I am turning 25 years old this year, so naturally I am starting to have thoughts about what 25 year olds do. Do they host dinner parties? Wear heels everyday? Always have their nails done??? I keep thinking back to when I was younger and thought that 25 years old was, well, old. LOL. Now, that I am approaching 25, I can say with confidence that it will be vastly different and far less glamorous than what I had imagined with my 12 year old mind. But, one little grown up touch I’ll be taking into 25 is sending thank you cards. 

Back in the day, my mom used to always make me and my siblings write thank you cards to our friends and family after birthdays and holidays. We would literally put them into the mail. Seems so novel now in this digital age, but it’s still the polite thing to do. And it’s so cool to be on the receiving end of a piece of mail from someone you actually know. 
I’ve teamed up with Basic Invite to showcase how I’ll be walking into 25 years old with a little extra touch of classiness mixed with gratitude. When I was in high school reading OG preppy blogs, I thought having stationary and a monogram was peak adulthood. I also thought it was super hard to get personalized paper goods. But in working with Basic Invite, I now know it’s incredibly simple. While I need to put more thought into the design of my monogram, I landed on some personalized thank you cards to fill that made-for-me-paper-goods void. 

The user interface of Basic Invite is intuitive and easy to use, which is key for me in a website where I can play around with designs. There are over 180 different color options and you can customize every little detail on cards, down to the pollen in the flowers, to get the look that is truly yours. You can also order samples of your customized cards before doing a full order to make sure you love them before committing. 
I ordered 5 different samples and, wow, they are so stinking cute! I got one card with a raised foil detail and, look, she is fancy! I tend to like understated, high contrast designs, but I’m 100% here for the flash of the raised foil. I also, of course, got the Chicago design. I’m pretty sure Chicago was the city they had as a featured design, so as a proud Chicagoan, I had to get it. This thank you card is actually a wedding thank you card, but who has to know? Yes, exactly, just you. 

If you’re interested in upping your thank you card game, Basic Invite is offering 15% off with code 15FF51. Happy thanking, friends!

*Disclaimer: This post is in paid partnership with Basic Invite. All opinions shared in this post are my own.*
Last Wednesday of January! Woo! Wednesday Reset writing prompt below:
  • ️Write about the three best moments you had this month. You can pick the length of the moment, so could be a full day or a full minute.
  • Read over what you wrote, then identify commonalities between the moments.
  • This will be the prompt at the end of every month. Over time, you’ll be able to see a link between your best moments, then work to put yourself in more situations to be your best ️:)

I have cried over one man who did not deserve my tears. I have cried over one man who did. 

It is literally 6am. I’ve been awake since 5:16am, fumbling to get back to sleep. I’ve decided to take my own advice from my upcoming Instagram post that features the writing prompt, “Just breathe. Just write.” So, here we are, 6am, breathing and writing.

I never really talk about dating publicly, or really, outside of my very tight knit circle of close friends. I do think it falls into the category of what is broadly considered private life, but the lines between public and private have been smudged quite seriously with the rise of the ultra-open-door, I’m-just-like-your-best-friend social media influencers. Anyway, given some recent events, my mind is taking me towards a free write about dating and the ego.

I think of the ego as one’s sense of self and how we differentiate ourselves from other people and objects in the world. You are you, I am I. I also think of the ego as a mechanism of protection. The ego keeps us from putting ourselves in situations that will destabilize our sense of self because with a destabilization of self, the world will surely end. 

Enter: Dating.

The process of “trying to get to know someone” and you “letting your guard down” to either end up in a state of blissful partnership or wondering why you ever responded to that DM in the first place. For a long time, I thought dating only ended in one of those two ways: great or worst decision ever (each bad dating experience becomes the new worst, naturally). Now, I see a third option: it is not the best and not the worst, but just an event that happened; maybe something was learned, but maybe not.

Our ego serves to mediate our sense of reality, keep us safe, let’s our subconscious fears, hopes, and aspirations bubble up and “help” us in our conscious minds make decisions. I really began to ponder the ego while in yoga teacher training because it is the same mechanism that makes your voice shake while teaching a yoga class. It’s the thing that tells you it’s time to return to your mat in the back of the room and that maybe you’re not good enough to be an instructor. It’s the thing that keeps you from trying to do a handstand in class for fear of embarrassment. It’s the thing that keeps you from *trying* at all. It’s trying to protect you!! How can it protect you when you decide that it’s okay to maybe make a fool of yourself in front of 30 strangers? In short, the ego is a big, scary beast to tame, mostly because we are not conscious of it all. 

When I was younger (lol, I’m only 24, but bear with me) in college, I made lots of decisions in relation to dating and boys (they were men, but...iykyk) with my ego. I needed to run the show, they were lucky to be with me, I was everything they could have ever asked for. Beauty? Check. Brains? Double check. Booty? Triple check (I kid). Seriously, what more could they be looking for? I was the full package. 

I will never knock a healthy sense of confidence, but I can now distinguish between confidence and self-centeredness. The self-centeredness is the narrative of “I am everything they could ever want.” Of course, that narrative coursed through my mind without actually ever asking, err, what they wanted. I always tell men that I’m not crazy, but, boy, looking back, I was crazy. 

My ego said I had everything and more. So, the actual act of navigating men and dating and feelings was tumultuous. It meant that when I encountered men who did not think I was everything and more, it was destabilizing. It is this sense of exceptionalism that can prove to be soul crushing. If you live your life thinking, “I’m different, he would never treat me the way he treated shorty over there.” So, then, when he does, you have to come face to face with the possibility that you and shorty over there might have more in common than you have ever wanted to truly consider. Talk about shaking the table. Talk about coming face to face with who you really are. It’s a big, break the earth in half task. 

We have to make a project out of continuously and consciously knocking ourselves from the center of the world as we see it, otherwise we will live in a constant churn of hurt, instability, and identity crises. This is turning your best friend’s cooing of, “this is not about you” after the next break up into something that actually means something to you. She is always there to help you reframe the narrative so that the experience does not break you. Internalize that sort of talk and see how your world view shifts.

So, when I saw a recent fling crumbling right in front of me, seemingly out of nowhere, I was surprised that I was not more shaken. I have a sense of how much I’ve grown, particularly post yoga teacher training, but it’s not until I get into these tough moments that I actually get to answer the what-would-you-do-if questions. 

What would you do if he ignored you for two days?
Three years ago: I can’t believe he’s ignoring me. I am that b*tch! *anxiety*
Now: Maybe he’s still processing his own thoughts or just isn’t interested in talking to me. Whatever the reason, it’s his reason and not mine to wonder or be anxious about. He will reach out when he is ready, or not at all. Either way, I am fine.

Let me tell you, three years ago, I would not have even reached out to a man who seemingly decided I had done something so terrible I should be ignored. I would not have reached out for fear of rejection, for fear of him telling me who I was, what I did, how I ruined things. Now, I have a fuller sense of self. I am able to better distinguish between projection and truth. Every confrontation with a man is not an indictment of who I am. 

This latest relationship fail feels like a karmic test. An opportunity for me to revisit something that I did not handle so well in the past and see if I’ve really grown. And, let me tell you: nothing feels better than growth, real freaking growth, where you begin to live in alignment with who you are *and* who you want to be. I think I am currently passing this test. I think the test is still ongoing, like is dude gonna hit me up or nah? Though, I also think this blog post could be the nail in the coffin that ends the relationship for good. But here’s what I know: he won’t be getting any tears from me. And, that, is liberating. 
Grab your journals, people! Write about the last time you felt grounded. Like, truly grounded. So stable and at peace that if a tornado came by, you would’ve remained unmoved. Where were you? Who were you with? Were you alone? What did it smell like? What did the light look like? What did the earth beneath you feel like? What else do you remember?

Rip that page out, slip into that little pocket in your purse, backpack, or whatever. Pull it out when the world seems like it’s spinning. Take a breath and take yourself back to that moment. Stillness is only a breath away.

It’s taken me so long to sit down and get things together for this new year. I felt like I needed a break from work and social media, so a break, I took. 

When I was in Maryland for the holidays, my sister played David Foster Wallace’s commencement speech “This is Water” for me and my dad, and if you have not heard it, I highly recommend you listen to it. It’s not groundbreaking, but it captures something that has been on my mind for a year or so at this point. An amazingly dumbed down version of his speech is that we must decenter ourselves in our own narratives of the world to open ourselves up to live in a less frustrating reality. Basically, we can control how we think.

I’ve gotten really into the idea and practice of living from a place of gratitude, which I think plays well with Wallace’s idea of decentering one’s self. I don’t have some big-aha to share at the moment, but Wallace’s speech just got me thinking about how much control we really do have over our lives. We have a great amount of control because we are always making a choice about what to think. Of course, we must be living consciously to understand that that choice exists, but that is really a topic for another time.

In reflecting on 2019 and looking forward to 2020, my main focus is on becoming the person I want to be. So, I’ve landed on alignment and development as my focal intentions for 2020. An ongoing project of mine is to make sure that what I do aligns with how I think. In thinking about development, I was recently promoted at my day job (woo!) and need to take some time to gain new skills and further grow existing skills. I’ve also got my eyes on two yoga teacher trainings to continue to grow in that space, as well. For alignment and development to work for me, I have to create a reality in which they work. A reality that fosters trying, failing, and positivity. 

I’ve broken down these lofty intentions of alignment and development into some smaller, more concrete intentions to help me actually move in the right direction. Check them out below:

Spend more time with friends. In a conversation about love and partnership with James Baldwin, Nikki Giovanni said, “You come home and I catch hell because I love you. I get the least of you. I get the very minimum.” If I go to work everyday and show up as my best self, I should do the same for the people I actually, factually love and adore.

Create more. I love writing, blogging, and creating content. I’ll be redirecting time and energy to create more this year. 

Continue to eat plant forward meals and cook more! This one is simply because I feel better when I eat home-cooked, plant filled meals. Maybe I’ll even transition back to veganism???

Put myself in more situations and communities to become a better yoga teacher. A big part of teaching is being a student. I need to take more classes, read more books, take more time to plan my classes, and potentially take another training or two. 

Learn a new technology-related skill. There were some plot twists with my day job, but I’m going to try to embrace the change. I’m going to focus on cloud related trainings, as well as agile project management trainings.

Curate seasonal capsule wardrobes. I have done a pretty amazing job at paring down my wardrobe, but I know I can do more. I’ll begin documenting that process here and on my YouTube channel within the next month. 

Take Spanish lessons! This is just a fun one.

Get back into HIIT workouts and/or competitive sports. I spent most of 2019 building healthy habits around exercise and fueling my body without much focus on performance. I’m definitely interested in kicking up my training a notch and maybe joining a sports team. 

This list is not extensive; I'm sure more will come to mind as this month progresses, but I know that these are areas I definitely want to focus on in 2020. You can keep up with my daily musings on Instagram @realstephaniegreene.



It is the most wonderful time of the year! The time of holiday cheer, family, food, and, of course, gifts! I am kicking off my gift guides this year with one for skincare and beauty featuring some of my faves and some crowd pleasers, as well.

1. Summer Fridays Merry & Brighter Set ($64): This set features three of Summer Fridays best selling sets. The Jet Lag mask is a personal favorite of mine and very popular with the people. It's incredibly hydrating for the cold winter months.

2. The Body Shop Japanese Matcha Pollution Clearing Mask ($28): This is probably my favorite wash-off face mask of all time. It gently exfoliates and has a calming fragrance, thanks to the matcha, making it the perfect sleepy time mask.

3. Drunk Elephant Protini Polypeptide Moisturizer ($68): I got a sample of this during my birthday month at Sephora and it is so good! This moisturizer targets firmness, tone, and texture. With it being on the pricier side, I'd only gift this if I knew the recipient wanted it.

4. The Body Shop Facial Massager ($8): Coming in at $8, this is a good one to bundle with a couple other items. I love a good face massage after a day's work because I hold tension in my jaw. You could also do a jade or rose quartz roller if you're feeling fancy.

5. Shea Moisture Manuka Honey Hair Mask ($14): This stuff is the truth. It revives my hair to peak hydration after I take down protective styles. And it leaves my hair smelling so good!

6. Foreo LUNA Mini 2 ($139): So, I do not have one of these puppies because they're expensive af. But I know people love them for the cleansing power. It's made of silicone which is pretty resistant to bacteria, so that is a plus too when thinking about the longevity of the product.

7. Fenty Beauty Mini Body Lava ($24): We could all use some extra sparkle at the holiday parties.

8. Fresh Sugar Lip Legend Set ($48): I'm a die hard Burt's Bees fan, but I'd be willing to give these Fresh lippies a try. They lightly tint and hydrate, which is key for Chicago winters.

9. Herbivore Jewel Box Mini Facial Oil + Serum Set ($58): The bakuchiol serum in this set is one of the best skincare purchases I've made this year. It's basically a natural alternative to retinol and has similar smoothing effects on the skin.

10. Glossier Boy Brow ($16): I am not much of a beauty gal, but I figured I could safely throw this cult classic into the mix. This is what you need for that fluffy, yet defined brow look.

11. The Body Shop Aqua Eye Mask ($8): If you are a puffy eyed queen like me, then this is a good accessory to have on hand. I leave it in the refrigerator to chill it, then put it on my eyes in the morning to de-puff a bit. Another great item at a lower price point to bundle.

Keep you eyes peeled for more gift guides leading up to the holidays! You can keep up with my daily musing over on Instagram @realstephaniegreene.

Happy Monday, friends! This is the perfect on the go, have on hand breakfast meal. I made these burritos to freeze and eat over the next couple of weeks. All of the dEATs are below and I got all of the ingredients at Trader Joe’s. #TJsforlife

Ingredients

  • 2lbs of sweet potatoes
  • 10 large tortillas
  • Holy guacamole or avocado
  • 5 whole eggs*
  • 5 egg whites (I used the carton from TJs)*
  • Black beans
  • Salsa
*You can easily swap the eggs for a tofu scramble and make this recipe vegan

Prep
  1. Bake the sweet potatoes until soft
  2. Combine eggs and egg whites in an oiled pan over medium heat and scramble
  3. Let eggs and sweet potatoes cool before assembling the burritos
  4. Now, assemble the bad boys! Try to keep all of the ingredients in the center of the tortilla to make the burrito rolling easier and layer in whatever order you like
These burritos give you protein, carbs and good fats. Sweet potatoes are in high vitamin A (a fat soluble vitamin and the avocado helps with absorption) which helps support eye health and our overall immune system.

To freeze these, I wrapped the burritos in plastic wrap then foil, but feel free to follow whatever method you usually use to freeze foods. You can reuse the foil for future meal prep to help cut down on waste.

To reheat, place burrito on a microwave safe dish and reheat in increments of 30 seconds until hot. I reheated one of these on a Saturday for a pre-workout meal and then quickly crisped up the tortilla in a pan on the stovetop - so good!

Follow me on instagram @realstephaniegreene to be the first to see the eats! 


I will take any excuse to dress up and that is really the best part of attending weddings. Yes, celebrating our loved ones is awesome, but for the fashion minded, it's a time to break out the big guns, aka the shoes, the bags, the dresses. And I went allll out for the wedding I attended recently. 


Let's get into the details. I rented a dress from Rent the Runway during their supply chain fiasco and one of the dresses I thought I was going to like a lot was not going to be shipped in time for my event, so I got to select another two dresses for free. That mishap led me to the Christian Siriano number I ended up wearing to the wedding. I had actually planned on wearing a floor length dress because the wedding was black tie, but really, no one else was wearing black tie so I might have ended up a bit overdressed. The dress fit well, if not a bit roomy. I got it in a size 8 and the fabric was thick enough that I did not feel exposed. There was some room in the bust and armpit area, but nothing distracting. Fun fact: I met Christian Siriano when I was interning at a fashion blog in high school.

I typically would not wear black to an American wedding, but the bride requested that all guests wear black. What the bride wants, the bride gets.


I bought my bag secondhand from The RealReal, which, if you're unfamiliar, is an awesome online designer resale site. There had been another Saint Laurent bag with a star motif that I was eyeing for weeks, and when I decided it was time to get it, it had already been sold. Big SIGH. But, then I came across this bag that also had stars and took it as a sign. This is the Saint Laurent wallet on a chain (I removed the chain and put it inside the bag) and is actually pretty spacious considering that is designed to be small. I got the bag for 30% off the already discounted price and a $100 credit to use on the site later, so I would say it was a good deal. The bag was in incredible condition and it's obvious The RealReal has higher standards for condition than I do. 


Finally, the shoes are Christin Louboutin and I got these on sale during the twice annual sale via the Louboutin boutique in Nordstrom. They're so extra, so I try to wear them to every fancier event. Since it was chilly out, I topped the look off with a leather jacket that I got a couple of years ago at the BCBG outlet. I've always thought only cool, chic women wear their jackets over their shoulders instead of actually putting them on, so I tried to channel that same coolness. 

My biggest takeaway from dressing for this wedding is shop secondhand and rent clothing. Hooray for the circular economy!

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