A Poem about Spring, by Rainer Maria Rilke

One of my favorite poets, Rainer Maria Rilke, did indeed write a lot about spring. A few weeks ago I shared a poem he wrote about early spring, but now that the season has finally come around, I want to share another, one I love even more.

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Everything is blooming most recklessly; if it were voices instead of colors, there would be an unbelievable shrieking into the heart of the night.

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New Look // Mixing patterns with a romantic dress

One of the reasons why I love winter fashion so much is the opportunity for layering, mixing patterns and textures, and creating energetic color combinations. You’ve got so much to work with in winter: stockings, dresses, layering shirts under or cardigans over a dress, scarves, etc. I love putting all the puzzle pieces together to create something fresh and new. In summer, my choices are more limited!

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Fashion // Noir

Put this outfit together, looked in the mirror, and thought of Taylor Swift circa 2012. So I put on some red lipstick and went with it! (Also because my hair is straight here!) Wearing some old pieces I found, since I’m not shopping right now, and one of my newly-acquired Kylie Lip Kits (I’m a huge fan.)

I love high-waisted anything, and this outfit also reminded me of another much-loved icon, Zooey Deschanel. So really, this is very me! Hope you like. 
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Here’s what I’ve learned about work/life balance

This year, the whole concept of work/life balance has been on my mind. With a new job, freelance work, and life goals, sometimes it feels so incredibly overwhelming.

I have almost zero work/life balance. Most days I get home from work late, eat dinner, take a shower, watch an old episode of The Office (which speaks to my stressed soul), and go to sleep. Not a lot of time for fun and/or relaxation, but in the past few weeks, I’ve tried really hard to change that. Here’s what I’ve learned.

 

1. Don’t take work home with you

This is really hard for me, because for so long I worked at home, so work was home. I still do this, because I’m writing this blog and for Hello Giggles, so my home is also my office. But in terms of my full-time job, I try to leave the drama, stress, and work at the office.

For me, this translates into trying not to complain too much about the more stressful/ridiculous parts of my job when I’m home. At home, I am ZEN. I leave the crap at work, and at home, I relax.

On the way home, however, I rant a lot to get it out of my system. 🙂 Let yourself get it all out before you get home, so you’re not seething when you should be happy and relaxed.

2. Invest time into your hobbies…be stubborn about it.

When I got a new job, I struggled with the 12 hours a day it would require, with the addition of my commute. That’s a huge amount of time to be not doing fun things. As a way to compromise, I started listening to audiobooks on my commute. I can’t even describe how much my commute got better! I looked forward to the drive, and I got to work happier. It really makes a huge difference when you find time to do what you like.

I also tried to get my errands done during the week: before work starts (there’s a convenient Walgreens close to my office), and during my lunch hour. That way, my weekends are all for me, and to enjoy the things I love to do, writing this blog among them.

3. Turn off your phone.

Technology makes it easier to be constantly connected to work, which isn’t always a good thing. I’m lucky in that I’m not really expected to work outside of work hours, but a lot of people are. They’re constantly reachable and so are constantly expected to be available to their bosses. I think it’s important to turn off that phone during important times, like when you’re out with friends or with your family.

As for me, I try not to return emails when I’m out of work, and as for social media, I’ve turned off all my push notifications for Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook! Sometimes, being off the grid is SO NICE. I’m obsessed with my phone enough as it is without it flashing with notifications all the time.

4. Make lists—both for what you have to do, and what you want to do.

Because I have a lot of different responsibilities, the to-do list is my drug. I’m addicted to making lists and getting to cross things off, but I also make lists for the things I want to do, like watch a particular show or see my friends on a certain day. This helps me prioritize my down time, as well as my work time. Knowing that entertainment is as important to your life as your job is half the battle.

5. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself.

I fail at this ALL THE TIME! I am constantly putting pressure on myself to meet deadlines, do everything perfectly, and have time left over. Sometimes it’s just not possible, and that’s okay.

The whole idea is to not let work become your whole life. It’s been difficult for me this year, transitioning from working from home to commuting about three hours a day (both ways). I’ve had to manage my time better, become a lot more organized, and prioritize the things I was not willing to sacrifice.

What do you do to make your life more balanced?
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Fashion // Play my music, watch you leave

This is my excited-for-spring, Easter outfit. The trees are BLOOMING in full force, and when spring comes around I can’t help but get giddy for all the clothes I shall wear. I like how this outfit is a mix of dark, winter pieces and lighter, airy spring pieces. I also love the color combination of burgundy and this deep, rosy coral. Finding this color combo made me v. happy. Hope you like it!

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Fashion // Hang on to yourself

Crazy that spring is almost here. Kinda feel like summer just ended. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Over last weekend, it was warm enough to wear this shorts/crop top combo, and I love the colors in this outfit! I wore this to brunch for my cousin’s birthday. Coincidentally, she bought me this gorgeous burgundy top!

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