lookin' cute, feelin' sad

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In my Spring clean last March I threw out much of my holiday decor. It took up too much space and was too kitschy, not the sophisticated minimal look I wanted for my space. I did the same for my mind, burying all of the messy winter emotions that lingered into the new season. I added a new medication to my daily routine and threw out the things that reminded me of the sad me. The messy decorations, the clothes that didn’t fit, the rug that I never could get clean. But I was left with about 10 ornaments for my Christmas tree, a strand of white lights, and a snowglobe. My Christmas tree is leaning and is dying already. The few ornaments make it sad and unkempt and I have pine needles all over my floor.

All of this has nothing to do with why my brain is sick, but it does somehow personify my feelings. I can’t help but think my sad tree is a metaphor for where I’m at right now. Trying really hard, but slowly falling apart.

There’s nothing wrong with me. At least there shouldn’t be

I just got married to my best friend and love of my life. We spent seven whole days wrapped in each others happiness, eating until our hearts content, drinking until our words became songs, and planning our futures together. It’s my favorite time of year. I just got in my Black Friday orders in for God’s sake. But I’m stuck inside my head and some days it’s impossible to get out.

Christmastime has long been my favorite holiday. I decorate like crazy and I’ve been listening to holiday music every morning as I get ready. But these days Christmas time also comes with a heavy blanket of deep sadness. It’s those damn short days. I swear I only see the sun for about 30 minutes. It’s long periods of time spent in my small (large my NY standards!) apartment. But it’s mostly just my brain. I keep having to remind myself. I could be anywhere and my brain would still sometimes get sick.

Yesterday was bad. I let my brain spiral into a messy black hole, shielding myself from rational thought, and refusing to shower off tears and snot from the night before. I shut out everyone in my life who attempted to reach out, even my own husband. I shut out and shut down and was convinced I would be like that forever. I thought about how I wasn’t good enough for my job, how I wasn’t a good friend, I wasn’t pretty, I wasn’t loved. I know none of that is either true or really important, but it was dark and scary and at the time the only tunnel of thought that existed inside me.

Last night my partner reminded me to be brave and vulnerable and let people in. So here I am trying to be brave. Who knew six years ago my fashion diary would turn into a healing space of sorts. I hope this reminds someone that they are not alone and that it does and will get better.

I don’t really have a solution to all this. I took my emergency meds and Colby convinced me to go see I movie I have been looking forward to. It took my mind out of the hole, but I’m constantly terrified it will happen again. So today I woke up early enough to make coffee before work and dressed in my favorite outfit (pictured below). I don’t have any profound words of encouragement other than.. Hi I’m here and sometimes having a sick brain is really hard. I’m being brave and having the entire internet hold me accountable. (lol so going to regret this) So take your meds folks, go outside, and wear your favorite outfit. It won’t last forever.

[jeans-levis, blazer-zara, turtleneck- madewell, hat- target, boots - uo]


 

my beauty routine

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My beauty mantra has run the gamut over the last few years. I’ve attempted to mirror celebrity influencers 12-step tricks to the perfect contour and condensed my look to the Glossier-inspired “rub Vasoline and rose water all over your face for an I just woke up like a newly born fawn” look. Neither really worked for me, but after many a YouTube video tutorial, too much money spent on cult skincare products, and my new 20-minute getting ready rule I think I’ve finally nailed down my “look.”

My little sister got me hooked on “Beauty Gurus” on YouTubers in college and I have since amassed a few drawers full of superfluous ~product~ that is slowly taking over my apartment.

The bottles and creams, powders and lipsticks quickly became too much for my medicine cabinet and limited bathroom counter space, pushing my partner’s bathroom accoutrement to a few square inches of space. He inadvertently encouraged my makeup hoarding by allowing a brand new vanity into the middle of our living room. Since then I have continued to collect every sample, drugstore steal, Sephora sale haul all while trying to maintain a minimal desk aesthetic. I'm hoping this round-up of must-haves will inspire a purge of my loot.

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I’ve made my way through plenty a foundation, between never-ending bouts of acne and trying to reverse the the damage done by years of sunbathing sans protection. I’m pretty loyal to Urban Decay’s Naked Skin foundation, but after trying La Mer’s absurdly expensive fluid foundation for my wedding, I may be a convert.

I’ve found piling on powders actually doesn’t do much to combat my extra oily skin. So I usually stick to a bronzer and blush. Since I put myself on a no new makeup purge, I’m trying to use up what I have. Today that’s my Hourglass bronzer in Nude Bronze Light and L’Oreal blush in Baby Blossom.

My eyes really only get attention if I have minutes to spare in the mornings. And after getting a new french press as a wedding gift, I’ve traded in my eyeshadow time for coffee. If I do have time I can always get a simple, work-appropriate look with my Anastasia Modern Renaissance palate. However I never miss mascara. L’Oreal Voluminous Lashes mascara is a game changer. RUN don’t walk on this one.

I always finish with Urban Decay’s All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray. It makes me look less greasy and gets rid of the cakey look powder sometimes leaves you with.

Here I am wearing the above, including the Too Faced liquid lip.

Here I am wearing the above, including the Too Faced liquid lip.

I never forget lipstick. I am all over the place with lip favorites; I devote an entire drawer to the stuff. A few of my Fall/Winter favorites are Smashbox’s Out Loud is a great orange red. Urban Decay’s Sell Out is my favorite “nude.” My favorite “work” color is Chanel’s Mademoiselle. (This is also my favorite gift to give.)

This was fun! Let me know if you want a similar skincare/hair post.

Gal Pal Gift Guide

I’m ringing in the Holidays early this year. This week I plan to ready my Christmas decor so I can put everything up just as soon as I get back from my Thanksgiving trip to Providence, RI. I’m also about to pick out Christmas cards FOR THE FIRST TIME AS AN ADULT. And if you can’t tell, I’m pumped.

I’m trying my hand at shopping for Christmas gifts early this year. I may even hit up some of the Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals. So I’m starting off with my favorite giftees… sisters and gal pals. Let me know what other kinds of gift guides you'd be interested in!

Gal Pal Gift Guide

For the friend that is cooler than you in so many ways. She is effortlessly chic and knows the best restaurants in every neighborhood. She drinks whiskey and loves raw oysters. She is well-read, well-traveled, and well-loved by all. Here’s what I would get her.

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This perfume is one of the most strangely beautiful scents I have ever smelled. I won't waste your time trying to describe it, so here's the description on the website. Just trust me; it's good.

"Amongst the transcendental woods of the 1800s, craftsmen from the
Massachusetts Bay Colony built violins & bows in the tiny towns of the Pioneer Valley.
The shops were riddled with old growth mahogany, burled maple shavings, 
amber pine rosin, aged walnut & their unique secret varnishes."

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Another scent-based gift (except a bit cheaper), this candle reminds me of an old library. You can actually smell the pencil shavings. 

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What's a Ragged gift-guide without something sweet and cozy from Madewell? I'm obsessed with their ex-boyfriend button-downs. The fit is perfect and perfectly over-sized. This print is just too good to pass up.

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I can't pass up a nude female form home accessory to save my life. This one just happens to be practical. Remind her of your lady love and support every time she grabs her purse.

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Beauty products can be hard to purchase for others, But you can't go wrong with a good mask. This popular Korean skincare brand is a perfect way to ease into a nighttime beauty routine. Plus it comes with a cat headband.

motivated

I am back from the best two weeks of my short life feeling so refreshed and ready to conquer. Who needs New Years Eve to make resolutions and extricate new goals, when you’ve had seven days sans responsibility and with it a new outlook?

I haven’t felt my mind move like it’s moving in years. I’m hoping this newfound mental energy means new endeavors and motivation. I know it’s bad luck to count your chickens before they hatch/tell people you’re doing things before it’s finished. But I also believe in putting your hopes and dreams into the world in order to reap its benefits.

I started a book. I have no clue where it’s going or what it will be about (let’s be real, it’s about me), but I started. And that’s been 70 percent of the battle for me. It’s in my computer, no longer just my brain. It’s been rolling around there for years, and finally I put pen to paper, rather fingers to key. And it’s alive.
In other news, I’m digging the red sweater trend. I’ve been inspired by angsty meme teens and their checkered vans and red fishnets, and decided I could join the ranks. Mine’s from & other stories, but I’ve seen some other great ones at h&m, Target, and Sezane.

hbd

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I celebrated 26 years of being alive, with 560,000 members of the dead. Colby and I took a twilight tour of Green-Wood cemetery, and it was truly a night for the books.

I have always loved cemeteries, starting with a field trip to Maplewood Cemetary in the third grade. My grandmother taught me about the importance of cemeteries, that each name is to be respected, as it may have been the first time in decades his or her name was thought about. I found that wild as a kid and have been chasing that sense of awe ever since.

We learned about the history of putting skulls on tombstones, toured the catacombs, (and found a pair of twins Agnes and Hedwig, whose birthday it just so happened to be) and basked in the spooky sweet sunset. My favorite part was discovering that a statue of Minerva had a direct sightline of Lady Liberty. She is posed waiving, a true OG lady gang.

After our tour we devoured the prettiest local cheese plate and sipped (gulped down) sweet cocktails. Against our better judgement we split a bottle of wine and continued eating our way through Park Slope, finishing the night with homemade pasta in a wine cellar. It was a beautiful night and a perfect way to wind down and be close right before this busy week.

And now it's wedding week! I'll probably be pretty quiet on here for the next week or so, but be sure to follow along on Instagram. @abbeycrain.

Sending all the love and light into the world because I sure have some leftover to give these days.

things I would buy if I didn't have to pay rent

New York is great for a lot of things and terrible for others. Soho is great and terrible. Great because walking through it makes you feel like a fancy Parisian socialite and terrible because I'm not a fancy Parisian socialite and can't afford the associated wares.

 Last Friday I waltzed around side streets, pranced into boutiques and demanded things I couldn't afford in a size smaller than I actually needed. I know I couldn't afford anything inside these precious facades of capitalistic designs, but nevertheless I fell for the siren songs of stores I couldn't afford. 

I tried on everything I'd ever wanted to see on my body, but was too afraid to confront the intimidatingly put-together shop girls. I asked for the $500 leather skirt and matching biker jacket and "put it on hold" for when my husband got off work. My alter ego is apparently entirely dependent on her husband's wallet and opinions. It just sounded like something a girl would say who wasn't going to purchase the piece right then. But it was a fun Me Day. I nibbled on croissants and sipped hot tea and bought myself a couple of cursory presents (Aesop hand lotion, a few new books, and a pin for my leather jacket) that would take my mind off all the decadent pieces I tried on. 

So here's a list of the things I tried on and would have bought had I not had to pay my rent. Click for links.