2001 made for made-for-tv miniseries, LIFE WITH JUDY GARLAND: ME AND MY SHADOWS. It’s widely acclaimed for Davis’ work.
Favourite Show to Stream
The Original Penguin Daddy 2.0 Polo
Have you been inundated with swim truck ad emails? I have, which tells me one thing → the summer fashion show is about to be in full swing.
I like to build an outfit around my swimwear, which is why I go for something with style, but will also fit my body type. A good rule of thumb for all: solid colour trunks in dark neutrals have the most potential to pair with any linen button-down shirt to elevate your look for dinner, but also mix perfectly with a graphic tee or polo. Prints can be a little tricky, but they definitely show your personality.
I’ve sourced some of my favourite swimsuits (or is it bathing suits?) in a range of prices ($14.99–$490) and styles.
boohooMAN Stripe Swim Short ($15.40)
PacSun Boardies On Board Swim Trunk ($69.95)
2(X)IST Ibiza Swim Short ($75)
Mack Weldon Board Short ($98)
Paul Smith Swim Trunks ($150)
charlie Resort Short ($165)
PS: Be sure to check back soon for a post about everything in my summer tote.
Featured image via Humanities Truck