Thursday, December 31, 2015

Sensitive Skin Woes

Since I'm attempting to transform into a functional domestic diva, I have to make sure I see to both my needs and John's. John is just a damn mess. He can't eat wheat or milk, and has super sensitive skin. He is itchy all the time.

He switched from whatever body wash he was using to fragrance free soaps, and we switched laundry detergents as well. Right now he is using Dove Sensitive Skin Body Wash, which seems to be a lot better for his skin that Old Spice or whatever he was using before, but he is still very itchy.

We've also switched to Tide Free & Gentle Detergent for our laundry and that has made a noticeable improvement as well. These were suggestions given to us by his grandparents because his grandmother has a similar sensitive skin issue, so I guess it runs in the family. 

Diet probably has a bit to do with it as well. He tries to stay away from wheat and cow's milk as much as possible (it really is in everything, it's kind of insane). 

I just feel like there are better alternatives to Tide and Dove that might still be better for his skin. No offense to Tide and Dove, I adore you two. I am using Dove soap for myself as well right now. And don't get me wrong, they have made noticeable improvements to his skin in contrast to the other non-sensitive skin products he was previously using.  

He can't use anything with dyes or fragrance, so if you have similar sensitive skin issues, please let me know what you use! If he can find some detergent and body wash that will work for his skin he will be willing to dish out the money I'm sure. 

That being said, what are your new years plans?! I hope you all have a good transition into 2016!  

One more thing, if you follow me on Twitter or Facebook then you might've seen that I found my things from Two Krafty Chicks that got ignored/lost when I was moving my things to a different house back in May! A few of the stickers got a little damaged unfortunately, but to make up for my awfulness I went to Target yesterday and bought some things to add to the giveaway! Stay tuned!  

Monday, December 28, 2015

Article Archive & Christmas Update

Just thought I'd share the articles I've written for other websites since July. These websites include College Fashion, Every College Girl, and The Odyssey.

It would mean a lot to me if you would read, give feedback, share, etc. I love knowing people read my articles! 

College Fashion

Every College Girl 

The Odyssey

As you can hopefully tell I've been hard at work. My internship at College Fashion just ended so I have a little bit more free time. 

I got a makeup palette for Christmas that I want to write a quick review on at some point soon.

 I have a camera that takes passable pictures, but I cannot for the life of me decide if I want to spend my Christmas money on a new camera or on some other things I've had my eye on. It's not like I do super in-depth beauty reviews all the time so I don't need a crazy expensive camera. Oh, decisions. 

Christmas was kind of low key this year. John had some horrible tooth problems that were so bad he/I couldn't sleep. Apparently he grinds his teeth during the night and has caused some nerve damage that is unbearably painful, if I remember correctly? He didn't know what was going on and called his dentist the day after Christmas and they met in his office. Dentist did some grinding down on his teeth (ow). 

I don't remember all the details, but the bottom line: if you grind your teeth at night, get a mouth guard or you will want to fling yourself off a building eventually. 

But the food and wine was good. My mom's dog that we were dog-sitting was good. All around a good Christmas! 

How was your Christmas? 

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

That 70's Wishlist

I think I was born in the wrong decade. I'm seriously obsessed with the 1970's, fashion-wise and not. I don't know what it is. Maybe the effortlessness of it? Maybe Stevie Nicks had something to do with it?

I've had a major craving for some 70's swag lately, and I know it's a little late for Santa to get my list but I figured I'd put it out there anyway. 

I'll keep it short because I could go on for literally pages with this 70's wishlist. I love it, I really do. I'm glad John likes interesting pillows, because the 70's had some bangin pillow designs. 

What's your favorite fashion or decor decade, or just decade that's been catching your interest lately? 

Hope you all have a Merry Christmas! 

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Personalized Stationary

Hey hey! I'm taking a break from cleaning right now and it's absolutely freezing in my room right now. I have no idea why it's not warming up.

I'm not sure if I've mentioned it before, but I geek out over pens. Fountain pens in particular, though I don't own one of my own. I enjoy writing, and by writing I mean physical writing. I enjoy looking at people's handwriting, I like old script, I like writing by hand over typing (except when writing articles, writing by hand is just not practical since I edit so much).

I don't mean to be, but I'm kind of a bad family member in that I don't make phone calls just to say "hello" and all that stuff that good family members do. It's that that I don't care, I love my family! I don't have a phone, which is of course a problem. But I just don't think to do it. I prefer to write, but I don't really think to do that either!

I'm on the hunt for some personalized stationary to write thank you letters, happy birthday cards, hello notes, and all that jazz. I bought this set of 20 note cards from Papyrus last year and they've lasted me a while because I haven't thought to use them very much, but I plan on writing more notes and letters this year. Resolution maybe?

We have a Papyrus store here in Charleston so I might go browse. I like these.

Set of 16 notecards for $14.95 is not bad at all! I still think I'd prefer some monogrammed or personalized stationary though. I don't think Papyrus does that. They have some writing paper with single letters so I could get paper with a "G" on it, but the styles are very limited. 

These note cards are cute and simple but expensive. $20 for a set of 6. There isn't an option to customize them but the website (Sugar Paper) has a "custom" section of the website that doesn't show options - rather you give your name, email, and a message and I'm assuming they will email you and go from there. Since these non-customized cards are so expensive I'm not going to bother, but if they weren't so expensive I'd be all over it!

They are also pretty small - 4.25 x 5.5 inches

I've found a lot of the stationary I like has been around that size and I'd like some a little bigger, but if I can't find any then I'll at least try to get one with a blank back so I can write on the back if I need to. 

I think I prefer the non-obnoxious customization options like this one. My name on the bottom or just initials at the top would be enough. Nothing too huge. This is a serious consideration - $25 for a set of 20. The only thing I don't like is the size. You can tell by the picture comparison to the pen how small it is. These are from Curio Press on Etsy. 

Perhaps? I swear if I ever get married I'm going to take a year just to pick out invitations. These are from Modern Pink Paper on Etsy. The size of the notecards wouldn't be a problem if I didn't write so big, maybe I should start practicing my handwriting. These are $18 for a set of 10. 

No matter what I decide on, I'm 100% getting a wax seal stamp. Now I'm not sure if I should get one with my initials or one with a shark, because that's my House sigil I have decided. I have also decided that there is something wrong with me, heh. Really though, I'm getting one. This is from Back to Zero on Etsy. 

Well now you know all of my current stationary struggles. 

Let me know which stationary you like, or if you have any other stationary stores you'd like to suggest! 

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Baked Salmon & Asparagus (Gluten Free and Dairy Free!)

I've started attempting to cook and I'm going to start sharing recipes!

I usually cook at night so I don't normally have natural lighting on my side, so my picture may not be the best. And since I'm not used to blogging my recipes I have to start remembering to take pictures of the cooking process (this one only has 2, sorry!).

Also, John has a wheat and cow's milk allergy so most of my recipes will be gluten free and dairy free. His particular allergy isn't life threatening, it's more of an inconvenience and annoyance so we don't worry too much about butter (because butter makes everything amazing!) but if you are sticking to a dairy free diet you can always switch out regular butter for dairy free butter.

With the exception of this post, my intro to "Gracey is cooking?!" posts, I'm going to try not to write a novel before we get down to the recipe, because I know when I'm searching for a recipe I really am not interested at all in what is being said above it (sorry if I'm offending, I get angry when I'm hungry).

Umm what else...I've given thought to the Keto diet because of my epilepsy but I haven't had a chance to talk to my doctor about it yet. I'd like to give it a shot in combination with my medication if he thinks it's a good idea, and if that's the case then there will be some Keto recipes coming up!

Anyway, my recipe inspiration came from a few different salmon recipes I mashed together from Pinterest, but here is the main one.

I'm hesitant to put a prep time because it takes me AGES to prep because I still suck at everything, so I'm going to kind of take my prep time estimate what a normal person prep time would be.

Note: This was before it was cooked. I am a dingus and didn't take any after pictures because I got excited and ate it. I didn't even think about it because I'm not used to taking pictures of my food before I eat it. Sorry! I'll hopefully get better. 

Baked Salmon & Asparagus (Gluten Free and Dairy Free)

Prep time: 10 minutes 

Cook time: 25 minutes 


4 (6oz) skinless salmon fillets
1 lb asparagus
1 shallot, sliced into thin rings
4 cups spinach
1 lemon thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
Salt & black pepper
Thyme sprigs


1. Preheat oven to 400°F
2. Cut 4 sheets of aluminum foil about 14 inches long
3. Place 1 cup of spinach in the center of each sheet of foil *
4. Divide asparagus equally and place in the center length of foil (about 6-8 pieces per sheet) on top of spinach 
5. Thinly slice shallot into rings and scatter on top of the portions of asparagus
6. Mix together garlic and oil in a bowl, and drizzle 1 tsp over each group of asparagus and shallots. Season each group with salt and pepper. 
7. Rinse salmon and season the bottoms with salt and pepper, then lay each fillet over asparagus. 
8. Drizzle tops of salmon with 1 tsp olive oil and garlic mixture and season with salt and pepper. 
9. Place 2 thin lemon slices and 1 thyme sprig over tops of fillets 
10. Enclose the salmon in the foil by wrapping the sides inward and folding the tops and bottoms in. 
11. Place in single layer on baking sheet in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes. 

*I did not do this, but we had leftover spinach and I thought about it and when I brought it up with John after he said I totally should've done it. I'm 99% sure it would be delicious. 

Again, I'm sorry for the lack of "after" pictures, this one was taken before it was cooked. I got too excited and ate before I even thought about taking a picture. 

I think this is the perfect thing to make if you need to get yo green on. John is obsessed with this spinach and goat cheese stuffed meatloaf that I make, and even though I use way more spinach than the recipe calls for, we are left with a boatload of spinach that I have to find a use for. As I said earlier, I totally should've put a bed of spinach underneath the asparagus. 

He has discovered that he really likes spinach chips though, so I guess that solves that problem. 

Anyway, I need feedback on my recipe post formatting please! I'm horrible at giving directions so let me know if these are unclear, as I'm sure they are. I'll try to fix them if they are. 

Do you have a favorite way to eat salmon? I'm on the hunt for new salmon recipes! 

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

The Struggles of Being a Young Writer

The title is way more dramatic than this post, haha.

After taking my internship with College Fashion, I realized how much I enjoyed it so I started taking on a few more writing jobs. I'll be posting a collection of my posts soon in case you want to read any of them. Anyway, I got a little in over my head and between school and all of the deadlines so my personal blog got a little neglected. My internship with College Fashion ends at the end of this month (so sad!) so hopefully I'll have a little more time to devote to my baby.

Writing wasn't really something I ever imagined doing as a career, and I still don't see myself turning it into a career. I love doing it though. I get asked a lot why I don't want to be a writer when I "grow up", whatever the hell that means. If I had to depend on writing for my main source of income, I imagine I would end up hating it. As you can imagine, and know if you are a writer yourself, coming up with content (especially with deadlines) is stressful.

Sometimes you just have to force yourself to come up with something, kind of like writing a paper for one of your professors. Even if you know it's not your best work, it's ok, everyone has those kinds of days and moments no matter what industry you're in. But when you write, it's published online for everyone to read, forever. I will do this for my good pieces as well, but sometimes I go back and read my "fluff" articles and become displeased with myself. I feel a bit like a failure, even though I know everybody has those days.

Another slight annoyance is censorship. Writing for likes and shares over what I really want to talk about or what should be talked about, but that's partially why I have this blog! This is a huge problem for a lot of writers that actually do depend on getting published for money. In order to get hired, they need to write about what the newspaper/magazine/blog wants them to write about, not what they want to write about. Which is all part of the job of course. After a while your creativity just becomes stunted and you begin to hate something you once loved.

So the point of all that was just summing up why I don't want to write for a living, just to keep it as a hobby. I want to be able to stop whenever I'd like. And I've never tried writing fiction and I'm not sure if that would be my cup of tea, so I'm not even sure what that's like. Let me know if that's your thing though, I'm curious!

Talking to people at parties about it is fun though. They ask what I do and I'm in school but I'm not working so I say "I'm a writer I guess" in hopes that someone will reply "You guess, don't you know?" so that I'll have a new best friend, but nobody is worthy yet...le sigh.

To sum up the post:
1. I'm bad at balancing deadlines
2. Forcing content sometimes must be done but ends in disappointment
3. I don't want to write for a living because I will start to hate it
4. Censorship sucks
5. Nobody is worthy to be my new best friend yet

What have you all been up to lately? I have a lot of catching up to do, yeesh.

Saturday, October 17, 2015


Hello all! I hope everyone had a good week and a fun weekend so far. I survived the compressed school schedule (which means I already finished my first semester) and I start all new classes this coming Wednesday, yay! I'm only taking 2 this semester so hopefully I'll have more free time.

I've posted about my epilepsy before and I mentioned my medication, and I just started a new one. I did some research online and I've heard some horror stories about the side effects. I'm on a low dose right now so I haven't noticed any severe side effects. People say horrible things about weight loss and memory loss. Some call the model drug because it makes you space out and skinny. Carbonated beverages taste flat now is the only side effect I've noticed, which is weird and kind of a bummer. But I can live with that!

I'll probably do an update post on the medicine once I've been on it for a bit longer and my dose increases. People always share the horror stories but usually not the neutral ones. Topamax is the drug by the way, do tell me if you've had any experience with it. I've heard the nickname "Dopamax" because of how "doped up" you feel on it because the side effects can be so bad. We will see!

I've been daydreaming about ways to de-stress and what I would be doing (self-medicating, if you will) if I had the time or money.

Shop, of course. 

There are some things at Tiffany's that I've been eyeing and I'm still in the market for boots, liquid liner, and a laptop case. Just being able to go out and have a little shopping day is so relaxing. Even if it's just window shopping or trying on clothes (but of course I wouldn't mind getting those Tiffany's items!). 

Spa day

I desperately need my hair cut and colored, eyebrows waxed, and I wouldn't say no to a facial or a massage of some sort! It would be even better if I could do a mother/daughter spa day with my madre but that would be quite expensive. We could do a DIY spa day with facials and manicures though. I don't think we would trust each other to cut or color our hair, haha. 

Reading for fun

In between school and interning I haven't had time to do any "fun" reading. I could be doing that now to be honest, but I'm trying to catch up on life before the new semester starts. I freaking love this mug by the way. John makes me feel insane sometimes because I smell my books. I'm glad I'm not the only one! I think that is actually one of the reasons I prefer reading physical books rather than books on my iPad. I do have plenty of books on my iPad and and I do occasionally read on it, I'd just rather read a book with pages that I can touch (and smell). 

Date night

Quality time with the boyfriend is always fun, and much needed since we have both been so busy and stressed. He got a gift card for his birthday that is good for any restaurant owned by The Indigo Road (I think) so I suggested we go to the Cocktail Club. Neither of us have been but they are described as "an upscale lounge dedicated to the art of the craft cocktail. An extensive selection of house-made infusions, rare liquors, and farm-to-shaker beverages features fresh-squeezed juices and modern ingredients alongside a menu of light fare. The interior in the historic 1881 building has been cleverly crafted from reclaimed wood structures, fireplaces, original beams, and salvaged doors. The club’s rooftop terrace offers a more modern escape, with a custom garden that provides fresh garnishes for Charleston’s most creative couture cocktails". Sounds right up our alley! 

Chocolate covered strawberries

If chocolate covered strawberries can't can't relieve medicate me and relax my stress, I'm just doomed. Specifically dark chocolate covered strawberries. Oh lordy my mouth is watering just thinking about them. Sigh. Soon, hopefully! 

Anyway, that's how I would self-medicate (for stress and life in general, not for seizures) if I had the time/money. Date night is going to happen though when we both have time, so I am excited for that. 

How do ya'll self medicate your stress? 

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

The Problem is Bigger Than Shark Finning

Good morning everyone! I hope everyone has had a lovely few weeks lately. I'm finally on a break from school, praise that lawd. I can catch up on life now.

Before I get back to my fashion-y posts, I just wanted to share an issue that's important to me, and that is the rapid decline in shark populations lately. The issue that everyone seems to be focusing on is shark finning, which definitely is a problem, but shark finning is getting all of the publicity but it isn't the only problem and certainly not the biggest.

The demand for shark meat has gone up (even though shark fin demand has gone down), but the issue of shark fishing gets little to no attention. I'm trying to draw attention to that issue so that something can be done about it. You can read more about it here in an article with more detail I wrote for The Odyssey.

Brutal image, eh? Seriously though, spread the word, read up, there are plenty of articles and information online about what could happen if sharks do go extinct (and some species are at risk for that). 

And remember, #sharklivesmatter.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Melaleuca Renew Intensive Skin Therapy

Hello everyone! I'm a terrible blogger, I'm so sorry. I got another writing job writing for The Odyssey so watch out for my shameless plugs, I haven't had an article published yet but tomorrow or Tuesday the first one should be up.

But like I said last week, I'm going to review a moisturizer/lotion if been infatuated with lately. I have very dry skin and lately it has been getting worse, and none of my usual moisturizers are cutting it. I've run out of options (literally, I ran out of everything), and I found the Melaleuca Renew Intensive Skin Therapy sitting on my bathroom shelf.

I totally forgot about this! I bought it when I first got my tattoo and it did a wonderful job moisturizing and aiding the healing process. I planned on using this until I could get to the store and buy something new that would hopefully work. 

But I was pleasantly surprised. I applied it after I showered and washed my face, and I noticed my face was so smooth! All my rough and dry patches were almost gone. It has a faint scent which is a little annoying, but it's not too overpowering. 

I guess I never thought to use this because it's more of a body lotion than a face moisturizer; if you have acne prone or oily skin this may cause a breakout, but I haven't had one so far. 

I use it twice a day, once in the morning and once at night after I get out of the shower (or in the morning after I shower, whichever happens). 

So I do recommend buying a small bottle of this to try if you have super dry patches like I do. It's thick so I do worry about breakouts on other people but it just works so well for me! 

What is your favorite winter moisturizer? I'm of course always up for suggestions! 

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Thigh High Socks?

I hope everyone is having a good weekend so far! I know I said I have some posts planned for this coming week but I have to post this while the idea is fresh in my  head.

I'm wearing some over the knee/thigh high socks right now that I got from Target (I think). Maybe it was Urban Outfitters. I'm just chilling in my house studying right now and when I get up to get a drink or play with Samson they start to fall down almost immediately. They are super comfortable and I plan on wearing them with a dress or boots this coming fall.

BUT they keep falling down! They aren't tights and I am going to be wearing them with short-ish dresses and skirts so a garter belt isn't an option. They don't have that elastic band that some tights have. And even the tights I own that do have that elastic band fall down on me! I thought it was the size at first but seriously nothing seems to work, even when I've bought different sizes.

So, fashion tape? Hairspray? Share your secret, I need it!

Thank ya in advance!

Friday, September 18, 2015

Happy Friday! Again!

It's Friday again, woohoo! School is kicking my butt so far. But, I do have some posts planned for next week. I finally found a moisturizer that keeps my face nice and moisturized for winter that I'll be sharing. So be excited for that.

Have a good weekend! Stay classy! 

Do you have any fun weekend plans? 

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Color Crush: Plum

Good morning everyone! I hope everyone has had a lovely start to their week. I was browsing Pinterest the other day (avoiding studying), and I realized that I have a new color obsession: plum. My fall colors usually consist of black, grey, sometimes dark green or dark blue, boring, boring, boring. But I think I'm going to give in to my color crush and find some cute plum merch.

See what I mean? That scarf needs to be MINE. I'd rock some plum colored nail polish too, but I don't think I'm brave enough to try the lipstick. It looks fabulous but my lips are too dry to pull it off. Your chapped lips could be seen across the room if you're wearing dark lipstick. Exfoliating and moisturizing sometimes just doesn't cut it unfortunately. 

I'm all about a lace dress or scarf in this color though. Totally perfect for fall, and it will transfer seamlessly into the winter months as well. 

Just a side note, as I was writing this I realized I've never actually eaten a plum (I may have, actually. I just don't remember). But I'm intrigued now, it's just not something I think to get when I'm at the grocery store. Maybe I'll try to make a plum pie or a plum mojito or...barbecue plum sauce...I'm looking at you, Pinterest. 

So, what do you think? What is your favorite fall color right now? Also, feel free to leave any plum recipes you have. 

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Happy Saturday + September Lusts

This was supposed to be a "Happy Friday!" post but I didn't get around to posting it, so happy Saturday everyone! I hope ya'll had a good week.

It's restaurant week here in Charleston. I'm not sure if this is something that happens in other parts of the world, but it happens every year (September 9th-20th this year). Participating restaurants will create a special Restaurant Week menu which includes X amount of courses for X amount of dollars. The prices vary depend on the restaurant.

If you live in Charleston and you live under a rock and haven't heard of Restaurant Week, check out the menus here. John and I went to The Green Goat last night which has 3 courses for $25. That place is a hidden gem in West Ashley. West Ashley get a little shunned restaurant wise because all of the "good" restaurants are downtown, but there are some restaurants West Ash that are way better than downtown and cheaper.

I had:
Appetizer: Mac Balls (fried Newcastle macaroni and cheese balls drizzled with house made ranch)
Entree: Local Shrimp Scampi (onions, tomatoes, and herbs tossed with linguini in a garlic, lemon butter sauce),
Dessert: Peanut butter cup cheesecake that I haven't eaten yet. I also took John's dessert home with me because he has to avoid eating wheat, so I also have an Irish Carbomb Cake waiting for me in the fridge.
Those Mac Balls were so freaking good. 

Anyway, enough about Restaurant Week, I have created a Lust List for September because I have a couple of things that I am eying this month.

1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6

Fur vests (faux of course) and knee-high/over-the-knee boots have been on my radar these past few weeks. I'm also going to try to perfect winged eyeliner, god knows I need the practice. A white button down shirt under a faux fur vest, and some dark green skinnies with black knee-high boots and a clean cat eye might be my fall uniform. Add a scarf in there some days, too. 

Well that's all for today. If you are in Charleston or around the Charleston area, you should check out some Restaurant Week menus and see if anything catches your eye. I hope ya'll have a good weekend! 

What's on your September Lust List right now? 

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Quest for the Perfect Laptop Case

I'm currently on a search for a new laptop case/sleeve/tote, because the one I have now is about 2 or 3 inches too big. It is a pink Lacoste sleeve and very cute, so I'm sad that it isn't smaller. Right now I'm using John's, which I'm sure he's not too happy about and will be pleased when I get my own.

It's a PKG laptop sleeve - black and grey and nice and has nice soft lining on the inside.

Sorry for the awful picture, I'm in the library and it was taken on my iPad. It works well enough, I'd just like something with more pockets for chargers, credit cards, pencils and such.

Of course I'd really love to have a very stylish laptop tote bag, but they are generally more expensive and not so practical if you need to save space while you're traveling or something like that.

And I've had no luck with hard cases that you actually put on your laptop. All the ones I've used have left scratches and random ugly marks, and they also aren't too good for travel since they don't offer any real protection from water or dust. 

So I think a nice laptop sleeve will be best for me. Like I said, John wants his back and mine is too big. Having too big of a laptop sleeve doesn't sound like a big deal (and it isn't really), but if you've ever used one that's too big, you know how annoying it is. It slides around and feels like it's hitting everything because it's not stable. 

But after much searching I think I found one that I want to purchase. I can't find any reviews online which is kind of concerning, but I can always return it if it goes to shit after a week. I'm looking at the MochiThings Better Together 13 in. Laptop Pouch for $99, on sale for $85 right now. Perfect timing! 

It has extra pockets for chargers and headphones and whatnot, and it looks like it might be able to fit my iPad as well. It seems well padded and lined and has a handle. I think this might be the one. You know how when you're trying on wedding dresses and you just know when you found the right one? Me either, but the feeling is obviously probably similar. 

My birthday is next month, so hopefully someone will get the hint :P 

What's your favorite option for laptop protection/transportation? Leave me your suggestions!