march 2016 wallpaper

5 Awesome Things to Try In March

Happy leap-year! Even though February is technically the shortest month, I always end up feeling like the end is far overdue. And it doesn’t hurt that once today is over, spring will be officially right around the corner. Cheers to warmer weather, the return of skirts, and finally being able to leave my apartment without a coat.

As I did last month, I thought it would be fun to share with you some of my favorite finds from February. Feb was a month of learning for me –  I began teaching myself how to paint (I made that wreath up there!), and I’ve taken so many exercise classes that I can’t remember a time when my legs weren’t sore in the morning. Consequently, most of my recommendations are variations on that theme. Spring is kiiind of a time of new beginnings, right? Anyway, here are five awesome things I tried in February that I think you’ll love:

Intermediate Watercolor on Creativebug – In the past few years, I’ve made a ton of decisions based on things that I’ve always wanted to do but had never pursued for one reason or another. I started taking French in college because I’d always wanted to speak French, and then I became a French Major two years later. Same rule applies here – I’d always wanted to learn how to paint, and I’d always loved watercolors, so I thought f*ck it, I’m going to teach myself some dang watercolors. And this class is awesome! Seriously. Yao Cheng is an immense talent with a very soothing demeanor, and she teaches in such a way that I can very quickly pick up on her technique and replicate it. Again, I painted that March wreath up there, and I am not good at watercolors. Creativebug is great, too, because they basically give you a free class during your trial period that you get to keep forever even if you decide not to go on the $5/month plan. Highly, highly recommended if you’ve put off learning how to paint and want that little push to get started.

Classpass – I feel like I have at least one thing per month that I try and really want not to like (see Good Genes from last month). Classpass was that activity this month. Classpass felt gimmicky to me, and until about a month ago, I had never tried an exercise class that I really enjoyed. I quickly realized, however, that you can do just about anything you want on Classpass – ballet classes, personal training, scheduled gym time, self-defense, yoga, whatever. Basically, if you can dream it, you can do it with CP, and I’ve begrudgingly fallen in love. I work out, joyfully, even, around 3-5x per week, up from 1-2x about a month ago. And all of this for less than half of what I was paying a personal trainer. This is obviously great news for a girl who is going to find herself on a beach around this time next week. Classpass is fantastic – definitely check it out if you live in one of the serviced locations.

Essie Gel Setter Top Coat – Up until recently, I was a gel devotee. Gel is like magic – you put it on, and it stays on your nails literally until you take it off. Gel Setter, while technically not gel, per se, is a total game changer. Use it as a top coat over any regular nail polish you might have, and it magically stays put almost as well as gel polish. As I write this, I’m wearing the same nail polish I applied two weeks ago with only very minor chipping. Seriously, this top coat is unreal – not to mention far less expensive than getting your nails redone every two weeks.

One Minute Rule – The one minute rule is a very simple practice that has changed the game for me and Sebastian. I first heard about this practice from Gretchen Rubin’s Happier Podcast (I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: best podcast in the world). The rule goes like this: if a task is going to take you one minute or less to complete, do it without delay. Have a spare minute to go through and delete all the emails clogging up your inbox? Do it before you forget. Hang up your coat instead of throwing it on your entryway table – it’ll take 15 extra seconds and cut extra clutter. The one minute rule is SO easy to implement, and it makes such a giant difference that your home will probably never be the same.

Dollar Shave Club – You’ve probably seen their hilarious video, but here’s something that’s less hilarious: ever hear of the pink tax? Elizabeth Plank does a great job of explaining it here; basically, companies tend to charge 5-10% more for “women’s” hygiene products. Things like deodorant, shaving cream and, yes, razors, tend to cost more just for being marketed toward women. This is a real thing. Enter Dollar Shave Club: for $6/month, I get a 4-pack of top-of-the-line razors (for reference, a 3-pack of similar razors from Gillette costs just shy of $22), and I get to read their hilarious newsletter. If you’re not using Dollar Shave Club, you absolutely should be.

There you have it! What apps or products changed your life last month? Anything that you would recommend? I’d love to hear more in the comments!!