MODA Blog Favorites: November 2017
After the end of a grueling month of p-sets, essays, and juggling who knows how many other responsibilities and obligations, MODA Blog brings you a refreshing list of favorites from our bloggers and photographers to fill you with inspiration and energy for the next month.
Harney & Sons tea
I've always appreciated the unique packaging of Harney & Sons teas, which feature an array of beautiful pastel colors according to your tea of choice. Each tea comes in a beautiful tin that contains 20 sachets, which are perfect for repurposing into containers for your pens, succulents, makeup brushes, etc. The owners (who are also coincidentally friends of my parents) recently gifted my family with enough tea to get us through the year, so I've become quite a fan of the rich aromas and flavors of all the teas from the H&S line. I'm currently enjoying their classic Earl Grey in the morning, but there are plenty more adventuresome options available. Shop the collection here.
The MODA Blog ran a Brands to Know feature on MONOGRAM a while back, and I've been perusing their site ever since. Every tee from the MONOGRAM line is made of 100% cotton and always features a witty and/or flirty slogan and design. The tees clock in at $65 (!!!), which is why I'm hesitant to splurge on one of their items, but it doesn't hurt to look! Shop the collection here.
Revisionist History podcast
I've gotten into the habit of listening to podcasts during the early parts of my work shift and it's become a really nice and relaxing way to ease into the day. Malcolm Gladwell's Revisionist History on Spotify is superbly researched, narrated and edited (not that I would expect anything less of Gladwell) and always features an interesting and oftentimes heartwarming glimpse into both the present and the past.
Its a numerously testified to fact that I have an awful taste in shows, in so far as I only watch essentially the same show by different names (Bones, NCIS, Psych, Monk, Criminal Minds, White Collar - all have been watched numerous times). This is not to knock at NCIS, as it has consumed nearly all of my free time (we're talking a 24 episode season a week here) and is full of the quintessential witty cop humor I am drawn to.
Trader Joe's SublimeIce Cream Sandwiches
A very, very specific food favorite from me this month. My two subletters and I all swear by these delicacies - beautifully soft chocolate chip cookies, vanilla ice cream, and mini chocolate chips what more could you ever wish for?! If you have yet to try them, please oh my please do!
I'm honestly unclear what to call this item, but I imagine it is a knock off of some fancy new beauty trend that I scored for four dollars at Marshalls. An impulse purchase, as with everything I ever buy from Marshalls/TJMaxx/Homegoods, but it has proven an essential tool to speeding up my morning routine. I dot some foundation and brush my face as if I am brushing my teeth and immediately I am nicely blended and out the door!
Garnier Moisture Bomb Face Masks
As winter approaches us at an alarming speed, I have been hoarding face moisturizers and serums to prepare for the barrage of wind and dry skin that is headed our way. This little mask leaves your face feeling velvety soft and supple, excellent for those days where you just haven't had quite enough water. This face mask's effects last for up to a week, which makes this mask a little treat to finish out the week with. Image via
High Platform Boots
The best way to tackle midterms, stress, and all of the other wonderful facets of UChicago life is to do so with confidence. Being around 3 inches taller is one way to do that. I love the look of these heels with just about everything in my wardrobe, as they add just a little bit of that scary/sexy vibe. Buy these here from Steve Madden.
Naked Heat Palette
This is the palette to end all others- at least to me, a hoarder of neutral and ~rosy~ palettes. I purchased this and I am truly in love with its blendable, burnt shades that look amazing on. Image via
Innisfree No-Sebum Mineral Pact
I was in desperate need of a setting powder, so I initially gravitated towards Laura Mercier's Translucent Mineral Powder. But to my horror, my skin broke out each time I used it. Giving it to my mom, I was on the hunt for a new setting powder and while I was in Korea, grabbed this one from Innisfree. Innisfree is known for its natural products and its No-Sebum pact is one of its most famous. Throughout my trip, I bought 4 in total and am still in love. Although white, the powder doesn't leave any residue behind and leaves my skin both matte and poreless.
While You Were Sleeping
Normally, I'm not one to keep up watching a Korean drama each week, but this particular one has kept me hooked. The protagonists are well-known actors Suzy and Lee Jong-suk, and their playful chemistry allows the drama to have a lighter tone. However, don't be fooled. This isn't your normal rom-com. The drama is filled with mystery and suspense, as the journalist and prosector (Suzy and LJS respectively) attempt to uncover schemes. Also, seeing each other's futures in each other's dreams definitely helps with that. So if you're looking to start a Korean drama with romance, mystery, and the supernatural, I would highly recommend adding this to your list!
Studio Ghibli Soundtrack
I love to study in Mansueto, which my friends know I call Manny for short. But without headphones, I cannot concentrate. When I do have them though, I usually will be studying to the Studio Ghibli soundtrack. On YouTube, there are many variations, like a full orchestra version, cello, or piano, so I never get bored. Because the music is usually purely instrumental, it's easier to concentrate because it acts more like white noise. But it also calms me down from the craziness that is UChicago, bringing me back to my childhood, stirring up fond memories. I loved and still love all the Studio Ghibli films, and what really makes these films stand out are their soundtracks. All are crafted with great detail to please not only the listener but also to be align with the films' motifs. If you need some new music to study to, give this soundtrack a try! And who knows? Maybe, you'll be inspired to watch the films one day.
KenKen is probably the most fun puzzle game ever (in my completely unbiased opinion). The premise is similar to Sudoku, only with added math. But don't let that deter you. It can be difficult, and it's often downright infuriating, but when I finish a puzzle I never hesitate to go on to the next one. I personally like to use the app as opposed to doing it on paper, just because it's neater and you can check your answers. Also there are literally unlimited options, with puzzles ranging for 3x3 to 9x9, and difficulty from beginner to expert. The New York Times also carries KenKen on their puzzles page if you prefer to put pencil to paper. Yes it's hard to start, but you'll see it's even harder to stop.
Kiwi Sandia LaCroix
Ah LaCroix. For those of you who follow me on Snapchat, you'll know that keeping my Reg locker stocked with this seltzer at all times is up there on my priorities list alongside colour coordinating my outfits and constantly emailing my adviser. But recently I've come to a harrowing conclusion: not all LaCroix flavours are created equal. I don't know what it is about it, but their Curate line's kiwi-watermelon flavour is just miles above every other one. This is by no means to trash the other LaCroix flavours (except for coconut, which deserves to be), but something about Kiwi Sandia brings me back to childhood summers slurping down half-melted ice lollies in the blistering heat. Now that I'm older and clearly more refined, I can enjoy that nostalgia without worrying about spilling artificial red sugar-water on my new white sweater. Score.
Stranger Things 2
Speaking of nostalgia, Stranger Things does a terribly good job of making me long for the era my parents grew up in. The offbeat humour, retro music, and its amazing ability to seamlessly combine just about every preternatural and sci-fi trope made me fall in love with the show when it was first released in 2016. And, like cheese or fine wine, it looks like Stranger Things is improving with age too. I won't lie, I spent much of October 28th, and a good three hours in the early morning of October 29th binge-watching the new season. Even better was my later discovery of the cast and creator interviews that are also on Netflix. With twists at every turn, Netflix was right when they said it only gets stranger. But ultimately, that's what makes Stranger Things what it is: a captivating and immersive show that serves as a refreshing break from most TV dramas.
What have you been loving this month? MODA Blog wants to know (our bloggers and readers are always seeking new inspiration and cool things to try out!).
Featured image via Kathryn Hicks.