wear it: flower children only.

I don’t know about you, but the colder the weather gets – the more I’ve been craving spring and summer.

While I can’t exactly pull out the cut-offs and crop tops yet (5 months and counting), I’ve had to find other ways to bring out my inner flower child. Enter: TMG Flower Halos.

TMG Flower Halo || gracie gordon || girlmeetslife.com

You might have seen me post that first one (The Dina) a few weeks ago on Instagram. Since then TMG was kind enough to reach out and send me another flower crown *and* one of her new Meow Crowns. How adorable/fun is this??

TMG Meow Crown || gracie gordon || girlmeetslife.com
TMG Meow Crown || gracie gordon || girlmeetslife.com

I love wearing both out at night – they’re a fun way to stand out and feel girly. I get so many compliments when I wear them too! I can’t wait to wear my flower halos + Meow Crown into spring in summer. They’re also quite perfect for the upcoming festival season.

And guess what – TMG was kind enough to offer a special discount count to GML readers :) Enter promo code “Gracie20″ for 20% off your order at thatmadonnagirl.com. Promo code is good until January 31st, so get yours now!

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Are you a fan of the flower halo look? What spring/summer looks are you most excited about?

eats: bbq chicken sliders on sweet potato “buns” {and some thoughts on paleo}.

Over the past week or two I’ve been trying to get back on the healthy eating track. It wasn’t a New Year’s resolution per se, just a good old I ate 5 million too many Christmas cookies sort of thing.

It was a pretty simple decision to go back to eating Paleo since I had so much success (and loved!) doing the Whole30 challenge a few months ago. I’m not following it to the T again, but I’m sticking to Whole30 meals as much as I can.

And, I must say, that’s not very difficult when the meals look like this.

Whole30 approved BBQ chicken sliders on sweet potato buns

Whole30 approved BBQ chicken sliders on sweet potato buns

Those would be BBQ Shredded Chicken Sliders on sweet potato “buns.”

I definitely can’t take credit for this delicious creation – I followed this recipe for the BBQ chicken from Stupid Easy Paleo (using dates instead of honey), and I got the idea for the sweet potato buns from Lexi’s Clean Kitchen. Both are great resources for Paleo/Whole30 recipes.

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It’s been really interesting for me to eat more on the Paleo side because I’ve always been a die hard “everything in moderation” person (and I still am, to an extent). What I didn’t realize when I did the Whole30, though, is that how I choose to eat affects how I feel (physically and even mentally) more than I thought. So that’s why a Paleo style of eating is becoming more of my default. For now, at least :)

I will say though – I actually hate the word Paleo for some reason. I guess it screams “just another diet” to me, or something. I think I’ll start referring to it as “more real food,” or something like that…

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Do you consider the Paleo style of eating a diet? Are you “everything in moderation” or do you have certain foods you try to focus on/avoid?

 

 

it is well | 1.12.15.

I’m so excited to introduce this new weekly series I’ll be doing here on GML.

it is well || girlmeetslife.com

I’ve mentioned about a trillion times that even though I like to keep GML fun and lighthearted most of the time, it’s also really important to me to use my platform here to inspire and uplift women.

So at the beginning of every week I’m going to share some short & sweet thoughts about being well both in your soul (mentally, emotionally, spiritually) *and* your body (physically), as I really believe that true health/wellness is about tending to our whole selves. I also like the idea of combining inspiration with practical tools/advice – little things that might add some extra motivation to the busyness of your week.

I’m not an expert so this is just based on my own thoughts/experiences, and I’ll often share from other sources :) So here’s what it will look like!

it is well {with my SOUL}

This is one of my daily devotionals from last week (from God’s Promises Day by Day), and it really struck a chord with me.

{it is well} devotional

I don’t know if you believe in God or not. But what I do know is that the God I believe in…this is His character. He isn’t some inaccessible, unreliable, far off in the galaxies God. He is a God that truly cares about what brings us pain and what brings us joy. He cares more than anything about the condition of our heart.

This God i know loves us on a personal, intimate level, and don’t let anyone or any preconceived notions tell you otherwise. I challenge you today and this week to go to God with everything – your burdens, your desires, your past, present and future. The best advice I could ever give is to get to know Him! 

it is well {with my BODY}

I’ve heard a handful of times about how it’s good to drink warm lemon water in the morning, but I never fully knew why. Here’s an article that lays out the 16 Health Benefits of Drinking Warm Lemon Water. Heck, even if only a few of them are true – it’s worth a shot to me!

I’ve read of some people adding cayenne pepper to their warm lemon water as it can supposedly boost metabolism, but that was just too gross for me. Instead, I’ll often add a generous sprinkle of cinnamon to mine, as cinnamon has been shown to regular blood sugar and may reduce immflamation.

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Have you tried drinking warm lemon water in the morning? 

beauty: DIY kylie jenner lips {video}.

Okay okay…that’s a total bait click title ;)  BUT this makeup look stemmed from a group text my girl friends and I had all about (envying) Kylie Jenner’s lips. Yes…these are the things girls talk about.

Here are my two simple steps to get fuller looking lips. No injections or rubbing cayenne pepper into your lips here – just some good old makeup illusion tricks.

(if you’re a YouTube user, feel free to go ahead and subscribe to my channel!)

Products I used/talked about:

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What’s your favorite lip shade? Do you prefer natural or bold lips?

listen: cold weather, warm heart {playlist}.

I know…this playlist title is so emo.

Like…being 15 and sitting in a parking lot listening to Dashboard Confessional with my friends sort of emo.

But I’ve been sick for the past week and am probably severely dehydrated/malnourished so…there’s my excuse. Regardless, this is one of my favorite playlists in a while.

Enjoy!

What songs have you had on repeat lately?

 

style: {in}vested.

I’ll admit it – I’m 100% basic when it comes to my go-to outfit for winter.

There’s just nothing more comfortable (and easy) than throwing on a pair of leggings with some nice boots and a sweater.

…as long as your sweater/top covers your butt. Always cover the butt!

I love the addition of a fun vest too because it can really bring the whole look together. Deja vu, much?

all black + faux shearling vest || gracie gordon || girlmeetslife.com

Obviously on the super cold days you’d throw a coat over this, but we happened to stumble upon a bizarrely warm December day. NYC weather can be moody like that.

Daniel Wellington watch

Steve Madden riding boots

all black + faux shearling vest || gracie gordon || girlmeetslife.com
gracie gordon || girlmeetslife.com

H&M pink scarf

Speakable peace engraved necklace

all black + faux shearling vest || gracie gordon || girlmeetslife.com

The whole look:

faux shearling vest – Sanctuary
sweater – H&M
leggings – H&M
boots – Steve Madden
handbag – Target
watch – Daniel Wellington (classic men’s St Andrews)
scarf – Forever 21
necklace – Speakable

{photos by Sam Ruby}

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What’s your go-to outfit for the cold weather?

home: DIY gallery wall.

One of the things I was determined to do going into this new year was to do a better job of decorating my apartment.

I’ve barely decorated any of my NYC apartments since I’ve lived here – mostly because I got in a groove of moving every year (or less). But since we just renewed our lease for this place (wooo!), I decided it was time to make it feel more like home.

Because our apartment is extremely small and I still didn’t want to spend a ton of money on new furniture/decor, I decided to get a bit creative.

Enter: this fun little {DIY} gallery wall.

DIY gallery wall

Here’s how I did it!

1) I got one of these Gallery Art Pads (which I found at Michael’s). I have the “quotes” pad, but they have a ton of different options. I paired those with some old pictures I had, plus the fun vintage-y mirror.

2) I mixed and matched different frames that I found at Bed Bath and Beyond, Home Goods, and Marshall’s. I went with a black + silver + gold theme, but you could do any finish you’d like. A mix of white and wood finish would be a great combo too.

3) I kept it easy-peasy by using Command hanging strips (they work best if your frames/pictures are on the lighter side).

4) Then just place the group of pictures wherever you’d like. Try to avoid making them too perfectly aligned – it’s all about the staggered placement with this.

…it’s as simple as that!

DIY gallery wall

DIY gallery wall

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What’s the last decor/DIY you did around the house?

insta-lately | 1.3.15.

Every once in a while I realize that I’m posting more about this life I’ve met over on Instagram than here on the tried-and-true blog.

So here are some things I’ve been up to lately, with a bit more of an explanation than you’ll find over on Insta.

instalately

1) These Chocolate Covered Coconut bars are the bomb.com, you guys. Never let me say that again. But seriously – these healthy-ish/Paleo treats have totally won over my entire family, which is sort of a big deal. They’ve even started calling them “Gracie bars.” I certainly can’t take the credit though – here’s the original recipe.

2) Yep, I’m going old school. I got a (new version of a) Polaroid camera for Christmas, which I chat about a bit more over on my recent vlog. It might not be the most practical gadget in the world, but it’s so much fun!

3) I got these patches from Best Made a few weeks ago because a) they were cool and b) I heard patches are going to be like, totally in for 2015. I’ve got to say, though, that sewing patches on is a pain in the ass. You’ve been warned.

4) These were surprisingly some of the best nachos I’ve ever had. I say surprisingly because they were vegetarian (real cheese, sans chili). There’s this vegetarian restaurant called Blue Sage near my home in Pennsylvania, and it rivals some of the best veggie joints here in New York.

5) Straight from this photo’s caption pretty much sums this up: I was thinking about how everyone (myself included) loves the new year because it symbolizes a clean slate. a fresh start. a new beginning. for me going into 2015, though, I’m not so sure I want a new beginning just yet. 2014 has led me into some amazing things that haven’t yet been seen through, so my view of this upcoming new year is more so to keep on keepin’ on…to push through the things that scare me or seem impossible.

6) I had thee best few days with my sister Katie over Christmas. We’ve always been pretty close, but as we get older we’re getting closer and closer, and I couldn’t be more thankful for that.

7) I got tagged in a #StopDropAndSelfie, so that’s my selfie. I was in a cab from the train station to my apartment, and full disclosure that was the favorite of about 10 selfie attempts.

8) The oh so curated flat lay of my NYE look. I went to a wedding where the color theme was black, white & gold. I added a pop of red with my lipstick because I’m tacky like that.

9) One of the only photos I got at the wedding, with Leah and Jessi. About 30 minutes later I headed to a masquerade party at The McKittrick hotel. It was a fun night.

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What’s your Instagram? Let me know and I’ll follow you! :)

life: my word of the year for 2015.

Happy 2015, friends!!!! I hope you celebrated well and are having a great first day of the year.

This should probably by my obligatory “new year’s resolutions” post, but I’m trying a little something new this year.

Like most people, I do (as usual) have goals going into the new year. I know the idea of having New Year’s resolutions have become sort of cliche lately, but whatever…I like any chance to have a clean slate and rekindle my motivation in certain areas of life.

This year I have my goals, but I’m also trying to cast an overall vision into 2015. I’ve seen others choose a word for their year and I always loved that idea.

But going into this new year, it seems that a word has actually chosen me.

SIMPLIFY.

You see, I’m a multi-tasker by nature. That can be one of my biggest strengths, but over the past year I’ve noticed that it’s also becoming one of my biggest weaknesses.

I think of the quote – “you can do anything, but not everything.” Well, I’m an everything person. I think that just because I CAN do something…and I may even be quite good at it…that I should automatically do it.

But the truth is that the more things I take on and the more thin I spread myself, the less I do things out a place of excellence.

So this year, I want to do fewer things with excellence rather than a ton of things just okay.

This is definitely going to be a challenge for me, to say the least. As someone who has multiple jobs and streams of income, plus a handful of things I volunteer for and do out of sheer interest/passion…I have no idea where to start cutting things out. And don’t even get me started on how I’m going to learn what to say “no” to when new opportunities come along…

…but I’ve got to start somewhere, and the word SIMPLIFY seems to be the perfect motivation to make this change and take things to the next level in my life.

(I’ve got to say – I love the idea of having a word for my year so much that I may even apply new words to specific months. We’ll see!)

Oh, and yes – you can definitely expect seeing this word of 2015 on an upcoming Speakable necklace. Naturally!

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p.s. I made an impromptu vlog the other day – you can check it out over on my YouTube channel! More vlogs to come :)

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What’s your word for 2015? Does “simplify” resonate with you as well?

life: unfiltered.

The flat lay of an untouched latte, a journal with perfect handwriting, and pastel macarons.

The (confusingly high for a normal human arm) aerial shot of distressed jeans, a Chanel purse, and leopard flats.

The flat stomach and “dat ass” (from hundreds of squats, duh) while somehow maintaining a sweat-less forehead.

The “oh, you caught me hailing a cab!” while still looking effortlessly glamorous.

I think you know where I’m going with this. You’ve seen those images. I’ve seen those images. I’ve posted those images.

unfiltered || gracie gordon || girlmeetslife.com

Rewind to a few years ago when it became the norm to create a backlash against magazines for photoshopping models and portraying an unrealistic view of what women are supposed to look like. It resulted in tons of media coverage and campaigns like Dove Real Beauty, and others.

As I look at the evolution of social media over the past year or two, it seems there’s something even more dangerous emerging. There’s still this sense of “the glamorous life” of women, but this time it’s sneakier than ever.

It’s coming from us. Perpetuated by us, replicated by us, glorified by us.

There’s this endless cycle of well her life looks like this, so mine should too. She has these shoes (and hair and boobs and career) so I should too. The comparison trap is making us spin wildly into a whole new realm of unreality…an illusion of what our lives actually look (or should look) like.

Don’t think I’m not going to call myself out here. Bloggers are specifically guilty of this. But – pardon me as I give us/myself grace – it’s difficult to say that it’s anyone’s fault. It all sort of just happened, and it happened for what was originally an understandable and even admirable reason. Part of that backlash against magazines and the lives of models/celebrities is what resulted in popularity and loyalty toward bloggers. Bloggers became the new role models because they are real people. Relatable. Trustworthy. Had attainable lives.

*slows down and stops self from continuing a tangent*

With all of that being said, this comparison trap and the ability to “filter” our lives seems to be an unavoidable result of the social media age we live in today. I can’t say I hate it because HELLO. Blogger here. Social media manager here. *raises hand.*

It’s Instagram. It’s blogs. It’s Pinterest. It’s a whole WORLD of being able to pick and choose what parts of our lives we want to portray. We’re able to curate our lives to look exactly how we want them to.

And then it’s like, can you blame us? I mean, if we have the choice, why would we post the more unflattering parts of our lives? Crying, hurting, sick…that would be just weird.

BUT (and I guess this is where I’m going with this). Here and there, I think it’s really important to remember our humanity.

I’ve always felt like if I’m going to have a platform where people are looking at my life, I have a responsibility to be honest about what that really looks like. And it’s not perfect, to say the least.

Of course my life is full of incredible, memorable, beautiful moments. Most of what you’ll see me share on GML and social media are those moments.

But then there’s the unfiltered version.

There’s the multiple jobs I work to make a living, yet still always feel like I’m hitting a financial wall.

There’s the times I look in the mirror and examine whether or not I’m seeing new wrinkles, followed by researching all the best skin care creams in an effort to avoid them.

There’s the loneliness I often feel. The sometimes overwhelming and unfulfilled desire to give and receive love.

There’s the lavender essential oil I keep next to my bed because it helps calm me down when I feel anxious.

There’s the times I wake up in the morning hating how I acted the night before. My “partying” is harmless (compared to most of New Yorkers, at least), but I loathe the emptiness it exemplifies in my soul.

I live in the past. I live in the future.

I’ve made mistakes that make me cringe in denial. I’ve hurt others. I know the pain of a broken heart.

It’s killing me writing this post because it’s so pessimistic. Where’s the encouraging, uplifting message? Where’s the moral of the story?

I guess the raw-ness and the honesty IS the point. This is real life. You might be reading this and thinking you’re less or more screwed up than I am…I’m not sure. But my guess is that these are the types of thoughts that go through most of our heads, but social media allows us to portray the complete opposite.

I can only speak for myself. Despite what I may choose to share, and despite the many amazing things in my life, I’m still a broken girl. Jesus makes me whole. He puts me back together every single day. He has made me strong enough to write this post – exposing my weaknesses for the purpose of reaching at least one person who can relate.

It’s okay to be weak. In fact, embrace being weak. In our weakness we find His strength.

It’s okay to be imperfect. Perfection is a myth…a boring one, at that.

It’s okay to love blogs and social media! Like I said, I know this post seems pretty pessimistic. But at the end of the day I still LOVE what I do because it allows me to connect with people and have a creative outlet.

(Even if that means overused flat lays and selfies. Owning it.)

It’s okay if you don’t love the same things as everyone else. But it’s okay if you do.

Know yourself, be yourself, and don’t be afraid to show that person to the world. Saturated, contrasted, brightened, sharpened, or unfiltered.

unfiltered || gracie gordon || girlmeetslife.com