Monday, December 30, 2019
2019 YEAR IN REVIEW

2019 YEAR IN REVIEW

IT'S ALMOST 2020 WHAT ON EARTH! SO much is about to happen, BUT before that, let's take a look back on the fantastic year that 2019 has been! A year of travel and adventure, 2019 was one of my best yet. Let's see shall we?
JANUARY
Started the year off strong going back to school pretty early on, the first week on January or something like that, quarter system probs... As always the weather was beautiful in Savannah, surprisingly warm, we enjoyed some beach days, park days, and plenty of bike rides. In addition to having a car in Savannah for the first time, I proceeded to get PLENTY of parking tickets... definitely not a highlight of the year...
As I do every year, I celebrated my BIRTHDAY! I turned 21 this year and had an ABSOLUTE BLAST! Winter quarter wound up being a party-full few months. So being 21 definitely had it's advantages.
FEBRUARY
February kicked off with midterms and me being busier than ever. Regardless of all the fun I was having, this quarter was a TOUGH one, lots of work, many long nights, and just doing my best to get the job done while...
Still not knowing how to say, "no" and doing MANY photoshoots and fun collaborations with friends. Which although I do love, man oh man was I BUSY! I did get a lot of good blog content out of it though hhaha... that's always a perk.
MARCH
The first bit of March we spent counting down the days until Kate and I flew abroad to ITALY for our spring break before we went to live in the south of France for spring quarter.
We went to Rome, Florence, and Venice!! We ate our weight in gnocchi and gelato and walked more than we ever expected, Rome tired us out for sure as did getting lost on literally every train we ever tried to take to get to our next destination. I loved every second.
Shortly after our Italy trip was LACOSTE!! We got settled, and fell in LOVE with our little medieval village in Provence. Taking drawing, fibers, and art history classes, I've never found more inspiration than when creating art in Lacoste.
APRIL
Still in France, we had our school trip to Paris! However I went a weekend early to stay with Saunders for a little bit! He had been living in Paris since September, and I wanted to be able to spend time with him as well as getting a sense of the local vibe.
Paris was BEAUTIFUL! I've never been anywhere like it. Every street, every alley, and every building was so stunning. I could spend some serious time in Paris. That trip flew by WAY too fast.
Our parents met us in Paris towards the end of my school trip and then we went to NICE! Although I'm not much of a tennis fan myself, seeing the French Open in Monte Carlo was one of the cooler things we've all done I think we can agree. After spending a few days in Nice/Monte Carlo with the fam, we rented a car and drove along the coast back to Lacoste where I got to show the whole family (minus my sister, emma, rip she broke her leg) my special home away from home, Lacoste.
MAY
In May, some friends and I went back to Nice to celebrate Sophie's 21st birthday! We had a GREAT time! Ate some incredible food (more gnocchi and gelato of course...) did lots of window shopping, and went to some crazy bars and clubs. Europeans really know how to party!
I continued to really soak up every moment I had left in Lacoste as it was coming to a close. My favorite part of my time spent in Lacoste was my travel portfolio class, we went to new villages almost every class. Fontaine de Vaucluse was easily my favorite place, it was incredibly magical.
This is one of my favorite film photos from my whole collection of Lacoste film, Liam took it right before I got on the bus to leave Lacoste for the last time. The view of the valley behind me was soooo beautiful and looking at it one last time I was trying to hold back tears, yet still so full of joy with my love for Lacoste. It was hard to leave, but I'm so grateful for my time spent there.
JUNE
After coming home from France I almost immediately got gum surgery, ew... but then I moved to Brooklyn! Where I'd be working an internship in New York all summer at Flagpole! I loved Brooklyn, I lived with my two friends Rachele and Gui, we had the best time together. I miss them so much!!
JULY
Still working hard at my internship, July was FULL of fun! I experienced Fourth of July in Brooklyn, we watched the fireworks from the perfect spot on top of a hill in DUMBO! Which was SO much fun.
I also went to my first Pride parade! Which was crazy because it was actually WORLD PRIDE! We had SO much fun, the parade was amazing and the whole day was so full of love and joy!
But in true Olivia form, I had a minor meltdown and had to escape New York for a little bit. Surprising my family, I came home for the weekend to get back to nature and slow things down for a bit. It was so nice to be able to get away from the hustle and bustle of the big city, I really needed that refresher.
AUGUST
In August I wrapped up my internship and said goodbye to New York. I wanted to stay longer, but there was this whole thing with our apartment and we couldn't stay... That sounds sus but I promise it was just the Airbnb lease ending. I will really miss New York. I'm not sure what my plans are after school, but I'm sure I'll wind up there at some point and I cannot wait.
SEPTEMBER
Time to head back to school! Ready to start my senior year! But wait... what's this?? Another HURRICANE?! For the citywide evacuation some friends and I fled to my roommate Ana's grandparents house in Highlands, North Carolina for almost a week! We had so much fun, did some hiking, did some swimming under waterfalls, and even visited Asheville and my old camp, Camp Merrie-Woode! It was the perfect prequarter vacation!
But then of course, school had to start at some point! So a week or so later, we were back in Savannah ready to start our SENIOR YEAR! And boy oh boy has it been a lot... Only one quarter in and so far fall quarter was the hardest, yet most fun yet! I'm looking forward to continuing it in a matter of DAYS! But NOT ready for it to finish! Yikes!!
OCTOBER
Not much to say for October besides Halloween, which of course was fun, but WOW this month was just stacked with so much endless work and also the month from hell for my skin. Finally getting fully allergy tested, and to find out what? Not much honestly... This year has been very tough on my super sensitive skin. Hopefully soon I'll have answers!!
NOVEMBER
In November I headed home after the tough quarter and got to experience fall for a split second before going to New Orleans with our family for Thanksgiving! New Orleans was so so much fun, part of my dad's side of the family lives there. We had an absolute blast! We stayed in the Bywater neighborhood, it was colorful and full of so much life! We were only there for a week which simply was NOT enough! Hoping to make it a tradition for future Thanksgivings!
DECEMBER 
Again, for more quarter system probs, once I'm home for Thanksgiving I basically just stay home until the new year. So what a better way to fill my time than to get a job! I started work at Paper Source in the beginning of December for their holiday season and just finished up as I'm heading back to Savannah for the new year! It was fun! Despite the sore feet and back... it was fun!!
Besides work, I spent lots of time with family for the holidays which obviously was great as always! We did plenty of festive things from parties to seeing holidays lights! One of the best years with the family for sure...
Overall this year was spectacular! I'm SO looking forward to next year! I don't want to look too forward to next year in this post because I WILL be coming back in a few days with a post all about resolutions and looking forward and such. So thanks for looking back with me, com back soon to look forward!! Thank you all for a great year, see you next year ;-)  xo, O <3
Monday, December 16, 2019
MAKE IT SPARKLE

MAKE IT SPARKLE

Only 8 days until Christmas... yeah. Wait, what? Who knows, not me. I totally thought that over break I was going to have all the time in the world to get back on my blog game, actually finish the book I'm reading, do some sketching, totally clean out and reorganize my room, and you know, just get my life together all while ~*relaxing*~ but what ended up happening? I got a job, I film a new video basically everyday that brings far more stress to me than I had imagined, I have to help around the house, I'm hardly sleeping. How much of my book have a read? Practically none. How much of my room have I organized, oh, absolutely none. So Christmas is basically tomorrow and I still have zero gifts, waiting on that first paycheck, wahoowa, and have done nothing festive.

So here we are, it's New Years and I'm bringing you my first holiday look post. I wanted to do this a whole lot better, but life just got in the way. Curse you, life... Anyway, as always, I'm freaking obsessed with this dress, it's the light of my life, if I could wear one dress for the rest of my life and then promptly die in it it'd be this one yadda yadda yadda...
Saunders and I went to Quirk yesterday to take these photos and I simply got off of work too late and spent too long getting ready that we had lost all the natural light coming through the windows and had to make do with the weird lighting of the Quirk Hotel at a just barely 4:50pm sunset. I obviously wanted to shoot here because it's always been SO festive in the past (1, 2, 3) but for some reason this year there just weren't as many decorations. And on top of that we eventually got kindly kicked out unless we wanted to pay a photoshoot fee... that's new. But nonetheless we got what we needed, you've seen the dress, my new haircut has surfaced the face of the blog, and we've gotten at least ONE holiday shoot under our belts, so I'm as satisfied as I can be. I'll be back... I promise... but for now, SLEEP. xo, O

Monday, December 9, 2019
ETHICAL HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE

ETHICAL HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE

Hello! As I'm sure we are all WELL aware by the ever present Frank Sinatra and Mariah Carey music blaring everywhere you go and unavoidable giant blowup Minions in Santa hats: it's Christmas time. Which means, it's GIFT TIME!

I'm a gift giver at heart, I practically came out of the womb with goodie bags for all the nurses, it's in my DNA, gift giving is my love language, number one, no doubt about it. BUT!!!! In a world where waste and over consumption is SUCH an issue, we NEED to be shopping ethically, we must keep our environment in mind when shopping for gifts this holiday season...

AND THUS WE HAVE THE ANNUAL ETHICAL HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE! HOORAY! 

All brands are ethical, sustainable and do their best to give back to the community and environment, so I won't be discussing that explicitly for each brand. All brands are made in the USA unless stated otherwise. 
Let's start with fashion and beauty, my personal favorite category! So I realize nothing is numbered to be quite honest I just didn't like how they looked, so I am going to do my best to explain things to you, from left to right and in rows. You'll get it, I have faith in you. 

Outdoor Voices- I absolutely LOVE Outdoor Voices, do I own anything of theirs? No. Do I still love them with a burning passion? Absolutely. They're known for their sets, BUT this past quarter they released a collection of fleeces and oh man do I want to get my hands on one. They look so soft and durable. 

Girlfriend Collective- Workout wear made from... water bottles? WHAT?! That's right, they do that.  Something that makes my heart do a little jig for GFC is that they are 100% size inclusive. They are an activewear brand that shoves fatphobic standards back up your nose and says, "why yes, everyone CAN be active AND look cute while doing it AND while being sustainable!" They bring color to workout gear which I ALWAYS have a hard time finding, out with the black and grey LuluLemon, in with positive vibes, sustainability and COLOR! 

Dazey LA- I talk about Dazey LA a lot on here, I have a few of their zero waste, handmade, high quality clothes and am in love. Dazey has since branched out and included a much more wide array of slow made slow fashion products to their collection that include other handmade female makers. In love. The photo in the center is Dani (creator, designer, founder) and some of her other pieces. 

Daisy Natives- Similar to Dazey, Daisy Natives is female owned and operated making clothes for women that are made to EMPOWER! Everything has a positive message on it, encouraging people to live life to the fullest and simply be happy! How can you not be happy when wearing something ohhh so sustainable?! Looking for something a little cheaper? A stocking stuffer perhaps? Daisy Natives has PLENTY of other goods like mugs, keychains and STICKERS! Which are featured scattered above.

100 Percent Pure- For someone with sensitive skin AND a deep love for the environment, it can be tough finding makeup that is both ethical and natural. 100 Percent Pure has GOT IT! Seriously, this company is amazing. They have all natural things in all categories, skincare, makeup, haircare, you name it! The perfect stocking stuffer. 

Fair Trade Winds- FTW has a two things on my guide this year! I've mentioned them in the past and seriously LOVE THEIR COMPANY! All of their products, their mission, how they give back, it's truly amazing. The rainbow earrings and embroidered clutch I am OBSESSED with. Not only do they complement each other so well, but they are fantastic statement pieces on their own. FTW is so spectacular in that all of their gifts are made from recycled products, and made ethically by hands that care, and they give back to so many causes, whether it be to stop human trafficking, empowering women, or simply giving back to people in need, their product cycle is fully transparent and you can really rely on FTW for a ethical gift. Feel good giving a gift from Fair Trade Winds.  

Sydney Prusso- Sydney is actually a good friend of mine, she does the most AMAZING typography and graphic design which she recently brought into full fruition by creating her own clothing line! Each design is created by Sydney and every garment made to order in the US. How cool is that?! How cool is she!!!?? She reminds me a lot of Dazey and Daisy, female owned and operated companies giving back to women and empowering those around them. Show some support for Sydney and give her a follow on Insta and be sure to support small artists this holiday season! 

The Classic Tee Company-  Something that is SO important when creating an ethical wardrobe? Staples. You need those garments that you can wear over and over and over again while still being stylish. The Classic Tee Company is exactly that. They are made in the US and also have a totally transparent product cycle. They value their employees from cotton farmers to seamstresses to social media managers very highly and it's in their core values to make sure everyone is payed well, and work in a comfortable ethical environment, just like their shirts! I actually have one (pictured above) and it's seriously the SOFTEST tee I own. So versatile too for someone like me who wears a lot of color and patterns, it's a nice way to level out any fun fit. 

Made Trade- Lastly, Made Trade. I LOVE Made Trade, all of their goods are very high quality, vegan, fair trade and just so dang cute. They have all sorts of things from accessories, clothes, right down to boots and even furniture. Their leather goods are sourced ethically and are vegan. What's not to love?!
On to home and lifestyle shall we??! Why yes, yes please. (again working from left to right)

Package Free- I'm a biiiiiiiig big fan of Package Free. I discovered their store for the first time this summer in Brooklyn when I began my journey on being (somewhat) waste free, at least package free! With the products I got at PF I was able to ditch most all my single use waste, no more plastic utensils, straws, paper towels, sponges, literally any household good you can think of they have. And more! They even have things like vibrators and lube, everything in your life can be package/waste free people!! Literally everything. Something that I love that they offer are starter kits, these make the best gifts.

Intrepid + G Adventures- In my quest to become more consumption conscious and just minimal in general I've begun to appreciate experiences as a gift WAY more. Both of these companies, Intrepid and G Adventures take people on group trips to see the world in a more conscious, sustainable way. They are totally ethical and see things that the average tourist might not in that they go out of their way to give back while still traveling the world! They have all sorts of trips from backpacking in Europe to tasting some of Asia's best foods. Seriously a GREAT gift to check out, and the prices are right!

New Creation-  This brand has all sorts of things from clothing, to kitchen, to home. All their products are ethically made and the best part? Their primary mission is to give back to those in need fighting against human trafficking. They raise awareness and money for this good cause helping the woman affected. Something really important to look into! Plus with them having such a wide variety of things, you could shop for the whole family here!

Oui Fresh- One of my long time loves, A Beautiful Mess's brand, Oui Fresh offers lots of sustainable natural beauty products in addition to essential oils that they handpick and make themselves. A Beautiful Mess was the first blog I ever followed before getting started on one of my own, so obviously the customer loyalty is strong here, but I'm speaking from a totally unbiased perspective when I say their products are GREAT!!

Bite- So I haven't tried Bite yet, but OH MY GOSH I SO WANT TO! It was love at first Instagram ad, and then of course once I clicked on it, literally every other ad was Bite so it's pretty much a part of me at this point... Bite is a waste free TOOTHPASTE! Yeah that's right, toothpaste tablets! It totally eliminates the non-compostable plastic toothpaste tube and waste of remaining unsqueezable paste at the bottom of the tube. For sure worth trying. I'm really looking forward to trying it, just finishing up my last tube first!

Wordery- Since this summer I've been really getting into reading. I actually just learned how to,  pretty excited about it! Just kidding... But I am excited about Wordery! It's a sustainable online bookstore that is committed to giving back and helping kids learn how to read! How COOL is that?! They donate to many charities and other good causes. Especially with so many local booksellers going out of business it's important to support the little guys where we can! Wordery is awesome!

***

Okay folks! That's just about it for the ethical gift guide this year, I hope you found some of this useful and will do some of your shopping on these sites!! Happy holidays and happy shopping!! <3
xo, O
Saturday, December 7, 2019
MAKE IT SIMPLE

MAKE IT SIMPLE

Hey! How long has it been? Eighteen years? Something like that, yeah. So I realize this is kind of my thing, leaving my blog for a while and then coming back with some ~*deep*~ post about being in a transitional time in my life, full of stress, work, and me just being busy, busy, BUSY! I don't want to come on here now, after all this time and rant to you, again like I always do. I mean... It's not not true, I am very busy and stressed, but I just want to welcome myself back in.
Well... Welcome myself back in with the full knowledge for you all that I most likely won't be sticking around. You see, back when I was in high school blogging was a lot easier, I had motivation to succeed in a world where the expectations for me to succeed professionally were much lower than they are now. So I feel like I must always have high, high quality content and something very insightful to say, otherwise what's the point? Do you remember my Four Word Thursday segment I used to do? It was when I literally had NOTHING to say and would just say four words and that was somehow enough. What? Can't relate. This was a legitimate blogpost I was proud of, what!? A much simpler time clearly.
Why can't now be a just as simple? In a world where everyone craves to be famous, wants to go viral overnight and just has to have it alllll, why can't we just all share our content without expectations of being the best. I still do full on photoshoots, I still have rich, valuable things to say just as much as I have random tidbits and little happenings I want to share. Life doesn't always have to be a reach for success, it can just be life. I talk so much about trying to be my best and do more, more, more, but why don't we recognize those moments when all we really can bare to do is put in the absolute least amount of effort and have that be rewarded too? All I'm saying is, I want to be more casual, WAY more casual around here, and on Instagram and YouTube too. Not making any commitment to posting or giving you any false promises, simply stating that I hope to see you around here more often, and expect minimal effort, expect real life, and real problems, and real tiny victories because that's life. So here's to that? Cheers.
Xo, O