New beginnings & my new year’s resolutions

Oh my! It’s been a crazy year already for me and it’s hardly been two weeks. I’ve been posting a little less than I have in the past because there have been some exciting new events in my life that have kept me busy in a very good way. I thought I’d reflect on them here, and think about my goals for the upcoming year.

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Holiday Gift Guide: for the bookish fashionista

Here on my blog, I get to combine some of the things I love the most, like books and fashion and travel. I like to emphasize one’s ability to enrich their life through art, travel, and self-expression, and I also like to rate and review the things I’ve loved and hated. So here’s my Holiday Gift Guide for girls like me: those who love a good book, an amazing pair of shoes, a new destination, and an optimistic attitude. 😉

Most of these things on my list are things I’ve bought or been gifted, but some of them are on my real life wish list this season! I hope you find some inspiration for the special people in your life, or even some new things to put on your own wish list this year. The holidays aren’t about giving/getting presents, but there’s no harm in wishing for a few nice things in your life. So here’s my Holiday Gift Guide:

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On being 25…

Today is my 25th birthday, a huge milestone for all of us, and milestones like these always make me very introspective and thoughtful and goals-y, so I thought I’d write a little bit today about how I feel to be a quarter of a century old!

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Alice in Wonderland quotes to laugh and live by

Alice in Wonderland is one of those books everyone has read, and a story that everyone knows. The story has been changed and reinterpreted so many times and that’s lovely, but it’s also the absolute best to return to the original book and get lost in its zany wisdom. I’ve always been in love with Alice in Wonderland quotes and their brand of ironic truths and hidden meanings in the ridiculous, and these quotes are no different.

“I wonder if I’ve been changed in the night. Let me think. Was I the same when I got up this morning? I almost think I can remember feeling a little different. But if I’m not the same, the next question is ‘Who in the world am I?’ Ah, that’s the great puzzle!”

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Featured Photographer // Alex Marcano

Happy Monday, all! Today I have a special feature on a New York photographer friend of mine who has recently shot some amazing, professional photos for me for The Most Happy. I’m really excited for some professional photos here (in case you didn’t know, I don’t have a “real” photographer—my mom usually takes my photos for me 🙂 ) and wanted to take the chance to highlight Alex’s amazing work. He shoots weddings, portraits, engagements, families, and the most stunning landscapes. This is his story:

“I’m a 23-year-old photographer with a bachelors in psychology and music, currently taking pictures of paintings as a 9 to 5 job, or in my case a 9 to 6. Plans changed a little over time and I found myself gravitating away from the thing I studied for four years. I felt more comfortable behind a camera capturing a wedding day than I did working in the psychology lab at Stony Brook. I guess you can say I have the typical story of shooting with my dad’s old camera and taking pictures of lawn chairs and fences in black and white for my high school photo class.

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Snapshots // Midsummer

“I wish I could find words—serious, beautiful words—to describe it in the afternoon sunlight; the more I strive for them, the more they utterly elude me.”

I’ve been having a lovely summer so far, with friends and warm nights. The quote above is from one of my favorite books I Capture the Castle, a book my sister made me read when I was a young teenager. It’s still one of her—and my—favorite books. Summer and spring always make me happier and feel more alive and more at peace, and this year, I’m looking forward to new beginnings, new challenges, new adventures, and putting into motion some big things so I can get some goals met. It’s scary, but I’m really looking forward to it.

I’ve been filled with anxiety this year because of a job, so finding some days and moments to do what I love and be with people I love means the world to me. Here’s what I’ve been up to lately.

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A poem for your weekend: ‘Hope is the Thing with Feathers’

Hands up if you love Emily Dickinson. I thought I’d share a favorite poem of mine today, one that I constantly think of, “Hope is the Thing with Feathers.” I love the imagery of hope being a bird, a bird that never asks anything in return, and always comes back to help those who need it most. Just reading this poem is enough to infuse some happiness and hope in me, and it’s ironic and lovely that this poem is, in essence, hope. At least for me! It always lifts my spirits.

I absolutely adore this poem, and I know so many of you do, too! Enjoy, and have a wonderful Saturday! I’ll be celebrating Fourth of July here in the States, so just a lot of barbecue, beach, and beer. = perfect. 😉Read More »

Lit Quote // Know your flaws

To continue in the theme of Pride and Prejudice, I have a lit quote today from that book, the greatest of all books, that distinguishes between pride and vanity. The quote is spoken by Lizzy’s little sister Mary, the pedant who thinks she knows everything and is better than everyone, making this quote kinda ironic.

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It’s ironic because Mary is verrrryyy proud, and Lizzy is both proud and vain! I love Pride and Prejudice for a very many reasons, but one of them is because the two main characters are proud and flawed, and each has to come to terms with their own pride/vanity/what-have-you before they can get together. Title makes sense now, don’t it? 😉

It also reminds me that even though Elizabeth Bennet is one of the best characters in literature ever, she’s still so far from perfect. There’s a lot to learn from a character like that.

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Thoughts On Positivity

To say the least, it’s been a hard year for me. 2016 was the year when my life seemed to come to a crossroads, and everything from work to family and my love life seemed to get so much more complicated and more difficult to handle. And the biggest stressor, for me, was the question of what’s to come. I think that’s a very twenty-something problem to have, the “What am I actually doing with my life?” question. It came down to where my career was headed (seemingly nowhere), how attainable my dreams were (seemingly not very), and how close I was to getting the life I wanted (ditto).

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All that insecurity, fruitless work, and frustration can really do a number on a girl. I had a lot of bad days, a lot of stress, and a couple of breaking points. Throughout it all, the mantra “stay positive” echoed in my head, but at the end of bad weeks or bad months, I couldn’t remember what it even meant anymore. But when I had really good days, I remember what I’ve actually learned about positivity.Read More »

Lit Quote // Do what you love 

Today I have a hashtag Lit Quote for ya! This quote comes from my favorite book (possibly of all time), The Crimson Petal and the White. It’s a book I’ve read a few times, and written about several times. It’s set in Victorian London with an amazing cast of characters, one of which is a talented prostitute named Sugar. She’s one of my favorite characters in literature ever.

But this quote was said by a frankly kind of terrible character, who thinks he’s a poet/intellectual/writer, but in reality is just kind of a blowhard (pardon my French). He says:

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