september favorites!

September was a quick month, but it was honestly filled with so many new and fun things. I think monthly favorites are definitely going to be more productive than the Friday favorites. It allows me to take a pause and reflect on an entire month's worth of discoveries!

Very fun for me, hopefully fun for you too.

I've been watching TV big-time this month. I'm not one to Netflix binge (besides Stranger Things!), instead I really love just putting on a TV show while I'm doing some busy work, or ending a long day with an hour of a guilty pleasure show.

01) The L Word is an extreme guilty pleasure show. It may not be everyone's cup of tea, but it's so dramatic, outlandish, and vulgar that I can't tear my eyes away. I can't believe it was ever on Showtime!

02) Big Brother season finale was last Wednesday! I was a teensy bit disappointed by the winner, but it was well deserved. I don't know how they find the personalities for this show. It's just fantastic. Such good TV. Once it was over I was even tempted to watch every episode of every past season. They're all on CBS!

03) Shameless. I just started watching Shameless this week, but it's addictive. It's gritty, raw, and uncensored. Now if only I can convince my bf to stop watching episodes without me.

04) I do not have the funds to continue getting my nails done, but it's soooooo nice. The picture above is Angora Cardi by Essie and I have a color almost identical to that on my nails right now. So autumn.

05) Fat Mascara is a beauty podcast with hotshot editors for major magazines. But when they talk, they sound like my slightly older, slightly hungover friends from college. They're super cool, very down to earth. It's like a guilty pleasure podcast, best enjoyed with a swipe of mauve lip balm and a long car ride after a stressful day.

06) Now that I've witnessed the first frost of the year on my car windshield at 5am, the time to let my hair air dry in the morning is OVER. I've actually really been enjoying blow drying my hair straight for the first time in like, three years. The Kenra Platinum Blow Dry Mist makes my hair super silky and soft, and I think it's a really good heat protectant. My hair feels way less damaged than usual when I use hot tools on it.

I have been meaning to set up separate savings accounts for separate goals for a very very long time now. The Qapital app makes it crazy easy, and it's also just a super cute app! I love it. In 5 days I already have $5 saved up for my Yoga teacher training. It may not seem like a lot, but all that spare change adds up and I haven't even noticed it coming out of my checking account.

08) September was National Yoga Month and I took full advantage. I went to Yoga in the park twice, and two free yoga classes (one being Bikram, which seriously kicked my ass). I love Yoga so much. It's something that I seriously want to incorporate into my life on the daily somehow.

09) Out with the sugar! In my attempt to live a healthier, and processed sugar free life, I've been on the hunt for snacks low in sugar. Rice cakes are the best. I picked some caramel corn ones to stay in the fall spirit and all. But I also love chocolate ones with the thinnestttt layer of peanut butter on top. Yum yum.


+ This Mossimo Yoga cardigan is life. It is the coziest thing to transition t-shirts and tank tops into fall. I have it in heather gray, but want it in all the colors!

+ The Relax & Unwind Spotify playlist has been the soundtrack to almost every one of my near-sunset drives. Close to perfection.

+ I organized a binder with a tab for every one of the dance classes I'm teaching this year (7!!!) and it's glorious. It's an organizers dream.

+ I've been on the hunt to interview more DMT's (Dance/Movement Therapists). I spoke with one over the phone and met with one in person. The more I search, the more it seems like this might be the path I end up choosing. Stay tuned...

Wow, that was long. 
Cheers to a quick, but full September. 
Raise a glass to an equally fulfilling October! 

What were some of your favorite things from September? 

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the better body competition

This is what I get for being the most competitive person ever - it takes a competition to get me to pull my shit together.

Starting today (mostly because we had plans to go to The Big E yesterday and ate the worst food in all of mankind) my best friend, Shawn, and I are undertaking The Better Body Competition 2016.

As far as we know, this is not a real challenge, although I did loosely borrow the idea from one of my favorite bloggers, The Skinny Confidential.

Here are the rules:
- we measure weight, take before/after pictures, and measure our body fat percentage using some kind of fat calibrator at our gym
- the competition lasts until Halloween
- whoever has the better body (as measured by body fat percentage, because we think that's most fair) gets $50 from the loser

Flawless challenge, am I right?

For real though, this competition is 100% tongue in cheek, and solely because Shawn and I have seriously fallen off the healthy lifestyle wagon and need a swift kick in the ass to get us back on the grind. Betting (and potentially losing) $50 is just that kick that we need.

My number 1 challenge is my nutrition. I have the biggest sweet tooth - I gobble all the cake, I crave all the donuts, I hoard all the candy bars. This needs to change. So for this competition, I'm challenging myself by going cold turkey off of all these sweets. I went to Aldi and a charming little farmer's market on Friday and stocked up on so much good stuff. My snacks are naturally flavored caramel rice cakes and banana chips (both very low on sugar!)

If you're interested, here is what I'm eating today, to kick things off:

(very important note - I am NO nutrition expert) 

- 1 cup of plain Greek yogurt topped with chia seeds, raspberries,
blueberries, and a drizzle of raw organic honey
- a banana
- 1 caramel rice cake

- 1 cup of raw chopped kale with a sprinkle
of parmesan, walnuts, and a dash of lemon juice
- 1/2 cup cottage cheese

- 1 caramel rice cake
- an apple

- diced chicken breast and sweet peppers,
sauteed with white balsamic vinegar and lemon

Throughout the day:
- 16 oz. of lemon water with 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- 120 oz. water flavored with fresh limes

Honestly, I'm excited. I'm writing about this as a way to hold myself accountable. So as I sit here, sipping my lemon water and apple cider vinegar (absolutely digusting, but apparently so good for you) I'm looking forward into an era of change.

This is my mentality (and also my psychosis), I go big or go home. I know no gray area. It's all cake and sprinkles or it's all omega 3's and kale salads.

Wish me luck!
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... this is not apple juice.

Wowza, it has been a tough week. From leaving my car keys in a locked dance studio, leaving my debit cards at the gym two days in a row, experiencing extremely rude people at work, and somehow forgetting to set an alarm for this morning and rolling into work an hour late...

it has not been my week.

But you know what? It's okay. It's okay because Lucas and I are getting along so well this week. It's okay because it's been bright and sunny almost every day. It's okay because there is actually quite a lot to be happy about this week. Like all of this:

The Big Brother finale. I haven't watched it yet, it's DVRed, don't you dare spoil it for me! 

Perks of house-sitting for wealthy family. As Lucas's extremely wealthy parents and older sister take in the sights of Italy and Rome, Lucas and I basically have a dream vacation in their decked out house, taking full advantage of the fact that his mother left the keys to her brand new convertible BMW on the hook. Driving with the top down, feelin' fancy all week (sunglasses face emoji).

TGIT starts this week! Which means How To Get Away With Murder starts... tonight. If only I can remember how last seasons crazy cliff hanger left off, oh my! 

Laughing when I least expect it. After complaining about a bad day at work, Lucas managed to produce a glass of gold colored liquid. After squinting at it suspiciously (it was only 4pm), I asked, "What is that??" Smiling mischievously, he proclaimed, "It's apple juice!" Then he gave it to me to sip... it was not apple juice. (Spoiler alert: It was Pinot Grigio). 

A good luck wish. A lady bug landed on me while I was walking Lucas's dog, Lilly. Crawling up and around my arm, I made a wish before it flew away. 

BABW candles. I lost my marbles on Monday and ordered three fall themed candles from BABW. Because my Pumpkin Cupcake one is almost completely burnt out and because you really just can't say no to a BABW candle sale, you know?! 

It was a hard week, yes. But it's okay. Candles are on the way and fun autumn plans with friends are right on the horizon.

What filled you up this week?
Do you catch any of the TGIT shows?

Leave a comment, it means so much for me to actively engage with anyone awesome enough to start a conversation on this blog!

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major career decisions, NBD.

So as of this year, I will have been out of school for two and a half years. I'm not quite sure how this happened, especially since I had every intention of taking "one year off to save money" and then going on to grad school. LOL. This brilliant plan was horrifically disrupted by a soul-crushing heartbreak, the aftermath (a long, awful clinical depression), and the simple fact that I had no idea what I wanted to get my Master's in. 

I think those are good reasons as any to delay grad school, don't you? I figured it may be a little silly to rack up a potential 60+ grand of debt, if I didn't know what I wanted to be when I grew up.

And yet, here we are, almost three years later, and what feels like no closer to any conclusive answers. And I realize that the problem isn't a lack of drive, direction, or purpose.

the problem is my crippling fear of the unknown.

For the past two-ish years, I have been telling people my plan. My plan is to go back to school for Occupational Therapy, then work in either schools, medical centers, or private practice. The field of OT is literally booming. A simple search on yields hundreds of job opportunities. I'd start off my OT career likely making no less than 60-70 grand a year. I'd be set for life.

I crossed all of my t's and dotted almost all of my i's in my pursuit of preparation for OT school applications. I shadowed a pediatric OT, and took both Anatomy & Physiology classes at a community college (paid for out of pocket, mind you).

Then I started researching the schools, the programs, the application process, etc etc etc. And every time I opened a website, read a course description, was mailed a packet of information about an OT program, I was shaken by an indescribable sense of anxiety and dread. There's no other way to describe it. I was dreading going to school for OT. The thought of this was giving me anxiety on a cellular level. Is this profession truly for me? I was forced to try and process this devastating realization. Why am I trying to pursue this? Is it because of the financial reward? The abundant job openings? To impress my peers and family?

Or is it because it is my true life's calling and passion to be a practicing Occupational Therapist? 

Since this realization, I have been locked in a panic, paralyzed that I will make the wrong career decision, plagued by regrets for the rest of my life. I know, I know, at just 23 years old how can I possibly be this existential and dramatic???

I do not know what I want to be when I grow up, but I know what I love. I love dance, I love improving people's moods, I love enhancing people's lives, I love movement, I love bodies, I love art, I love words, I love spirituality and the persistent nature of the human condition to better ourselves.

And while so much of this can be accomplished as an OT, my gut is literally, physically telling me that OT may just not be for me. If I can't trust my gut, I don't know what I can trust.

In all honestly, I do have a good idea of what I want to go to grad school for, so it likely will still happen this time next year. That's another blog post in the making.

For now, the search continues...

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The ULTIMATE Autumn Bucket List!

I have a love hate relationship with this season. Hate the allergies and chilly temperatures. Love the colors, the holidays, and the delicious food! I really strive to make the most of every month and every season, so I put a lot of myself into this list but I think there's a lot here for everyone wanting to bring some magic to their autumn.

Here are 60 bucket list ideas for things to do, see, listen to, eat, drink, & make this autumn (September through November)!

1. Go to a Fall festival. If you live in New England & aren't going to The Big E, are you even alive? It's the ultimate New England autumn event; rides, games, a disgusting amount of novelty food, vendors, you name it and it's here. Pro tip: fast for the whole day and eat clean for a week afterwards.

2. Go hiking when the leaves are changing colors. 

3. Put a bouquet of sunflowers on your kitchen table or on your porch. 

4. Get lost with you friends/love in a corn maze. Even better if you bring a big group & split into teams!

5. Sign up for an autumn 5K or marathon! The Hartford Marathon is a big one near where I live that everyone gets so excited for. These are the 15 best fall marathons in the U.S. but there's definitely one going on near you.

6. Scent your spaces in all things Fall. I need to get some B&BW wallflowers asap; scents like pumpkin caramel latte and pumpkin apple cider are great, but I prefer something a little more subtle like crisp morning air and sweater weather.

7. Dig out your boots and your chunkiest, most cozy sweaters. 

8. Mimic spring cleaning with a "fall cleaning" spree. Pack away all the bathing suits, shorts, and flimsy tank tops. It's long sleeve season my friends. Donate or get rid of any summer clothes you didn't wear once (I am guilty as charged).

9. Go dollar store shopping for decorations. Dollar Tree is the best! Grab some orange, red and gold helium balloons, fabric autumn leaves, felt leaf cut-outs, and an autumnal table cloth. All for $1 each! Repeat for Halloween and Thanksgiving decor, of course.

10. Visit Salem, MA if you live in the area. The Salem Witch Trials utterly fascinate me, so I plan to take a trip up there this year, complete with a witch tour!

11. Re-read the Harry Potter series. There is nothing quite like the seasonal chapters in Harry Potter books. They are the definition of my childhood autumns and winters.

12. Tremble your way through a haunted house. Or if you're really daring, a haunted trail! I went to Trail of Terrors last year & stumbled through it with my eyes closed the entire time... so this one might not be for me, hah!

13. Have a basic bitch photoshoot in a pumpkin patch! 

14. Celebrate Halloween! Go to or host a Halloween party or just hit up your nearest bar for festivities. Try and win a costume contest! Take some kiddies trick-or-treating. I freakin' love this spooky holiday, there are so many ways to get in the spirit!

15. Wear pink for breast cancer awareness month every day in October! Better yet, sign up for an awareness walk/marathon going on near you, or donate to one of your friends who is participating.

16. Give back! Donate to or volunteer your time to a homeless shelter/kitchen around the Thanksgiving holiday. I've never personally done this, but if there is any year to, it is this year. The world needs more love and generosity now more than ever.

1. Get boozy with apples. Try out one of these 21 apple cider cocktails! They literally all sound amazing, but I'm pretty partial to Apple Cider Sangria.

2. Order a pumpkin spice latter from DD, of course! It may be basic, but it's popular for a reason. So delicious.

3. Grab a bag of freshly baked, warm and delicious apple fritters from your local cider mill! 

4. Try something a little new, like this pumpkin spice hot chocolate.
Fall classic + winter staple = deliciousness? We'll see!

5. Food to scour out at The Big E: Maine baked potato, Vermont maple candy and cheese, fried Oreos, giant cream puff, loaded mac&cheese from Zack's Mac Attack in the New Hampshire building, apple cider donuts, and GIANT turkey legs (I'm talking GIANT). I told you it's best to fast before you go!

6. Seasonal smoothie time! Try this healthy apple cinnamon or pumpkin spice smoothie after you annihilate your digestive system with all those fried and fatty foods at your nearest fall fair.

7. Bring a box of apple cinnamon donuts to work for your co-workers.

8. Nothing screams fall quite like warm apple pie topped with melting vanilla ice cream and whipped cream. Yum!

9. Cut sandwiches into leaf shapes with a cookie cutter to get your boring lunch into the autumn spirit.

10. Pumpkin ale! Shipyard is a fav.

11. Make some easy peasy ghost marshmallows for a Halloween party. There are a ton of variations, just Google it!

12. Black charcoal water tastes just like regular water but is perfect for a creepy Halloween beverage!

13. Make guacamole puke out of a pumpkin or mummy dogs! There's a ton more easy Halloween recipes/snack ideas here!

14. Bite into a big 'ol caramel apple. They're a hell of a mess, but damn they're good.

15. Bake these 5-ingredient apple pie roses. Bring them to Thanksgiving dinner. Impress the hell out of your friends and family members.

1. The Altar, the second album by my favorite musician in the whole damn world Banks. It drops September 30th!

2. Seasonal playlists on Spotify. Search for Autumn Leaves, Autumn (Or What It Feels Like To Fall), Your Favorite Coffeehouse, and Autumn Afternoon - or just the word "autumn" and you'll have thousands of mellow playlists at your fingertips!

3. Watch a movie to get you in a cozy autumn mood. My favorites by far are Dan In Real Life, Catch & Release, Where The Wild Things Are, and Garden State.

4. Charlie Brown movies. There are a whole lot of autumnal Charlie Brown movies in the mix, but my absolute favorite will always be The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown. This teleports me back to 1999 - sitting on the couch in my little Halloween costume, watching this movie as a little kid pre-game to an epic trick or treating journey.

5. Have a Harry Potter movie marathon. Gives me the same feels as the Charlie Brown movies, but back to those teenage years instead.

6. A true-life crime podcast to put you in a Halloween mood. I suggest Sword & Scale, or the widely popular Serial! Another scary one about all things occult is Here Be Monsters. 

7. Spook yourself with a scary movie like The Conjuring 2! (But rest assured, I myself will never watch this).

8. Try out a Halloween themed work-out playlist on your commute or during those cardio intervals!

9. Watch Stranger Things on Netflix! If you live under a rock and haven't binged this yet with the rest of us, this is the perfect spooky show for October! (Season 2 drops in January!)

10. Try to find those original Halloween Disney movies. Don't Look Under The Bed, the Halloweentown series, and Mom's Got A Date With A Vampire are my favorites!

11. Other favorite Halloween movies from years past include: Hocus Pocus (duh!), The Little Vampire, and Nightmare Before Christmas. I haven't watched The Little Vampire since I was a kid but I remember it being TERRIFYING.

12. Catch a real-life ghost show, like Paranormal Adventures, Ghost Hunters, or just Long Island Medium if you're a little bit of a sissy like me ;)

13. Watch the sunrise & watch the sunset. At least once, against that beautiful backdrop of maroon, russet, and golden trees.

14. In case you need some more music, here are 41 songs to fall in love with this fall

15. Watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, of course!

1. Make leaf art. Gather leaves from the great outdoors and turn them into works of art!

2. Make your very own autumn bucket list! 

3. Your ultimate cozy autumn day playlist. I did give you some suggestions above, but try to personalize your own coffee sipping, sweater wearing, candle lighting mix tape!

4. DIY your own autumn candles!

5. Whip up a brown sugar lip scrub. My skin does this nice thing where it turns into a flaky disaster as soon as temperatures drop below 70 degrees. Brown sugar + coconut oil is a great natural concoction for dry lips.

6. Treat yourself to a face mask or hair mask with natural seasonal pumpkin ingredients!

7. DIY a Halloween costume. I have about a million ideas for this (being a self-proclaimed master of DIY Halloween costumes), coming up in a future blog post! Stay tuned!

8. Carve a pumpkin! Or do anything you damn well please with a pumpkin. The options are endless! Here are some no-carving-needed options.

9. Make a spooky Halloween bouquet. Like #1 on this spooky decor list!

10. Give yourself a Halloween nail art manicure. Or just buy some ghoulish nail stickers and tell everyone you DIYed it ;)

11. Make a Thanksgiving list for all the things you're thankful for. Better yet, write a letter to each of your friends and family members of all the things you are grateful for about them. Getting something like this would definitely make me smile-cry. In an effort to honor one of my New Year's resolutions about appreciating my friends & family members more, I may just try this out myself.

12. DIY natural de-froster. Keep it in your car and instantly spray away icy windows during those chilly mornings and those first few frosts of the year. They're right around the corner! Best to be prepared.

13. Make some good old-fashioned turkey hands out of construction paper! You're honestly never too old for this. My college dorm-mates decorated our entire hallway with turkey hands our sophomore year!

14. Join me for DIY Christmas! This Christmas, I'm attempting to make only hand made gifts for my friends and family members. Prep early this fall by pinning the heck out of DIY ideas and gathering supplies.

15. Make your Christmas wish list! 

What are some of your must-do bucket listers for fall?
Do you jump on the pumpkin spice bandwagon like the rest of us?
How will you bring some magic to your season?

Leave a comment, it means so much for me to actively engage with anyone awesome enough to start a conversation on this blog!

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Danielle Sinsigalli. Powered by Blogger.

afloat on a full sea.