I’m not really one to shop a lot anymore, but I found myself re-enjoying a lot of things I bought a long time ago or were gifted to me. Some items I purchased this month have been on my wish list for a long time and the right retailers came into my life and offered them at the right price range so I allowed myself to get them. I’ve greatly improved my spending habits during the past year and have been making more conscious and careful decisions when it comes to purchasing items instead of letting my feelings guide me. Without further ado, here are my June favorites:

Clyque Sivan bodysuit.
I’ve been wearing bodysuits ever since college. I like the simplicity and the fact that I don’t have to worry about tucking shirts in while still having everything look sleek. This top is a one-shoulder type of deal. It’s white but is thick enough that I don’t need to worry about wearing a bra/stickies/whatever we need to hide <gasp> nipples. It’s quite on the pricey side for a top ($60), but the quality is worth it, and I see myself wearing it for a couple more seasons until it falls apart. The brand also has other bodysuits that are more classic in style if you’re into that.

Mandukka yoga mat. I got this one as a gift about 3 years ago. I was just seriously getting into yoga and was using a cheap Amazon mat that was having me slipping and sliding all over the place during hot yoga class. The one I have is just thick enough and has really good grip that I feel very secure in my poses. It does have a rubbery smell in the beginning, but power through and it will go away.

“Dinner with friends” Spotify Playlist. Just when I thought nothing would come close to my “Coffeehouse Covers” playlist, I find this gem. The first few songs are definitely the best and really sets that chill vibe you’d want if your friends were over.

Tezza App. I used to be a Lightroom snob. I hated the overly filtered Instagram look with the orange skin tones and trendy editing. But then I realized that I was spending too much time figuring out how green is too green and bunch of other nitpicky stuff. I learned that if I want to put out content, I needed a faster way to edit and to release content. My favorite filter currently is “Vintage” and “Vintage 2.” I adjust hues here and there, crop, add a bit of grain, and some dust. I’m pretty sure this Tezza photo editing trend will soon pass, and that’s why I’m keeping originals of all my pictures.

Fujifilm instax mini. I got this one as a gift for my birthday last year. The film itself is expensive as heck, but I really like having an album of polaroids to look back on. I keep all my polaroids in a notebook with the date and place of capture + some notes. It’s also great for parties and gives everyone an activity to be creative and have fun.

Italic candle + duvet cover

Italic. I’ve been hearing about this brand for the past year and checked out their website a while back but never bought anything. Italic basically makes deals with manufacturers of luxury goods (Celine, Prada, All-Clad, Le Labo, etc.) to bring them to market without the brand markup. In short, it’s “luxury without labels.” I personally don’t like having brand logos/names on items I wear or use, so this company aligns with my ethos. They released a yearly membership ($100) that allows you to purchase wares at 50% off, and I was sold. I purchased the duvet cover (soft + amazing + good quality, comparable to Parachute), Palo Santo Jasmine candle (smells good + good for gifting), and the pots and pans (ceramic-coated, non-stick, look great). I love everything I bought and do wish that their selection was a bit bigger, but honestly, quality over quantity. I do think that this is like a Costco membership for luxury home goods.

Rombauer Chardonnay. I’ve always been into sweet wines, but I was introduced to buttery Chardonnay (more dry) last week. I can now officially say that I have completed my graduation from sweet to dry wines. I started with Moscato then Sweet Riesling to Riesling to Gewurtztraminer to Chardonnay. I’m still not a fan of red wines so maybe we’ll get there or we won’t. This Chardonnay is not acidic at all and is very smooth. I don’t know how to describe wines, obviously, so here’s what the experts have to say: “Rombauer Carneros Chardonnay is a rich wine with layers of tropical fruit, peaches and pears. The fruit opens up into creamy textures of apples and pears that glide across the palate. Hints of citrus and rich oak tones highlight the wine’s lingering finish.” Okay, that was a lot of words, but basically, it’s good. Like not good enough, but GOOD. It is quite pricey at around $35, so it may not be an everyday wine. I picked up some Chateau St. Michelle Indian Wells Chardonnay ($18) the other day and while it wasn’t as good as the Rombauer, it did the job so it’s a win/win for me.

While we’re all recovering from the financial stresses of the past couple months, I find it prudent to enjoy what we do have now. Consumerism is so ingrained in our culture that we derive joy simply from the act of buying things. I’ve been there and I’m still paying for those choices. Over time, I’ve learned that these material things didn’t make me happy, that I was trying to impress people I didn’t even like. I also realized that many of the things I enjoy every day are gifts from loved ones. Because I have positive associations with the people who gave me these gifts at the time, I still carry those positive feelings with me every time I use these items. Most of the time, it’s not the items that give me joy, but the thought that someone spent effort and resources to make me feel good. And that is the true joy of gifts.


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