*This post features affliate links, please see disclosure.

How’s 2018 been treating y’all thus far?? I know we’re only two weeks in, but that’s plenty of time to lay the foundation and start making moves so this is your best year yet. I’ve been slowly addressing each goal that I set for myself this Winter, and I’m really stoked on my progress. Not only have I been sticking to my workouts as planned, I somehow convinced my boyfriend to join me for yoga. Kind of hoping he falls in love with it and I’ll have an exercise partner in the future! That said, does anyone else find it easier to tackle things when their goals are quarterly??

I have the absolute worst attention span (or maybe I just can’t break away from my phone??), but something else I want to focus on this year is reading more. Since it’s currently cold as hell in Philadelphia (why do I live somewhere that the air. hurts. my. face), I figure now is as good a time as ever to bundle up and try checking out a few novels! To take you along with me, I’ve put together a rad list of 20 books we can check out in the following genres: fiction, non-fiction, romance, suspense, and personal-development. I’m huge on books to improve yourself (I’m currently chipping away at Originals), so it was important to include a bunch of those!

If you think there’s something I should’ve included on this list, please let me know below!! I’m always down for suggestions that have caught your eye.

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Dang, talk about radio silence over here on TGS. I feel weird pretending I didn’t just disappear from everything for over a month (except Twitter and Instagram stories, if you’re following along), so I’ll catch y’all up a bit before I jump into my winter mood board and 2018 goals.

(remember this shot, from Paris?)

WHERE I’VE BEEN:

Have you ever tried to take a nap and somehow end up hibernating yourself into a new dimension? That’s exactly how my blog hiatus felt.

I work in a high traffic transit bar in Philadelphia, and the holiday season is probably the busiest time of the year with travelers. It also happens to cross over into what’s a super busy blog season. Despite having entries lined up, spreading myself too thin meant something was going to suffer (and as such, something had to give). Until my blog is bringing in as much as my bar job is, the choice was pretty much made for me. #womp

Stress from work, missing my posting schedule, slacking on autoimmune disease care, AND seasonal depression all kind of combined into a massive mess that made it harder and harder to jump back in. That said, I’m ready to make 2018 my most productive year. I’ve honestly been feeling amazing lately, and can’t wait to bring some rad content to TGS (speaking of, did you catch the new header?!). View Post

*This post features affliate links, please see disclosure.
DIY holiday decorations that have chic payoff with little effort required.

As much as I adore the holidays, I’m pretty lazy about putting up my own decorations. I’m down to watch Christmas movies any day of the month, and I’ve definitely already played Mariah’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You” more than a few times (…starting in July), but there’s something about decking the halls that I can take or leave because it calls for actual effort.

In an attempt to be a bit more festive and a little less Grinch-y, I decided to put together some decorations that require very little work, but still end up looking stylish. What’s even more fun about these decorations is a bunch of the items I used were FREE. The hangers featured in one of the wreaths came from a local laundromat that was super willing to donate a few when I explained they were for a DIY, and the pine branches were spare clippings from a nearby Christmas tree shop! Y’all, my heart felt so full after receiving DIY donations, I can’t even write it out, but I’m gonna chalk it up to holiday spirit.

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An easy recipe for guilt free, vegan peanut butter cookies. Includes modifications to make them gluten-free!! Click through for recipe.

Easy recipe for vegan peanut butter cookies.

If you’ve been following along on my insta stories (hint hint), you’ve likely gathered that I’m all about cooking. My dietary restrictions have me sticking to a strictly diary-free diet (for autoimmune inflammation reasons), so I’m constantly trying out vegan or plant-based recipes I find, as they’re the easiest for me to manipulate.

When I saw my friend Steph share this recipe up on her instagram, I had to give it a go. Y’all, I’m obsessed. So obsessed that I asked her to let me share it here with you babes. These cookies are so rich and tasty that I’d be surprised if you don’t make them at least twice in one week. I even made gluten-free flour, so I can snack on them guilt free, knowing they’re the closest to “healthy” cookies that I’ll possibly get. Let me know below if you try them out! View Post

This post was originally run in November 2016, but I’ve updated it fresh this year just for you!

small business

I don’t know about you guys, but does it feel like this year went by ridiculously fast? We’re already back in Christmas season y’all! The real Christmas season, now that we’ve officially passed Thanksgiving and Halloween. With the holiday season comes the shopping season.

I’m sure everyone knows about the madness of “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday” (especially because nearly every blogger is promoting the sales right now), but did you know today is Small Business Saturday? SBS exists as a counterpart to the corporate conglomerates, basically as a way to #shoplocal and put money back into your community. The money goes straight to your peers, supporting their families and helping neighborhood businesses flourish. A lot of my friends own businesses in Philadelphia, so this is particularly important to me.

To help you out with your shopping today, I’ve put together (with the help of some friends) a list of places that I suggest you check out, not only for your holiday needs but through the rest of the season! View Post

4 tips on how you can build up your confidence and become a stronger, more self-assured person, AND a #giveaway to help you get there! Click through to read and enter! 4 tips on how you can build up your confidence and become a stronger, more self-assured person, AND a #giveaway to help you get there! Click through to read and enter!

4 tips on how you can build up your confidence and become a stronger, more self-assured person, AND a #giveaway to help you get there! Click through to read and enter!A few weeks ago now was my 4 year anniversary of moving to Philadelphia. It’s been a wild ride, and also kind of rad reflecting on not only how much my life has changed since moving to the city, but how much I’ve changed as a person. I’ve been pretty fortunate to find the company of some of the best movers and shakers in this city, and I myself have grown into a fairly confident, independent person. It might come as a surprise to my current social circle, but that person is actually someone I’m still getting to know.

I spent most of my life being the awkward introvert, and it wasn’t till a crappy breakup forced me to reflect and realize I didn’t have to stay that way. There was nothing inherently wrong with the “old” me, but I suffered from the kind of crippling social anxiety that lets you get all dressed up only to wait (in the car, outside the event). You know how some people seem like they’re born confident, with that je ne sais quoi that commands a room? I wanted a fraction of that, and either had to figure it out on my own, or continue through life hugging the dang wall.

Even though I came into Philly often to party, moving into the city was a fresh start. I swan dove at the opportunity to find my voice with people who didn’t fully know the awkward me, and frankly: it worked. Sure, I feel shy sometimes, but I’ve never felt more sure of myself. In celebration of my 4 years in this city that helped me blossom, I’m sharing my four suggestions on how to build your own confidence, and a giveaway to give you that extra oomph. View Post

Lately, I’ve found myself talking to a lot of my peers about starting their own blogs. I’m not sure if it’s because blogging seems like a natural continuation of the creative fields they’re already in, or because I keep talking up how fun creating your own content is, but the convos come up on a weekly basis. So, this one’s for you guys.

I put together my top tips of things you should be focusing on if you’re considering starting a blog, or if you’re a newbie blogger trying to improve. These are things I wish I’d done, and some things I’m still working on! If you’re considering diving into the blogging world or just getting started, this might be helpful to you.

4 things you should be doing before you start your own blog. Click through for more info. View Post

*This post features affliate links, please see disclosure.

Wowee. Go figure I put together a post on my fave wellness hacks, then get hit with a cold I can’t shake. I intended to share a rad giveaway this week, but getting sick put me behind schedule a bit. Keep your eyes peeled this coming week!

It seems like everyone online and off are gearing up for the holidays, and I’m kind of into it. While putting decor out before Halloween passed was definitely too soon, I’ve always been a Christmas music in July kind of person. I’ve also always been the kind of person who waits until the last dang minute to snag anyone’s gifts. The last few years I’ve improved a lot, but I’m trying to really be on top of things for 2017!

Here’s my first gift guide for y’all, to help shop for the ever trendy, fashion forward person on your list. I’m gonna be honest and say I’m probably going to purchase every single thing I’ve shared here, because I’m the worst at treating myself (maybe a little too much) during the holidays.

The Gold Sister holiday fashionista gift guide. Click through to shop. View Post