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outfits, TRAVEL

What I Wore in NYC


My packing technique seems to either be wait last minute and throw a variety of my favorite pieces into a bag or methodically try each and every outfit on so I don’t under- or over-pack and am confident my outfits will work. Guess which strategy works better? Planning ahead is definitely a lot easier for shorter trips when you typically have a clear idea of what your vacation is going to look like and consist of, as opposed to three weeks in Asia with no clue what to expect (this was me 2 years ago). SO, for our four day/three night trip to New York, my girlfriend and I planned out our outfits ahead of time – meaning tried them all on, took pictures, made sure everything fit, etc. And here they are below. My idea for this trip was to pack lightly with pieces I could take from day to night and keep to a pretty classic style theme. NYC is tricky because you’re walking A LOT, but it’s also one of the major fashionable capitals of the world (a.k.a. serious street style inspo everywhere you turn). This means bringing your comfiest A-game.


night one: dinner and drinks in Hell’s Kitchen

Joe’s distressed denim jacket (on sale!) // Leith ruched dress 

day one: brunch in West Village, Fearless Girl and 9/11 Memorial, shopping in SoHo

MinkPink striped tank: old, similar here and here // J. Crew fedora: old, similar here // AG distressed skinnies (my favs!) // Kenneth Cole sneakers

night two: drinks at the Baccarat Hotel

Michael Kors trench coat // Heather silk dress & more sizes here // Via Spiga pumps, similar here & here

day two: brunch in Midtown and drinks and boating in Central Park

Mate the Label “escape” tee, also love this one // GRLFRND denim shorts

night three: bar hopping in Midtown and the Upper West Side

star silk cami (obsessed!) // faux leather skirt, similar here

day four: brunch in SoHo and to the airport

Stateside striped tank // black leggings


outfits, STYLE

Fitting Room Find

While J. Crew has been one of my favorite stores for awhile now (it helps that they seem to always be having some sort of sale or promotion), I’ve been especially excited over what I’ve found there recently. So, I figured I’d share 🙂

As much as I rely on J. Crew for my basics (their tees are the best), I had yet to try any of their denim. Until yesterday. I’d actually been looking for a pair just like this – straight legged, cuffable, slightly distressed and cropped, classic blue wash – and found a designer pair nearly twice the price of these babies. So, obviously when I found them I swiped them right up. The fit is true to size, as well.

denim // boat neck striped tee (also purchased in the red & white stripe!)

*Tip: Use your college student or teacher ID for 15% off your entire purchase anytime 😉 And get an additional 30% off all sale items with code SHOPSALE


outfits, WELLNESS

The Art of Being Well-Rounded

lace romper: on sale! // star choker: similar here and here


There’s a seemingly harmless question we all tend to ask kids that drives me kind of crazy. “What do you want to be when you grow up?”. Yeah, I know, you’re thinking “Uhh what’s the big deal?” or “This builds motivation, insight, goal-setting!”, and yes I agree to some extent, but hear me out. Why does someone have to be just one thing for their entire life? Kind of boring actually.

The tendency to put our careers in a nice neat little box seems to extend to other areas of our life. Part of this is due to how we as humans process and categorize information (called schematic processing) and perhaps the other part is how society tends to want to keep things very black and white. We love labels. You’re either “girly”, a “tomboy”, a “bookworm”, a “fashionista”, but God forbid you’re all of the above!

Without realizing it, I’ve always kind of embraced a variety of labels. In high school, I got straight-As and read voraciously, but I was also a cheerleader, but also kind of a rebellious teen that loved to party (sorry Mom and Dad!). I loved animals, but I also loved hanging with the boys. I had friends from various cliques that were apparently never supposed to mix (high school is just SO serious).

College came and I had to choose one direct path with one career goal. I opted for psychology because I felt it didn’t totally put me in a box and instead gave me a lot of options and flexibility depending on what I chose to do with it. Then, I decided to become a psychotherapist. And as endlessly interesting as I found it to be, it also kind of stressed me out thinking that I had to be this specific label. And shocker, I was kind of miserable when I was doing it full-time. And I felt guilty for feeling miserable because aren’t you just supposed to have one big passion in life and commit yourself fully to that?

If you really do have one big passion and are totally fulfilled just doing that, good for you, seriously. But what if you have multiple passions and interests? It’s actually pretty unrealistic, given the fact that we change SO much throughout our developmental life stages, to think that people should commit to just one specific life path. And once I realized how unfair that expectation was, I felt relieved. And I decided to do it all. So, I volunteer with animals, I work in fashion part-time, I write this blog, and I still work as a licensed therapist. I wouldn’t feel half as fulfilled if I was doing only one of those things. In fact, I’d feel pretty gypped.

Life is about balance and I’m a big believer in being well-rounded. To me, it’s a bit more authentic and a hell of a lot more interesting. After all, we only have one life to live, so why spend it just doing or “being” one thing? You really can have and be it all. #lifegoals


mental health, outfits, WELLNESS

I Broke Up With Social Media & Here’s What Happened

palm print sweater: here (and obsessed!) // denim shorts: here (run big, size down)


In order to understand the breakup, you first need to understand my relationship with social media because it was a close/tight/committed/dependent one. Like, I could spend aaaaallllllll afternoon, evening and night mindlessly scrolling through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest (I really had all bases covered). It was the first thing I attended to in the morning and the last thing I spent doing at night. It made me late to work, skip skincare and makeup routines, forego scheduled gym sessions, miss out on quality time with friends and family, and my neck wrinkles real pronounced (spending hours with your chin tucked down is not exactly conducive to great posture and youthful looking skin). Couldn’t sleep in the middle of the night? No worries! I’d grab my phone and scroll through Instagram for two hours aka it was really messing with my sleep hygiene. My beloved books and magazines gathered dust on their shelves because why enrich my mind with worthwhile literature when I could check out the avocado toast my best friend’s sister’s college roommate was eating? It really was a pathetic relationship. Maybe the worst one I’ve ever had (and I’ve had some doozies!).


Obviously, it was time to breakup. I needed my freedom, hobbies, and health back. So I cut things off with social media on a random Monday night; I deleted my Twitter and Facebook apps and refused to even consider clicking on the cute little Instagram and Pinterest apps in my phone (Instagram and Pinterest are were my favorite of the bunch, making it harder to completely cut those out of my life). And here’s what happened:


Yes, I found the answer to finding more of that allusive “time” as in “ahh if only there was more time in the day!”. (Rearrange your priorities and tweak your schedule and I promise you’ll find it, too.) For instance, instead of spending the first 30 minutes of being awake laying in bed and checking up on what I could have possibly missed out on during the middle of night (hint: nothing), I get right out of bed and now have ample time to walk my dog, make breakfast and coffee, and put on some makeup. Shoot, I even have time to do my hair some mornings now. Even if you spend 5-10 minutes on social media here and there, it can really add up without realizing it, taking away chunks of time that could be spent doing something more relaxing, productive, fun, (actually) social, etc.


News articles, psychology journals, fashion magazines, fiction novels and self-help books – you name it, I’ve been reading it. Since I can remember, I’ve always been a voracious reader and consider it one of my very favorite hobbies (next to shopping, of course). Sadly, my obsessive relationship with social media took that away from me, BUT I’m proud to say I’m back to my bookworm ways.


When you don’t have your phone to use as a mindless distraction, you’re forced into the moment and therefore can be more present. Have you ever been out to lunch with someone who was on their phone the entire time, not really engaging in conversation or even bothering to look at you? I have, and it doesn’t feel great, but what does feel great is valuing the here and now, your relationships, and actual face time with people (or animals, whatevs 😉 ).


At work, at home, on the weekends, my productivity is on the rise. This obviously comes easier with more time found in the day, but I think once you start being a little productive, it’s easier to become more and more so. Ya know the whole “an object in motion stays in motion” thing totally applies here. So, instead of going back to sit on the couch to check every nook and cranny of my social media accounts after I’m done say, vacuuming, now, because I don’t have that option, I might go on to do laundry, cook a healthy meal, water the plants, go to the gym (okay, maybe not there quite yet, but you get the point). 


Sure, Facebook can be great at keeping up with your Great Aunt in Albuquerque, but does it really help foster connections with our loved ones? Since I gave it up, I’ve found myself using my phone more for what it’s original intended use was – actually calling or even texting someone directly to see how their vacation was, what their plans are for the weekend, and to share a bit of what’s going on in my life. I think depending on social media to keep us connected with others creates a false sense of being social, having a support system, and really knowing your friends and family. It only provides a snapshot and doesn’t take the place of having a fulfilling and direct conversation or visit with someone.


You know what happens when you stop comparing your body, sense of style, vacations, relationships, home, and how you’re spending your Friday night to everyone else? You start living for and doing things for you and give yourself a greater chance at really being content with who you are and where you’re at. Now, instead of feeling bad about why I’m not out to eat at the trendy sushi restaurant in the same cute outfit as my friend’s cousin is, I focus on myself and what I actually want to be wearing, feeling, and doing. And damn, it feels good to be selfish.


So after I didn’t go near any social media for quite some time, I started to give more thought into how I wanted to handle it all going forward. I realized this would require shifting my perspective and intentionally scheduling out times to use it if I wanted to, not just because I was in an out of control, habit with it. If I do have the desire to share a picture or scope out what everyone is up to, I set a purposeful intention for it, do it for a very limited amount of time, and be done with it. And you know what I’ve noticed? The less I do it, the less I want to or even think to. After all, who really stays that close to an ex after a breakup?


mental health, outfits, WELLNESS

Dealing With Stress & Grounding Yourself

crochet top: heredifferent color & more sizes // shorts: on sale heresimilar here

If you read my post on anxiety and either couldn’t totally relate or are looking for more coping skills that can be applied to everyday stress, this one’s for you. Today we’re talking all about grounding yourself and what I especially love about this technique is that pretty much anyone can use it and find it helpful. On the verge of a panic attack? Try grounding yourself. Constantly stressed over office politics? Ground yourself. Prepping for an interview? You guessed it – ground yourself!


When we’re anxious, stressed, panicked, etc., it often feels like we are having an out-of-body experience, being flooded by our emotions and thoughts, and generally just feel really overwhelmed and maybe even helpless. This makes reaching a logical, timely and effective solution almost impossible. This is when the idea of “grounding” comes in. It’s a technique to pull yourself back to Planet Earth, shut out the overwhelming thoughts and feelings, and get back to a place where you can effectively cope and deal with whatever it is that’s going on.


Just like mindful breathing, this grounding technique can be used anywhere and at anytime without bringing attention to yourself. This is because you can do it all in your head (although feel free to do it out loud if you find it more effective 😉 or if writing is your thing, feel free to jot it all down into your favorite notebook. Let’s begin:

  • If doing this in a sitting or standing position, make sure both feet are placed firmly on the ground. If you’re in a laying position, make sure you’re laying flat on your back with your arms placed gently by your side and legs out in front of you.
  • Take a couple of slow, deep breaths and start to take notice of your surroundings, keeping your five senses in mind.
  • Note five things you see around you. This could be the color of the walls, a pencil on the desk, a flower in bloom, etc.
  • Note four things you can touch. The texture of the chair you’re sitting on, the softness of the pillow you’re resting on, your hair, a hard surface, etc.
  • Note three things you can hear. I like to focus on nature if possible for this one: the wind blowing, birds chirping, waves crashing, but cars honking, the murmur of people talking, or a TV on in the background works too.
  • Note two things you can smell. Maybe it’s food, a candle or soap dish nearby, a pencil or how being outside (if applicable) smells.
  • Note one thing you can taste. What does the inside of your mouth taste like? Coffee? Gum? A sandwich from lunch?

And voila! Your flooding thoughts have hopefully dissipated, you’re feeling calmer and less triggered, and out of your head and therefore more in control.


Our emotions/feelings, thoughts, and behaviors are all directly linked. So, when our thoughts are running rampant and taking on an overall negative tone, our feelings follow suit. This technique stops this sort of cause-and-effect from happening, puts us (our logical, non-emotionally-reactive side) back in control, and therefore leads to healthier thought patterns and overall improved mood. In moments of anxiety or stress, it’s important to stay present in order to be able to stay focused on effectively coping with the situation at hand. By being grounded, you’re being present.


beauty, outfits, WELLNESS

Eczema: The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly

sweater: here & here // fedora: here // gold disc necklace: similar here & on sale!

You may be wondering how there is any good associated with eczema, and we’ll get to that, but first, the bad and the ugly. The bad is an insatiable itchiness, an aggravating tingly-ness, and feeling like I’m covered in needles with an overwhelming urge to crawl out of my skin. Fun, right? And the ugly is an awful, angry pink, red, and purple (sounds pretty, but I can assure you it’s not), rash that likes to appear all over my eyelids and down my nose, around my wrists and inside of my elbows, and smack dab in the middle of my thighs. Oh, and also all over my stomach. Pretty awesome, huh? And to make matters worse, it’s not just a bright, juicy rash, but a super dry and obviously flakey one. I do have photographic evidence of this, but it might traumatize you so much that you won’t dare come back to my blog, so I’ll spare you. Ha.

Now you’re probably really wondering where the good is in all of this grossness, and I promise we’ll get to that, but let’s talk about what eczema is. You’ve probably heard of it before – Kim Kardashian oddly seems to be an ambassador for it?, but maybe you’re not exactly sure what it is. Well it’s pretty simple actually and also frustratingly broad. Eczema is group of medical conditions that result in a skin rash. Yep, that’s it. A skin rash. Pretty frustrating when you consider how widespread the triggers and treatments for rashes really are. And bonus, it’s common to also have asthma and other allergies if you have eczema. And yes, I am one of the lucky ones to have all of the above. If you’d like to go further down the eczema rabbit hole, The National Eczma Association has a ton of interesting (and boring) information on their site.

And now, the good. Since being diagnosed with eczema after years of thinking I was maybe experiencing random bouts of heat rashes, but really having no idea what the f*ck was going on, I do know what’s going on now and it forces me to take damn good care of my skin. And here’s how I do just that:


Unfortunately, gone are the days of buying sickeningly sweet body lotions, cheap body sprays, and whatever-is-on-sale-at-the-drugstore face washes. Now, I’m forced to do a little more research into the products I’m buying to see how clean and natural the ingredients really are, if they’re fragrant-free and designed for sensitive skin, and if they are good quality. Interestingly enough, I have had horrible reactions with a Neutrogena face wash branded for sensitive skin, but have had great luck with higher quality products from Sephora and Nordstrom (go figure!). However, this doesn’t have to mean breaking the bank. Organic, cold-pressed oils like jojoba and rosehip have worked really well with my skin, are super affordable, and full of antioxidants, vitamins, and essential fatty acids.


Now before I blow half of my paycheck on fancy skincare and beauty products (shh, don’t tell my husband), I always try samples first. This is a good tip for anyone to ensure you like what you’re about to buy, but essential for someone who suffers from eczema or even just sensitive skin. Nordstrom and Sephora are great about giving you free samples of really any of their products, magazines are chock full of foundation and fragrance swatches, and most department stores will send you free, mini-products of your choice with a beauty purchase. When I go to my dermatologist, I grab two handfuls out of the sample skincare bowl. #noshame


Aside from crappy products waging war on my skin, wearing makeup for too long and not properly washing and moisturizing is a recipe for an eczema outbreak. Therefore, developing and actually following through on an AM and PM skincare routine is essential. For me, this involves a designated makeup remover, balancing face wash, hydrating toner, anti-aging eye cream, and all-in-one face moisturizer. Oh, and of course, sunscreen, because no one likes rashy and sunburnt skin.


If I sense an outbreak developing on my face, I have to forego makeup unless I want a full-fledged, weeks-long disaster on my hands. Knowing that I have to regularly go without makeup is great motivation for staying committed to my skincare routine and in turn, helps my makeup sit much better on my skin when I do wear it.


Although there really is no known cause for eczema, there is a connection with dehydrated and dry skin. So, I make sure I’m keeping dry skin away in two ways: chugging tons of water literally all day everyday and slathering lotion all over my body as soon as I get out of the shower every morning (tip: applying lotion while your skin is still wet helps really lock in the moisture).


We all know good health starts from within and skincare really is a practice in it. After all, our skin is our body’s largest organ (kinda weird to think about?), so it’s important to take extra good care of it. For me, this looks like daily walks with my dog, weekly yoga and occasional strength-training classes, as well as eating tons of veggies, lean proteins (I don’t touch red meat.), and healthy fats (avocados, coconut oil, nut butters, etc.). I do really notice a difference in my skin when I’m eating super healthy and conversely, notice almost immediate irritation and itchiness after eating a lot of junk (especially cheese, for some sad, sad reason).

Obviously, what works for me may not work for you and vice versa, because eczema, allergies, and skin sensitivities affect everyone differently, but I’m hoping my tips can be tailored to fit your needs. I’d also LOVE to hear how you take care of your skin and any experience with eczema you might have!


outfits, WELLNESS

How Not to Get Sucked into Shit Talking

“salty air” sweater: here // denim shorts: here // gold necklaces: here

We’ve all been there. You’re among friends or coworkers or family or maybe just one-on-one with someone who starts talking shit about someone you both know. Maybe the person of interest is a close friend or just a friendly acquaintance. The next thing you know, you’re nodding your head in agreement, adding in your own two cents of gossip and ill-will, and then, you leave the conversation feeling guiltyslimey, and maybe even like a total sucker. You might also feel like you had no control over the content of the conversation nor any power to change its course. BUT, you do have total control, at least in your part that is. We all know we can’t change others, but we can definitely change our own actions and words which will in turn indirectly kind of force the other person(s) to change as well. So, here are my tips on how to avoid getting sucked into shit talking when you really didn’t want to to begin with.


Humor is great for a lot of things. As a stress reliever, a coping skill, a constructive defense mechanism, and for deflecting topics you don’t want to engage in. Say the person you’re stuck in a conversation with starts to get gossipy about a mutual friend in a petty and why-does-this-matter kind of way, use a joke that’s slightly off topic to transition not only the content of the conversation, but the tone of it as well. This can convey the indirect message of “hey, let’s keep this lighthearted”.


This is when you practice complete selflessness and throw yourself under the bus. Say the person takes a jab at someone else and if you can relate to the victim (a little dramatic, but you get the point), respond with bringing it back to yourself. This might sound like “Oh, I can’t really talk because I’m guilty of (x) as well!”. Chances are, the person isn’t going to want to directly attack you (which is what they would essentially be doing if they now kept up with that same topic) and will drop it.


Unfortunately, people tend to prey on the weak (whether intentional or unintentional), so it should be fairly easy to utilize empathy when conversations turn to borderline bullying. Saying something like “I hear she’s going through a lot right now so I really feel for her” allies yourself with the victim instead of the shit talker and highlights that you’re choosing not to side with the gossip.


Nobody likes a bored and disengaged audience, so channel that. People, unless they lack complete awareness, are sensitive to the energy around them. If that energy is giving off a “I could care less about this topic” kind-of vibe, then chances are they will not feel reinforced or validated and drop it. Use closed-off body language (arms crossed, stepping back) and noncommittal responses (“hmm” or “oh really?” in a flat tone) to convey this. Note: this one is even easier if you’re in a group, simply sitting in silence or choosing not to pay attention can send a pretty powerful message sometimes.


When all else fails, gently confront the person for shit talking and state your stance on it. “I feel bad talking badly about her so let’s change the subject, k?” is all that it could take. This may evoke the most awkwardness of the tips, but I’d prefer awkwardness over guilt and pettiness any day. 😉

How do you handle a shit talker? Do tell!


outfits, STYLE

An Unlikely Pair: Sweaters & Shorts

cut-out sweater: here // denim shorts: here // crescent necklace: similar here

Living in Los Angeles, and really anywhere in Southern California, there’s a good chunk of the year where you can get away with rocking a seemingly unlikely combo: sweaters and shorts. I’m not sure why I love this look so much, but I do know it’s one I’ve gravitated towards since junior high. Back then, I paired it with over-sized skater shoes (glad some trends go) and a messy top knot (and glad some come back). Now, I’d create a dressy look with a cashmere sweater, silk shorts, and block heels or a casual look with a distressed sweater, cutoffs, and booties or slides.

To me, it’s kind of the perfect “cool girl” look – like you tried just enough, you’re showing some skin but are still covered up, and it looks pretty effortless. The key to making this look work is to make sure your sweater is just over-sized and chunky enough (we’re not going for super tight here) and that your shorts are long enough to show (no one wants to have to guess if you’re wearing pants or not), but still form-fitting to balance out the sweater. Also, wearing booties with shafts taller than ankle length have the potential to cut your legs off, when this look has the potential to make them look really long. Proportion accordingly!

How would you style this look?


mental health, outfits, WELLNESS

6 Tips on Managing Anxiety

chambray top: similar here & here // crochet shorts: here

While I can usually keep it together on the outside, sometimes anxiety and stress gets the best of me on the inside. For me, this feels like a constantly nagging, antsy feeling, paired with recurring thoughts about the most minute issues to the most depressing ones. It usually revolves around to-do lists and chores, self-reflection, and is rooted in the future, whether near or far. Fortunately, this used to be more of an issue for me than it is now, so I thought I’d share some of the tips and tricks I use. 


Labels are nothing new and unfortunately they’re not going anywhere, but you can at least try to avoid labeling yourself. Instead of thinking of yourself as an “anxious person” or someone who “has anxiety”, try thinking of anxiety as its own entity. Thinking or even saying out loud “Here’s anxiety again! What can I do to get rid of it?” gives you back the power and the mental clarity to tackle the issue logically and somewhat objectively.


Does anxiety tend to rear its ugly agitated head when you’re with a certain person, at your less-than-fulfilling job, or when you’re trying to fall asleep at night? It’s important to know its triggers so that you can determine if they can be eliminated or at least better managed. For me, quitting an emotionally draining job in a toxic environment was a life changer, and creating a relaxing bedtime routine can be just as helpful.


In psychology, this is referred to as “reality checking” and it’s a technique I use all of the time. Once you’ve identified where anxiety is coming from, ask yourself “Will this matter a year from now?”, “six months?”, “a week?”. Chances are you can say “No” to at least one of those questions and thus allow yourself to look at the issue realistically and for what it really is. Will it matter in six months from now if the laundry doesn’t get done today? I’m going to go with no, so let it go.


Sometimes life just really is stressful and full of obligations, responsibilities, and seemingly endless tasks. So don’t underestimate the power of lists and calendars. Seriously, who can keep deadlines and schedules and to-dos and dates all in their head? Get it out and write it all down. I schedule laundry and walking my dog into my calendar and constantly keep to-do, grocery, and packing lists in the Notes app of my phone. A little excessive? Maybe. Super helpful and mind-easing? Hell yeah.


Sometimes we just need a break and anxiety needs to be told to f*ck off. Challenge yourself to do this, because anxiety will try everything in its power to not let you. If I notice my stress levels spiking or anxiety creeping in and I’ve assessed that the issues will in fact not matter one way or another in a week, I treat myself. For me, this can mean getting a pedicure, watching guilty pressures on TV, reading a book, eating the biggest bag of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos I can find, cuddling with my dog, etc. This may seem oversimplified, but it’s actually pretty crucial. Here’s why: the more we flood our brain with anxious thoughts and experience regular levels of spiked cortisol (the stress hormone), the more it becomes our everyday norm. Conversely, if you force daily doses of relaxation, selfcare and positive thoughts into your routine and therefore your brain, this will be your normal and therefore easier to maintain.


Obviously, we’re all different: how we experience stress, what our triggers are, what’s helpful and what’s not. It can be pretty dang difficult to figure all of that out on your own…*enter* a mental health professional. This is a great resource for finding a therapist or even support group when life starts to become a little too unmanageable. I have no shame in saying that I’ve used personal therapy on and off for years…and I’ll even say I’m a better me because of it.

Do you guys want to hear more on anxiety? I’ve noticed it becoming a pretty widespread topic as people are opening up about it more and more. I could really go on and on about it (i.e. how stress and anxiety can look similar but are different, how to destress, the psychology behind it all), but realize it may not be as interesting to everyone else 😉



outfits, STYLE

Banana Leaf is the New Black

If there’s one print I can’t get enough of right now it’s banana leaf. I have it as wallpaper on my phone homescreen, as the pop of color in our living room, I recently bought a bikini in the print, own a 70s-inspired-Palm-Springs button-up in it, and have just added this darling little romper to my collection. So yeah, I guess you could say I’m a little obsessed.

I’m usually more of a neutral gal – my closet is shamelessly comprised of mostly black, white, grey, navy, and the occasional stripe, but I’m finding that banana leaf fits in quite nicely. Pair it with a black faux leather jacket and choker for a night out, or an oversized denim jacket and boater hat for the day and you’re good to go! And I must admit, it is nice to have some color in my wardrobe, and it makes me feel a little more cheery when I’m wearing it. There’s gotta be some psychology behind it… 😉