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Developing a Wardrobe Colour Palette

Monday, June 30, 2014

Colour palettes are extremely important; colour is valuable for expression, for making a statement, and for building a cohesive minimal wardrobe. Selecting a colour palette for our wardrobes helps refine and define our style rather than restrict it, and many of us already subconsciously do this with our wardrobes.

Using a colour palette as a guide can help (re)build a wardrobe, helping to produce more interesting outfit combinations, maximizing wearability, and creating a cohesive style throughout. Palettes enhance your wardrobe and make you feel good about every item of clothing you own.

Ask yourself:
1. What colours have a strong presence?
2. Which colours fade in popularity?
3. How do certain colours make you feel?
4. What colours are you drawn to?
5. What do you feel most comfortable in?

To build a colour palette you should pick neutral base colours and use accent colours to complement the base.

Monochromatic | the same colour in different tints and shades.
These are the simplest color schemes to create and since they are taken from the same hue it makes it difficult to create an ugly outfit.

Analogous | created by using any colours that next to each other on the colour wheel
Analogous colour schedules are the easiest to mix, they are calming and pleasing, and generally look great together.

Complementary | any two colours that are completely opposite to each other on the colour wheel
Colour palettes created from complementary colours are visually jarring and can appear quite shocking. By colour blocking, using white or a transitional colours in between, these palettes can work well.

Pick 3 - 4 main colours | Pick colours you feel you are drawn to and are comfortable wearing
The main colours are the basis of your colour palette and will convey the overall tone of a wardrobe (cool-toned or warm-toned, for example). Main colour are usually slightly muted but you could work with colour blocking shades if you have a more vibrant style.

Pick 1 – 3 neutrals | Neutral colours support and balance both your main and accent colours
These tend to be white, black, grey, navy, and sand.

Pick 2 - 5 accent colours | Accent colours are more colourful shades
Wear these alongside your neutral colours; they don't tend to play a main role in your wardrobe.

If you're a more colourful dresser, you could change your colour palette each season to introduce new shades and hues to your wardrobe. If, like me, you stick to a monochromatic palette all year around, colour palettes can help introduce new tints to your clothing purchases.

Keeping a general colour palette for your wardrobe can help you spot gaps in your wardrobe and channel attention towards building an aesthetically pleasing minimal wardrobe where each and every item works cohesively together.

Developing a Wardrobe Colour Palette

The Book List #15

Friday, June 27, 2014

Vampires in the Lemon Grove by Karen Russell
year: 2014 | pages: 240 | rating: 3/5

A collection of eight eerily poignant short stories written by Karen Russell, who tells extraordinary tales with just the right amount of fantasy-horror without breaking the boundaries of magical realism. Reeling for the Empire, Vampires in the Lemon Grove, and The Graveless Doll of Eric Mutis made for fantastic quick reads and each one possessed a mournfulness that is hard to capture. I particularly enjoyed Reeling for the Empire, which tells the tale of a group of young women working in a silk factory in Japan who are slowly turning into silkworms. And while I usually cannot abide stories of vampires, Vampires in the Lemon Grove evoked a sad humour with it's tale of a vampiric couple whose hundred-year marriage is tested when one of them develops a fear of flying. I would absolutely recommend reading Vampires in the Lemon Grove for these two stories alone.

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
year: 2013 | pages: 243 | rating: 3/5

This is the story of a wealthy family with beautiful children and a group of friends whose friendship turns destructive but "if anyone asks you how it ends, just lie." Since We Were Liars begs you to keep its ending a secret, you quickly discover that when you are expecting the unexpected, you will probably see it coming. This book becomes an exercise of waiting for rather than discovering the ending and the shock value is greatly diminished because of it. Having said that, We Were Liars is worth reading and a good example of how YA can appeal to more people than just its genre target market.

The Room by Hubert Selby Jr.
year: 1971 | pages: 288 | rating: 5/5

I rate this book highly not because I enjoyed reading it but because Hubert Selby Jr.'s writing is phenomenal and The Room achieves the reaction it was written to achieve - a violent, graphic tale that forces the reader to face the nature of what it is to be a vengeful human. An unnamed convict seethes in his secluded cell, convinced he was unjustly convicted he plots revenge against the arresting officers in intensely graphic detail that only grows as the book progresses. The Room is bleak, sickening, and relentlessly intense; the angry resignation of a man confined to a 6 x 9 cell is frighteningly real and, as a reader, hard to stomach. Not at all a pleasant read and not one I would recommend but nevertheless exceptional in its content.

Fables: Legends in Exile by Bill Willingham, Lan Medina, Steve Leialoha, Craig Hamilton, and James Jean
year: 2001 | pages: 128 | rating: 3/5

When the fabled lands of legends and fairy tales were conquered by a creature known as the Adversary, all the inhabitants were forced into exile. They disguised themselves among the normal citizens of modern-day New York and a secret society formed inside an apartment building named Fabletown. Within this first volume, Fabletown's reformed sheriff, Bigby Wolf (the Big Bad Wolf) must discover who is the killer of Snow White's sister, Rose Red. Fables: Legends in Exile reads as a cheesy "whodunnit" murder mystery story, introducing the reader to a lot of characters, and the basic premise of how Fabletown works as a concept. While I found the story and the character representation predictable, it was an enjoyable easy read, which left me curious about the rest of the series.

The Letter for the King by Tonke Dragt
year: 1962 | pages: 560 | rating: 4/5

"I have found so much friendship on my journey." While this isn't the best children's fantasy story I have ever read (nothing can beat The Chronicles of Prydain) and it is, on the whole, rather predicable, I tore through the pages and thoroughly enjoyed the adventure. There is nothing spectacular about this book despite the unraveling mystery of the secret letter, however, the tale bobs along nicely and is a pleasure to read. It starts with Tiuri, a 16-year-old squire sitting vigil, bound not to sleep, speak, or leave the chapel until dawn when he will be knighted. A stranger calls in the dead of night demanding with great urgency, Tiuri's help in delivering a letter to the Black Knight and so the adventure begins.

{ the book list #1-14 }

Summer Reading

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Whether you want to match your reading material to your holiday destination or you want to escape to a completely different place while remaining at home; I picked nine of my favourite summer appropriate books, which might help you pick what to read over the next few months.

The Beach by Alex Garland
Three backpackers discover a secret secluded spot on a remove island in a Thai national park. A small community of people live on the island in apparent harmony with nature and themselves. The Beach mingles perfectly the characters, scenery, and atmosphere of the backpacker trail with vivid imagery and engaging storytelling. As the story unfolds, the dark side of paradise reveals itself; what the backpackers discover is not a Utopia as they once thought but a nightmare.

Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer
This non-fiction book follows Christopher McCandless who, in April 1992, gave his $24,000 college fund to Oxfam to set out across Western United States. He later stripped his vehicle of its license plates and abandoned the vehicle after a flash flood, and hitchhiked to the Stampede Trail in Alaska. An acquaintance he met along the way offered to lend him more suitable clothing (since he had very little) and buy him better supplies, Christopher declined and set out with only 10 pounds of rice, a .22 caliber rifle, several boxes of rifle rounds, a camera, and some reading material including a field guide to edible plants.

Life of Pi by Yann Martel
Piscine Molitor "Pi" Patel, a Tamil boy from Pondicherry, survives a shipwreck and spends 227 days stranded on a boat in the Pacific Ocean with a Bengal tiger named Richard Parker. Beautifully written, The Life of Pi is not only about the story of Piscine but about story telling itself and how stories can not only give life its meaning but can ultimately, keep us alive.

Breakfast at Tiffany's by Truman Capote
This novella introduces us to Holly Golightly, an independent (of mind) young woman living in New York who strives to be a high-climbing socialite. Holly has no job so she spends her life socialising with wealthy men who take her to clubs and restaurants, and offer her money along with expensive gifts. Her curious lifestyle mixed with her endearing personality, makes her outspoken views more than a little poignant at times. Inevitably Holly reveals a vulnerability, which is the fear of never knowing what she really wants until she has thrown it away.

The Bonfire of the Vanities by Tom Wolfe
Sherman McCoy - "Master of the Universe" - works at Wall Street's Pierce and Pierce. He is a millionaire with a Park Avenue apartment, a beautiful wife, and an even more beautiful mistress; despite having it all, one mistake causes his whole world to collapse in this perfect account of one man's fall from grace.

Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
Just after might on the second day of its journey, the Orient Express is brought to a halt by a snowdrift. When morning comes, the detective Hercule Poirot learns of a murder aboard the train; an American lies dead in his compartment having been stabbed several times, yet his door is locked.. from the inside.

The Shining by Stephen King
Jack Torrance moves with his wife and son to the Colorado Rockies after accepting a position as an off-season caretaker at the historic Overlook Hotel. Danny, Jack's young son, learns he possesses a psychic ability called "the shining," which allows Danny to see the horrific past of the hotel and its former guests. When a blizzard leaves the family trapped and secluded within the hotel, supernatural forces start to have a dangerous and unpredictable influence over Jack's behaviour.

The Talented Mr Ripley by Patricia Highsmith
This first novel in Patricia Highsmith's psychological thriller series, the Ripliad, we meet Tom Ripley: a young man struggling to make a living in 1950s Manhattan. Herbert Greenleaf, a wealthy shipping magnate, asks Tom to travel to Italy to find his son, Dickie Greenleaf, and urge him to return to America. Tom finds Dickie and becomes rather fond of their friendship, at which point the fondness tips quickly over into an obsession, descending into a dark and twisted tale of identify theft and murder.

Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann
Valley of the Dolls is a trash classic telling the story of three struggling actresses in early forties Hollywood. Anne Welles, Jennifer North and Neely O'Hara are followed through twenty years of their lives; the women are seen to claw their way to the top of their careers with the help of copious amounts of pills, sex, and alcohol.. only to come crashing down in their own inevitable self-destruction.

{ more reading suggestions }

Emett's Birmingham

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Weekends for us are reserved for late breakfasts and mini adventures; this Saturday we had brunch at Peel and Stone before joining an architectural walk organised by Flatpack as part of the Love Architecture Festival. The 1.5 mile walk took us to some of the buildings associated with the Punch cartoonist, Frederick Rowland Emett, and we were allowed to take a look inside the now derelict office of Turner Bros.

Week Notes #8

{ working in the studio }

{ these shoes and this necklace }

{ early morning reading }

other things:
| the blank cookbook
| red wine vinaigrette
| 20 kitchen hacks
| creatures of the sea
| birthday gift guide

The Book List #14

Saturday, June 21, 2014

I have already reviewed three of these books in a recent post (5 Beauty Books Everyone Should Read), which I would encourage you to read since all three are fantastic. I would highly recommend purchasing them all if you can, they are super informative and essential reading for any beauty enthusiast.

The only other books I have read since the last book list is The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman and Business Model Generation by Alexander Osterwalder, and I am approximately half way through The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt.

If you need practical business advice, Business Model Generation is ideal, providing guidance for anyone unfamiliar with how to build and construct a solid business plan. Since having to write my own business plan several months back, most of the content in this book was simply repeating the advice I had already been given by a business adviser. I was hoping for a few extra insights or novel ideas on how to improve my own plan but found none; a worthwhile read for anyone who hasn't had much business advice or guidance and doesn't know where to start.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman totally missed the mark for me, I found I couldn't engage with the narrative nor the characters and even though it's a very short book, I quickly grew disinterested. The story revolves around a middle-aged man who returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. He is drawn to the neighbourhood farm where he met a girl named Lettie when he was only 7 years old. The past in all its strange, frightening, and dangerous glory, comes flooding back. In theory this book sounds amazing, yet I just couldn't connect with it.

I began reading The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt while on holiday and since returning I haven't picked it back up; I am determined to have it finished by the end of the month to make more room on July's reading list.

{ the book list #1-13 }

Summer Make-Up

Friday, June 20, 2014

I do not fair well in heat; raise the temperature by one or two degrees and I start to suffer. So during summer, if I can be convinced to put make-up on at all, it's as light as I can possibly apply it. Most days I will stick with the Shu Uemura BB Perfector with a little NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer, mattified with MAC Blot Powder, maybe a sweep of eye liner and mascara.. and that's it.

For occasions that call for a little more effort, I've been wearing a smokey eye using the lightest shade from the Oriflame Eyebrow Kit. It is way too light for my brows anyway and its tawny colour works beautifully as an eye shadow. I add a glow to my cheekbones with Kevyn Aucoin Candlelight or a little colour with Tarte Dollface. A good lip balm in summer is a must but when I reach for other lip products its almost always Christian Dior Lip Glow (of course) or Korres Mango Lip Butter, both of which provide natural, summery flushes of colour.

5 Beauty Books Everyone Should Read

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

1. Don't Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me by Paula Begoun

You don't need to read this book from cover to cover since it's packed with over 1000 pages of product mini reviews and it works as a fantastic reference guide for checking up on your favourite products, assessing potential purchases, and understanding how these products work. There is a substantial 78-page "introduction" including why we need to care more about the products we buy, what goes in them, and how that can affect us, along with skin care "rules to live by." The reviews are precise, upfront, and brutal; Don't Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me can help you make confident shopping decisions based on professional advice and bare bones analysis of ingredient lists. This is a companion book to The Beauty Bible so if you're looking for a book to help pick exactly which products to buy and which ones to avoid, rather than an intense break down of the entire beauty industry, this is the one you need to read. The Beautypedia website is an online version of the book, which contains similar information including all the reviews and is regularly updated.

2. No More Dirty Looks by Siobhan O'Connor and Alexandra Spunt

The initial 20 pages veers dangerously close to scare mongering and then evens out into more palatable reading material. What defines this book is its concern with clean products as opposed to green products, taking care to highlight the difference clearly by defining (with academic research) why certain ingredients would be best avoided and why. While there are a few pieces of questionable advice (they argue certain synthetic ingredients are irritants.. and then suggest rubbing tea tree oil on your scalp and suggest using natural oils as a substitute SPF - scary advice indeed) there are also a lot of factors that make this book well worth reading. If you're concerned with ingredients, both synthetic and "natural," in your beauty products and you want to learn more and discover alternative options, this book is the one you need to read. No More Dirty Looks offers great healthy eating advice, a list of alternative products to use, and offers up a quick reference "ingredients black list." However, take this book with a pinch of salt and don't be tempted to throw away all your beauty products until you have read the following three books.

3. Can You Get Hooked on Lip Balm? by Perry Romanowski

Insightful, informative, and reasonable this book dispels myths, calms fears, and provides answers. Can You Get Hooked on Lip Balm? is broken down into easy-to-read sections dealing with hair, skin, make-up, and the industry in general. Commonly asked questions are followed by answers provided by cosmetic scientists in a calm, informative manner. Unlike No More Dirty Looks, which was written by journalists, Can You Get Hooked on Lip Balm? was written by cosmetic scientists who offer unbias advice on specific brands, their products, and the ingredients they use. While nowhere near as indepth as The Beauty Bible, Can You Get Hooked on Lip Balm? is a great starting point for anyone interested in learning more about the industry starting with the most commonly asked questions.

4. The Beauty Bible by Paula Begoun

An incredibly informative book, The Beauty Bible covers everything you could ever dream of in regards to the beauty industry. Paula Begoun discusses how the industry works from the ingredients it uses to the studies it uses to "prove" a product works; brands, marketing, cosmeceuticals, advertising, fear mongering are all included; Begoun discusses natural vs synthetic, what those terms really mean and how they affect products; everything from hair, nails, make-up, skin care, even cosmetic surgery is covered along with solutions to common problems and myth busting. Incredible "truths" that almost everyone believes and recites religiously are dispelled, while technical terms are explained in detail with little bias. The claims in The Beauty Bible have been extensively well researched providing citations of studies and while a little dry due to the technical nature, anyone with an invested interest in beauty should read this book above all others.

5. The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf

Possibly the most important book you could ever read on beauty; The Beauty Myth discusses the relationship between beauty, female identity, and the obsession with physical perfection that is trapping the modern woman in an endless spiral of hope, self-consciousness, and self-hatred. Full of huge ideas with an intense feminist manifest, The Beauty Myth makes for enlightened reading. Whether you agree with Naomi Wolf that beauty is a construct built to oppress women, everyone would benefit from having a little light thrown on the subject and new ways of thinking about the industry. While there are flaws and criticisms to be made of the writing style, it's a worthwhile read about the unattainable ideal of female beauty and how this affects our culture, our minds, and our bodies.

{ more reading suggestions }

Shu Uemura Stage Performer BB Perfector

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

{ Shu Uemura Stage Performer BB Perfector }

For anyone with pale skin, you will understand the struggle and frustration to find make-up fair enough to appear natural on the skin. The majority of BB creams are far too dark or peach toned, or suggest "one tone suits all," which we all know is a lie.

The Shu Uemura Stage Performer BB Perfector boasts a 5-in-1 "ultimate complexion" inspired by backstage make-up. This BB cream works as a primer, concealer, and illuminating base to create a natural complexion with a light-medium coverage and SPF30 and PA++ protection. The unscented formula blends easily to even out skin tone, disguise blemishes, and correct discolouration, meaning on a good day you won't need a concealer. The cream has a lovely consistency making it easy to work with, blending into the skin providing a slight dewiness that can be mattified with powder or worn as is. The Shu Uemura Stage Performer BB Perfector won't oxidise throughout the day, doesn't crack or cake on the skin, and doesn't affect the colour of other make-up.

On a negative note, the Shu Uemura Stage Performer BB Perfector only comes in one shade, although this would suit a variety of complexions depending on how it's used. There is also very minimal oil control, making it most suitable for normal/dry skin types.

I wear the Shu Uemura Stage Performer BB Perfector almost daily, either on its own to blur imperfections and throw a veil over tiredness, or as a priming base for heavier make-up; it lets the character of a face shine through while doing a good job of hiding what needs to be hidden. This is the best BB cream I have ever tried, every claim the Shu Uemura Stage Performer BB Perfector makes it lives up to and if you're struggling to find a high quality BB cream, I would 100% recommend trying this.

Week Notes #7

Sunday, June 15, 2014

{ new clothes }

{ new shoes* }

{ new books }

other things:
| monument valley
| pip lowe flowers
| rethinking the essentials
| travel inspired kitchen coffee station
| aaron blum photography

written by me (in other places):
| how I work
| 11 reasons to change the way we eat
| 7 things about sun protection

Note To Self #9

Friday, June 13, 2014

{ serum | palette | perfume | print | spray | plant }

I want to decorate everything lately; we have a few framed prints up in the apartment already but the studio is looking incredibly bare. I like the idea of hanging prints using clips instead of frames (like this), which makes switching things up a lot easier. I've already purchased this Twin Peaks print and a wonky drawing by Faye Moorhouse but I really want some leafy, palm plants and I'm in desperate need of new storage.. and who really needs an excuse to shop for new stationery?

I have utterly fallen in love with Jo Malone Amber and Patchouli perfume and I think a new palette might make a lovely accompaniment as a gift to myself for my 30th birthday, which is quickly approaching..

It's getting super hot in our apartment now summer has (kind of) arrived; This Works In Transit Spray On Moisture looks perfect for those sweltering days, it prevents irritation while calming and hydrating - perfect. Reading too many beauty books has meant I am convinced I need some kind of anti-aging skin care; the John Masters Vitamin C Anti-Aging Serum appears to have a more gentler approach with its "natural" ingredients so I would be curious to see how it works.

National Museum of Scotland

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Unfortunately the museums and galleries we visited were incredibly dark or had peculiar yellow lighting that, if I am honest, is just not worth the time spent correcting it during editing so these are the only good shots I bothered taking.

The National Museum of Scotland was a beautiful building and I think I preferred the exhibits that lined the main hall walls than the taxidermy section, which is very unlike me. The Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum had some amazing taxidermy exhibits but was far too dark take to take any photographs of, which was a huge disappointment and the Sharmanka Kinketic Theatre banned photography, which made me incredibly sad. On the whole, disappointing on the photography front but the museums and galleries were awesome to see regardless and well worth visiting.

Edinburgh Zoo

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

You should play this song while you look at the pictures:

Who doesn't enjoy a day out with a bunch of ridiculous animals? Edinburgh Zoo was so much fun (although I've yet to visit a better zoo than Hauptstadt Zoo). It was a bit of a miserable day but we quickly laughed it off; the animals didn't seem to mind too much since we managed to get pretty close to most of them. The penguins were utterly ridiculous, the pandas were both as lazy as I expected them to be, and I never realised quite how smug koalas really are.

Scotland: Edinburgh & Glasgow

Sunday, June 08, 2014

We were recently given two First Class train tickets so we went as far as we possibly could.. to Scotland!

For our trip to Edinburgh we stayed in a lovely AirBnB apartment very close to the city centre. I much prefer renting apartments than hotels when on holiday and I think Miles' apartment has been one of the best so far. The apartment had so much character with its enormous book collection and selection of prints and postcards littering the walls, it's really inspired me to start imprinting more personality on our own apartment. For our final nights in Glasow, we stayed in the rather peculiar CitizenM hotel whose colour changing shower was the highlight of the holiday. Who knew showering in lime green light could be quite so amusing?

A holiday isn't a proper holiday unless you eat all the food and we certainly ate and drank at a whole heap of wicked places. The Hendersons restaurant was so amazing we ate there twice (once at their bistro and once at the restaurant) and I ate so much at Mono I gave myself tummy ache for two days straight (oops) The 78 and Brass Monkey were nice chilled out places to grab a bit of stereotypical pub grub and a quiet drink, although Panda & Sons was a little too pretentious for me and nowhere near as good as my local speak easy. The Bay Tree cooked us an amazing full English breakfast and Saramago was great for a relaxed early lunch.

We packed quite a lot into our short stay in Scotland including a trip to Edinburgh Zoo, Camera Obscura & World of Illusions, National Museum of Scotland, Hunterian Museum, Sharmanka Kinetic Theatre, Centre for Contemporary Arts, and a couple of other galleries. Although a lot of these places had terrible lighting and/or banned photography, I did manage to get quite a few shots worth sharing (if you don't follow me on twitter then you missed out on some killer zoo selfies) aaand.. watch out for a vlog! We filmed the entire holiday and hopefully I will be able to share it with you all soon.

What To Wear #8

Saturday, June 07, 2014

dress | brooch | clutch | bra | shoes

A few spring items to wear with the Abella brooch from the Rarities collection.

{ more things to wear }

Day Tripping

Thursday, June 05, 2014

1. Mini Kanken
2. Camera
3. Umbrella
4. Notebook*
5. Pen
6. Crystal Nail File
7. The Body Shop Aloe Lip Care
8. Muji Pocket Mirror
9. Baby Wipes
10. Kobo eReader
11. La Roche Posay Thermal Spring Water*
12. Laidbare Hand Cream*
13. Móa The Green Balm
14. Vitamin B12 tablets
15. Christian Dior Lip Glow

The Art of Packing

Monday, June 02, 2014

Packing for a two week vacation abroad is one thing but packing for a five day city break is quite another. I have never been great at packing light; I have mastered the art of rolling not folding one's clothes yet quite how much I roll is another matter entirely. I remain over eager to cram as many outfits into one suitcase as possible just in case. I am slowly getting better and these few tips help make things that little bit easier.

1. Pick a colour palette | Clothing that works together provides more options
2. Dark clothes, bright accessories | If you get stains on a light piece you have lost part of an outfit
3. Stick to trusted outfits | This is not the time to try new styles or clothes you do not usually wear
4. Accessories are the key | They change everything
5. Pick fabrics carefully | Do not pack items that will crease during travel
6. Plan core outfits | Know exactly what works together and how to change them up with accessories
7. Travel clothes | Dedicate one comfortable outfit for travelling there and back

- Know your holiday plans and work core outfits and accessories around them
- Make sure you have one bag that works with everything
- Ditch the heels and stick to smart-casual shoes that work for day or night
- Minimise make-up to one of each essential product (except lipstick)
- Roll, do not fold, your clothes (excluding shirts) - Always pack your swimsuit

Week Notes #6

Sunday, June 01, 2014

{ at the bed side }

{ a new trio }

{ this helpful little backpack }

other things:
| travel diary: london tour
| the 30-day creative business cleanse
| the art of packing by louis vuitton (+ this)
| how to paint your nails
| the day's color

written by me (in other places):
| 7 ways you mess up your morning
| spring essentials