Life + Links

Charleston, South Carolina Trip and Reading Recommendations // Pearl Girl

This week was a quick one for me. I started it off in Charleston, on the last day of my long weekend getaway with my mom. My trip home hit a bit of a snag: My flight was supposed to take off at 7:50, and I got a text around 4:– that it was delayed four hours. Meaning I’d get back to NYC past 1 a.m. Not ideal. Then the delay moved to 10 p.m. — not great, but manageable. And then it moved to 12:30 a.m. — a 3 a.m. arrival back in NYC. There were no other flights to NYC on United, and they wouldn’t reroute me on a connecting flight.

But thankfully, there was an 8:30 flight on JetBlue, so I got a refund from United, walked over to the JetBlue counter, and booked that flight. Then I went through security, and saw United cancelled my original flightMy mom and I high fived at that gate when we realized, to which an observer said ‘That’s an odd reaction to seeing your flight got canceled.’ LOL! Sorry sir. A potential crisis situation averted!

The rest of the week was business as usual: Work and warm weather! I have family coming to visit this weekend, which I’m looking forward to, as well as some time at home to clean my room, catch up on errands and all that boring stuff.

What I’m Reading

Lauryn’s post about her sister’s addiction is so honest and open. A must-read.

Loved Meghan’s wine tips and lessons she picked up in France.

Rosé recommendations from Jess (seeing a theme here?!)

Lauren’s navy walls — and her entire bedroom — look amazing!

Loving J.Crew’s new party dress line, and Jillian looks gorgeous in this one.

These photos from Sarah at Rosecliff are stunning.

A look at the career of the woman who founded Urban Decay.

I’m sure you’ve seen this link already. But if you read one thing this week, make it this: My Family’s Slave.

What I’m Shopping

Obsessed with this gingham mini dress.

I love Levi’s, and I’m dying to add a pair of shorts to my collection.

I haven’t always loved J.Crew’s dresses in the past, but they’re killing it now. Need this one.

This dress is absolutely gorgeous, and the price isn’t as bad as you’d expect. (Still a big splurge though!)

What I’m Writing

My number one piece of advice for recent college graduates.

A pair of pink bow shorts I’m obsessed with.

Royals who married commoners.

An interview with Eva Longoria about her new series, Decline and Fall.

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Life + Links

Anastasia on Broadway Review, Shopping and Reading Recommendations

Ah, weekend! It’s an exciting one for me, as I’m spending it in Charleston with my mom! Since she’s still in Chicago and I’m in New York, we don’t get to see each other nearly as often as I’d like, and rarely on Mother’s Day. So this trip is a special treat. Sadly, it’s forecasted to rain nearly all of our first day here, but hopefully it won’t pour constantly! And at least Sunday and Monday look like they’ll be sunny and beautiful.

The other downer of my week was that I had ordered two packages in preparation for my trip to Charleston last week. In them were these cute shorts from J.Crew, and from ASOS, this dress, this dress and these sandals. Though both were more general summer purchases, I was so excited to bring them to Charleston. And neither arrived by the day I was leaving. Getting packages in NYC is a struggle (unless you have a doorman, which I don’t), but you can usually count on them not to come three days late! Ah well.

This week wasn’t all bad, though. If you follow along on Insta Stories, you’ll know that on Wednesday, I saw Anastasia on Broadway. Was anyone else obsessed with that movie as a kid? I was literally obsessed. Still kind of am, to be honest! I love the music and it was so amazing to see the songs I’ve literally had memorized since I was five performed on stage. The show is a little different than the movie. There’s no Rasputin (or Bartok!), and instead the villain is a Soviet officer. However, he’s played by Ramin Karimloo, one of my favorite musical theater performers. I’ve seen him in a few other shows, and I’m a HUGE fan. He has the most incredible voice. If you ever have the chance to see a show with him in it, DO IT.

Not much else to report on from this past week — went to a fun Tim Hortons event on Tuesday morning and ate my body weight in donuts, had dinner with a friend from high school where we ate lots of chips and guac on Thursday.

What I’m Reading

I love this article on being alone — in the sense of doing solitary activities and being okay with it.

An awesome campaign from HarperCollins: Authors talking about why they read, write, and the books they love.

What happens when your honeymoon is horrible.

Dying to try Glossier sunscreen!

Celebrities, please be more adventurous with your shoe choices on the red carpet.

I’ve been reading Blair’s blog forever (at least six years) and this piece about her engagement is a sweet look at her life.

Love theses nude travel picks from Lauryn.

Agree with everything Katie wrote here. An amazing post for new college graduates!

Katie’s recap of her Friday in NYC is too funny — and I need to try this Tex-Mex place!

I really want to try these lip oils from Jess’s post.

Julia looks gorgeous — I’m so excited to see Charleston in bloom!

What I’m Shopping

Can’t wait to finally get these adorable shorts in the mail next week.

I got these tassel earrings in the mail and I’m obsessed. Look out for them on my Instagram!

These are the pom-pom sandals of my dreams!

The perfect shirt dress for summer. Such a staple.

Forever 21 has some super cute summer dresses, like this one, on sale right now.

What I’m Writing

What I learned at the Create + Cultivate conference.

My favorite jean jacket (I’m wearing it as I typed this post!) and striped shirt. In fact, this whole look is kind of a uniform. I’m wearing the same jeans + sneaks right now, too!

Chatting with Candace Cameron Bure about her new style book.

The most dramatic moments in political history.

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How I Learned to Hack My Migraines (Sort Of)

Migraine Hacks, How to Cure Migraines

Do you get migraines?

I feel like they’re a pretty common ailment, especially with women. If you don’t, consider yourself lucky. And if you do, then you feel my pain.

I’ve been getting them for as long as I can remember, and they’re really and truly the worst. The pain is always right in my temples, usually my right side. I’ve never been shot in the head, but I have to imagine this is kind of (to a lesser degree, I’d hope!) what getting shot in the head would feel like. It’s just this searing pain, piercing through your head. Sometimes it’s so bad I end up throwing up. Usually I just toss and turn and try to fall asleep.

I don’t get them as often as some people — about seven or eight times a year, give or take. Mine nearly always come on in the later afternoon, so I can just go home and attempt to sleep it off. In high school, it was really difficult if I’d get one, and then have trouble finishing my homework for the next day. It’s a little easier now that I’m a post-grad adult, and when I leave work, there usually isn’t a ton of work waiting for me at home, so I can go to bed early as need be.

On Tuesday I had a really nasty one — worse than I’ve had in months. My head started to ache around five, so I thankfully didn’t have much of the work day left to get through. It began somewhat mildly, and I had a moment of thinking ‘Maybe this will just be a moderate headache.’ Which does happen to me, too. But after feeling like I was about to pass out on the subway, I knew what was coming: Migraine, though I didn’t know how intense it would get. I cancelled my plans, got home around 6:30, said hello to my roommate, and promptly fell asleep.

Sadly, it didn’t stay that way. I was truly an idiot in handling this one. I have a pill I was prescribed a few years ago that works wonders. But I like to conserve them, and only use them for the worst-case scenarios. At first, I didn’t think this was quite that level of severity, and thought I could just sleep it off for a couple hours, and try this product, which does provide momentary relief. I woke up around 8:00 and was in even more pain. I, of course, then gave in and took a pill, which usually kicks in after about an hour. For the first time since I’ve started taking it, it didn’t work. It was torture. And to top it all off, I didn’t fall asleep until about midnight. It was such a frustrating, wasted, painful night.

I’m lucky in that I don’t have many nights like those anymore. For so long, when I got migraines, I’d do nothing to help. My mom would always tell me to take a couple of Advil, and I’d feel so frustrated when they failed to do anything (my entire migraine experience has definitely lessened my faith in over the counter pain medication.) Side story: The only time I remember Advil working was the night of my high school graduation. My entire class had an all-night party at a bowling alley/laser tag/arcade type place, one of the highlights of the year. I got a horrible headache on the bus ride over and was about to call my mom to pick me up. I took three Advil, thinking it would never work. But by some miracle, it did, and I was able to enjoy the night. It’s like my body knew ‘get it together!’

It wasn’t until I got older — honestly, not really until after I graduated college — that I really got a grasp on dealing with my migraines. And after Tuesday’s unpleasant episode, I thought I’d share what I’d learned over my years of battling them.

Please, please, take all these suggestions with a grain of salt, as I am not a doctor. I haven’t even taken a biology class since I was 14, so I’m not even a science-inclined person. This is just what has helped me through my years of migraines.

A hot/cold headache band.

My mom got me one of these for a present for a birthday (yes, I get migraine-related presents!) one year. Basically, there’s an insert you can either freeze or heat up, depending on what temperature you prefer. Then you wrap it around your head to help with any aches. Though it’s not a cure-all, it definitely provides relief.

Buy it here.

A microbead pillow.

Before I got the band, I loved putting a microbead pillow on my forehead to ease the pressure. The fabric feels cool, and it really forms to your head. Personally, having something (soft) pressing on where my head aches really helps when I have a migraine, particularly with falling asleep. Plus, they’re squshy and comfy.

Buy it here.

Origins sensory relief therapy.

I got this product as a gift, not really knowing what it was or how it could possibly work. I tried it for the first time on Tuesday, and I have to say, I do like it. Basically, you just rub this product on the spot that’s in pain, and it almost numbs it, providing an intense cooling sensation. I think it’s best to use in conjunction with something else, as it provides instant relief, but nothing lasting.

Buy it here.

An eye mask.

A no-brainer. Light is no friend to the migraine.

Buy it here.

A wonders-working powder.

This is the only over-the-country product that has worked for me. It’s an aspirin powder, and honestly, it is magic. A co-worker (thanks, Maggie!) introduced it to me and my life is forever changed. I’m not sure how you’re supposed to take it, but I always pour the packet on my tongue, press it to the roof of my mouth to let it absorb, and then wash the rest down with water. It’s not quite as good as the prescription medication I use, but it really, really works and has a lasting effect. Word of advice: Buy the cherry. There’s a no flavor kind, and it supposedly tastes awful.

Buy it here.

A good night’s sleep.

My entire life, the only thing that has worked 100 percent of the time in getting rid of a migraine is sleeping a full night. Not a quick nap, not even a long one: The whole. dang. night. There is truly no better feeling than waking up the morning after a migraine to have it gone. It’s almost like you can feel the weight lifted from your head. Glorious.

A great prescription.

My fellow migraine sufferers, I know I’m not alone in being frustrated when people suggest you take Advil or Tylenol in the midst of a bad one. They just do nothing. I waited far, far too long to talk to my doctor about other options. While I know some people don’t have luck with prescription medications for migraines, I really have. The drug I was prescribed has honestly changed my life, and made it so I almost always relieve the worst of the pain, and not just suffer until I pass out.

If anyone would like to know what prescription I’ve had success with, feel free to email me at dianapearl.blog@gmail.com, and I’ll share details! (Feel a little weird sharing it here? Is that weird? IDK.)

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Life + Links

Reading and Shopping Recommendations: The Big Life by Ann Shoket

Happy weekend! I’m writing this post on a Megabus (so glam, right?) en route to Boston to visit one of my best friends from school for the weekend. We don’t have a ton of plans, and I’ve been to the city quite a few times, so I’m just excited to catch up and spend some time together.

This week was actually really busy, so I’m especially proud of myself for getting up three other blog posts! On Monday night, I went to dinner at Ann Shoket’s (amazing, #goals-worthy) apartment. She’s the former editor-in-chief of Seventeen, and has a new book out called The Big Lifewhich is all about ambition, career, and finding that perfect balance of friends, a job you’re passionate about, and a relationship. Also at the dinner were five other #BadassBabes, and we had a really interesting and inspiring conversation about money. I love talking about these sort of deep life issues, and it was especially great to do so with girls with all sorts of backgrounds and experiences.

It was pretty much non-stop from there: Tuesday I met up with a few friends for drinks at Dos Caminos (it’s a great Mexican restaurant with several locations in the city!) Then on Wednesday I went to the gym since I  knew I’d be out of town this weekend and wouldn’t be able to make it my normal Saturday morning spin class. And the work week ended with an early Cinco de Mayo event and grabbings a drink with a friend on Thursday.

Hope you have a good week, and that I don’t hit any traffic on the rest of this bus ride. It’s 10:30 right now and I need to get out of here! LOL.

(Literally three minutes after I wrote that sentence we hit traffic. As DJ Khaled would say, I played myself.)

What I’m Reading

How to teach children about consent. Such an important post from Cup of Jo.

Aretha Franklin’s epic shade had me cracking up.

A lovely walk in Notting Hill I’m adding to my to-do list for the next time I’m in London.

An interesting look at the turmoil-filled retail industry.

How to prepare for a potential home buying purchase in your 30s.

Loved Krista’s hot takes about the new Instagram.

Gigi Hadid’s birthday looked pretty epic.

An interesting take on the new Handmaid’s Tale series. Are you going to watch? I genuinely don’t know if my heart can take it.

Love this pretty yellow dress on Jess.

Congrats to Caitlin on six years of blogging!

Jess has some amazing tips about making friends in a new city — or as an adult, in general!

What I’m Shopping

J.Crew is an extra 30% off right now, and I’m really feeling this bow swimsuit.

This eyelet dress is so pretty — I love the tassel detail!

This gingham dress has the cutest bow detail in the back.

Love this fringe dress, too. (Can you tell I’m feeling dresses right now?)

And one more, for good measure! Love the cold shoulder.

What I’m Writing

The second half of my Los Angeles recap!

How I convinced my fitness-hating self to start going to the gym more.

The perfect spring shirt dress.

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How I, A Self-Proclaimed Fitness Hater, Started Working Out Regularly

How to Start Working Out

Cute sneaks — essential to fitness. Although I don’t wear my cutest sneaks to the gym because I don’t want to ruin them. LOL. Also I promise I don’t work out on my bed. 

This post is part personal reflection, part advice. To start: I’ve never been an athlete. Not even close. Nearly every person (boy or girl) played AYSO soccer (was this a thing where you’re from?) in elementary school. I didn’t. Neither did my best childhood friends, so I was fine with it. But that, coupled with the fact that I never did volleyball, basketball, softball (anything!) meant I didn’t play a team sport until I did intramural kickball last year. When I was 23. YEP.

Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t just sit on the couch as a kid. I danced until I was seven, and after that, transitioned into figure skating, which I did multiple times a week until I was in high school. Then I switched gears and did theater and the newspaper! Which were fun, invaluable experiences that had a huge impact on me (after all, I’m a journalist today) but didn’t really contribute to good habits when it comes to physical fitness.

As I abandoned the more physically active routines of my childhood, I never really replaced it with anything else. And honestly, I’m lucky: I was able to stay fairly slim without working out with any sort of regularity in high school and college. From the age of 14 to about 22, I’d say I was lucky if I made it to the gym once every three months. More often, it was about six months.

After I graduated, I still put off working out. I was new to the city, I wanted to have fun. Working out isn’t fun! (Something I still mostly believe, to be honest!) But around January 2015, I was going through some personal issues, and hit up pretty much every gym in the city’s free trial program to try to work out the stress. And then, I made a big move: I joined a gym.

It still took me about a year — and a gym switch — to become someone who works out on a regular basis. And by regular, I mean I try for twice a week, but always make it at least once a week. I know, this isn’t much. But this post isn’t about becoming a fitness guru or falling in love with working out. To be honest, I still don’t really love it. Carly said it best earlier this year: I feel satisfied after a good workout, but that’s it. I don’t love the process, and I’m honestly always looking at the clock. It’s about making working out a part of your routine when it never has been before.

And with that, please know — I still have a long way to go. I see posts from bloggers who say they work out five to six times a week, and I’m honestly baffled. (How do you find the time?!) I have yet to be able to bring myself to wake up early enough for a morning workout. I’ll always prioritize grabbing drinks with friends over hitting up a yoga class. I’ve got a ways to go. (Although I’ll never apologize for putting friends over fitness!)

But I am proud of myself from going from being a person who would get laughs if I talked about going to the gym to someone who does feel guilty if I don’t make it there at least once a week. It may not seem like much, but to me, it IS huge. And if I can do it, anyone can. I do believe it’s all about baby steps. Right now, it’s once or twice a week, but maybe soon, it’ll be two or three times. Any improvement is improvement.

Here is how I did it.

Oh, and here’s some activewear I’m loving, because this post is a novel, I need some sort of visual to break it up, and I didn’t take any fitness photos. (Told you I’m not an athlete.)

1. Make it as easy as possible on yourself.

I mentioned above that I’ve switched gyms in the past few years. The first one I joined, Blink Fitness, was about 13 blocks from my apartment. Short blocks, but still, 13 blocks. It made going to the gym such a production that I hardly ever it did it.(Ironically, about six months after I swapped gyms, Blink opened up a location about two blocks from my apartment.) But who wants to work out and then walk 13 blocks home? When getting to the gym already is a feat for you, don’t make it any hard on yourself. Choose a location that’s super easy for you to get to, whether it’s a block away from your office or across the street from your apartment. When it’s that close, you’ll feel too guilty not to go.

2. Make it a bit of a financial burden.

You’re probably thinking, ‘Diana, why would you join a gym that’s 13 blocks from your apartment? Of course you won’t go.’ Well, you are smarter than my 22-year-old self. The reason I joined Blink was because it only costs $25 a month. And I had this idea in my head that because I hadn’t worked out much in the past I should spend the bare minimum on a gym. But since the commute was getting to be too much, I switched to New York Sports Club, which is a bit more expensive, but a lot closer.

It ended up kicking my butt into gear. Not only does NYSC have classes, a big motivator for me, but when you’re only paying $25 a month, it’s easy to be like ‘oh, whatever, it’s just $25’ and skip a week. And before you know it, you’ve missed a month at the gym. When it’s $50+ every month, I can’t reconcile not utilizing that money. If you truly can afford it, sometimes it’s good to make yourself feel a bit more indebted to your gym experience, as it can push you to go more.

3. Be realistic.

Y’all, try as I might, I am just not a morning person. I could sign up for a 9:30 class on Saturdays, but honestly, I know I’ll never make it. Instead, I set realistic goals — like making it to an 11:00 spin class instead. It’s just enough time to lounge in bed for a few hours in the morning, but not so late I feel like I’ve wasted my entire day up until then. To that point, I’d also never book classes three days in a row, because I know I’ll need a day off. (Okay, I’ve tried. And then I end up cancelling one to catch up with a friend, or my couch. Couch time is important!) It’s easy to feel like you need to be hitting the gym six times a week like that girl you see on Instagram, but your progress is your own — go at your own pace and don’t beat yourself up!

4. Find your groove with instructors.

Unless I’m out of town, I always make it to my Saturday morning spin class. And a big reason why is the instructor. She’s so motivational, has an amazing attitude and the best music. When you find an instructor you love, don’t let that slide by. It’s so important and can serve as a huge source of encouragement.

5. Make a conscious choice.

I’m not working out to lose weight (although I wouldn’t mind getting a bit more toned up!) or train for a marathon. I could have continued on, hitting the gym once a year and supplementing my fitness with occasional long walks in Central Park (which are great!) In the end, it was just a choice that I wanted to make working out a part of my weekly routine. I just decided I didn’t want to be the person who got winded after walking up a flight of stairs anymore. I didn’t want my going to the gym to be a joke. In the end, though it’s always a push to get myself to the gym, I’m always glad I went after. It’s a choice, every time, to go and do that work out. And in the end, that’s where my shift came from: Making a choice to make this a priority in my life in a new way.

While I still wouldn’t call myself an athlete by any means, I would say fitness is a part of my adult life now in a way it never has been. For most people, it’s not much — just once or twice a week. But for me, it’s something.

How did you make fitness a part of your routine? What tips and tricks have worked for you — and the biggest one, how can I conquer morning workouts when my bed is oh-so-cozy? Please, share below!

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