6 Ways to Style Your Gorgeous Velvet Sofa

The Everygirl’s product selections are curated by the editorial team. If you buy something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission, at no cost to you. We only recommend products we genuinely love.






Source: Darlene Campos for The Everygirl

As someone who just moved from a tiny studio apartment to a somewhat spacious two-bedroom, let me vent for a sec: Finding the right couch is hard. It has to be comfortable but chic and stand out enough to update your style while still being timeless enough to adapt to your changing taste throughout the years. Committing to a couch is arguably more stressful than committing to a relationship.

Whether you’re in need of a new couch or just looking for a statement piece to take up space, I have the perfect solution for you: a velvet sofa. Bold yet classic, comfortable but chic, it’s the investment piece you didn’t know you needed. It immediately makes any space more luxe, but at the same time, it’s still welcoming. Call us bias, but the gorgeous pieces from The Everygirl’s collab with Interior Define come in a variety of shades in luxe velvet fabrics, ranging from gorgeous jewel tones to chic neutrals. Trust me, you won’t miss your boring old sectional. Just to prove that velvet works in any season or style, we put together a style guide on how to style your velvet couch in six totally different ways. Whether your style is more classic or trendy, there’s a velvet couch setup for you. 

 

Minimal farmhouse





couch / ottoman / lamp / rug / faux eucalyptus / wall art / wood tray

If Nancy Meyers had a velvet sofa on set, this is how it would be styled. If you’re a sucker for timeless style, muted colors, and lots of texture, you’re going to love plush velvet mixed with woodsy accents and a jute rug to make it feel more grounded. Joanna Gaines would be proud! 

 

 

Eclectic 





couch / pouf / throw pillows / mirror / gold vase / fiddle leaf tree

For the style star who isn’t afraid to stand out and gravitates toward accents with personality, try the classic couch in a bold color like blush mixed with fun prints, bohemian poufs, and eye-catching pieces. 

 

 

Mid-Century Modern





couch / coffee table / accent chair / snake plant / wall prints

We love mid-century modern because the cool design and clean lines means pieces that look more expensive than they are. Velvet pairs perfectly with the chic style, thanks to dark colors, sleek lines, and the perfect addition of faux leather and wood. 

 

 

Grandmillenial





couch / throw pillows / end tables / dried bouquet / vase / lamp / wall prints

That’s right: your grandmother’s sitting room is officially cool, thanks to the grandmillenial style sweeping Instagram. Think: pleated textures, muted florals, and vintage pastels. It’s like you entered a very on-trend time machine. 

 

 

Relaxed Modern





couch / print / baskets / candle / stool / plant / rug

If your vibe is more California-cool, velvet textures will warm up natural accents and simplistic pieces. Let a black and white print and tropical plant stand out next to a few simple and stylish pieces. It’s like the interior design version of “I woke up like this” makeup–intentionally effortless and oh-so-cool. 

 

 

Parisian





couch  / rug / wall print / faux peonies / mirror / bust / storage basket / side table

When you can’t go to Paris, you bring Paris to your living room. Velvet is arguably the most elegant couch fabric, and it goes perfectly with extravagant gold mirrors, pretty peonies, and French girl-approved accents like rattan or busts. C’est si bon!

 

 

Your Nancy Meyers House Based on Your Enneagram

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The Everygirl designed this product line in collaboration with Interior Define. If you buy a piece from our collection, we may earn a commission, at no cost to you. We only recommend products we genuinely love.

 

 

How To Navigate Seasons of Change

A mound of sand in the desert

I think my aversion to change began when I was 17 years old. Before that age, I had everything under control or at least I felt like I did. I had a carefully thought-out roadmap for my life. If I just followed it and executed it, then I would arrive at my destination as planned—such understandably naïve thinking for a small town girl with big dreams. 

I remember sitting in my antique bedroom whose walls knew every daydream and nightmare the summer before college held. As sounds from the “Number One Station for Hip Hop and R&B” played in the background, my mind over-thought my plan for the next four years, only to be interrupted by the unmistakable rasp of Lyfe Jennings’s voice on the radio.

“There’s only two things in life that are constant. That’s change and change.”

I immediately turned off the radio. 

The song itself, titled “Never Never Land,” is actually about a man who finally embraces a mature love, but whatever. I didn’t care. That line triggered me, for whatever reason, and I’d heard enough. Perhaps, this natural reaction foreshadowed what was to come for me: a decade (and then some) worth of running from seasons of change. 

Before my mom died, I saw change as a series of manageable events that didn’t necessarily have to change the life trajectory of my life. I could control the effects and consequences of change. It was a selfish lens to view life through, but it worked at the time.   

At 18, my mom’s death introduced me to my first real season of change. I couldn’t control this—not the pain, not the way I experienced grief, nor the time it would take me to accept the reality that I would never see her or hear her voice again.

I couldn’t control this—not the pain, not the way I experienced grief, nor the time it would take me to accept the reality…

No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t control this. So, I ran. I pretended she was on an island with no access to mobile devices. When I felt called to rise to a challenge that I thought I wasn’t ready for, I ran in the opposite direction. When my mental health began to decline, I ran to the arms of the wrong people and to spaces that didn’t serve me. 

Eventually, my legs began to give. I had to ask myself, what good did running actually do? It offered a false sense of control, prolonged the inevitable pain that comes with healing and created unhealthy coping mechanisms. Running was fear disguised as control. At 29, faced with a new season of change characterized by loss and new beginnings, I decided to try something new. 

What good did running actually do? Running was fear disguised as control.

I paused. I felt. I listened. I moved with the current of change instead of fighting against it. I released control and opened myself to the effects of growth, pain and the joy of embracing change. At this very moment, I sit in a new bedroom, whose walls know my new nightmares and evolved daydreams, staring 30 right in her eyes and daring her to ask me that question. The one that I’ve avoided answering for all of my 20s. 

How do you navigate seasons of change? 

Now, I know that I don’t. But I’m human. So, I’ll say that I try my hardest not to navigate change. 

By definition, to navigate means “to operate or control the course of.” As hard as you may try—and believe me, I’ve tried—you cannot control seasons of change nor the residual effects. Not even the most carefully thought-out plan can equip you for where a season of change takes you mentally, physically and emotionally. 

You cannot control seasons of change nor the residual effects.

There is no right or wrong way to move through seasons of change. No one has the blueprint. We’re all figuring it out as we go, and what works for me may or may not work for you. However, trust yourself and the timing of your life. Let that be your guide. 

How have you learned to navigate seasons of change? How has running from change impacted you in the past?

Image via Judith Pavón Sayrach

The Best Cold-Weather Pieces at the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

The Everygirl’s product selections are curated by the editorial team. If you buy something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission, at no cost to you. We only recommend products we genuinely love.






Source: Jordan McDonnell for The Everygirl

For those of us who look forward to the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale every year (raises both hands), we know that it puts us in an interesting situation: It happens during the heart of summer but allows us to stock up on pieces that are released for fall. The result? Wishing we could speed up time and get to fall so we can wear all of the incredible new pieces we scored at incredible discounts.

In my humble opinion, the absolute best items to add to your cart at the Nordstrom Sale are cold-weather essentials—coats, boots, jackets, the whole shebang. Cold-weather pieces tend to be a lot more expensive than items for other seasons, so being able to get them at a discounted price means we’re strategizing our entire fall and winter wardrobes in the middle of July—and can you blame us?

We’re not saying that you should want to fast-forward time and skip straight ahead to the cool, dreamy days of fall. All we’re saying is that if these pieces make you want to, don’t blame us. These are the absolute best cold-weather items you can pick up at the 2021 Nordstrom Sale (and you can bet they’re already in our carts).

 

In this article

1
Coats & Jackets

2
Sweaters

3
Boots

 

Coats & Jackets

Bernardo

Peaked Lapel Coat, $149

originally $265
Shop now

Bernardo

Belted Wrap Coat, $149

originally $265
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Bernardo

Belted Wrap Coat, $149

originally $265
Shop now

Halogen

Double Face Wool Coat, $129

originally $199
Shop now




CLUB MONACO

Maite Trench Coat, $194

originally $329

A classic trench is a staple in anyone’s wardrobe, and this cult-favorite option is rarely discounted. You’ll never regret having this in your closet.

Shop it now




Ralph Lauren

Snap Front Quilted Jacket, $99

originally $170

For the in-between weather where it’s chilly but not quite chilly enough for your parka, this chic, quilted coat is your answer. It’s timeless but will give your look a little something extra with its chic gold hardware.

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RALPH LAUREN

Wool Blend Jacket, $249

originally $380
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Ralph Lauren

Diamond Quilted Jacket, $119

originally $200
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BLANKNYC

Faux Shearling Jacket, $64

originally $98
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Thread & Supply

Dolman Quilted Jacket, $35

originally $55
Shop now




ALLSAINTS

Leather Biker Jacket, $325

originally $489

I picked this up at a Nordstrom Sale a couple of years ago, and it is without a doubt one of my top five favorite items in my entire closet. It is the absolute perfect leather jacket, and I get asked about it almost every time I wear it. If you choose one investment piece in the sale, I couldn’t recommend this more.

Shop it now

BLANKNYC

Suedo Moto Jacket, $99

originally $188
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BLANKNYC

Plus-Size Moto Jacket, $99

originally $188
Shop now

BLANKNYC

Faux Leather Moto Jacket, $54

originally $98
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Thread & Supply

Shirt Jacket, $31

originally $49
Shop now




The North Face

Water Repellent Down Parka, $224

originally $300

The perfect winter coat for any cold climate, this editor favorite has passed the test of Chicago winters (which is saying a lot). If you’re looking for a new parka to invest in, this is one that will take you through winter after winter.

Shop it now

SAM EDELMAN

Belted Wool Coat, $149

originally $320
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Bernie

Faux Fur Coat, $119

originally $215
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Sweaters

Treasure & Bond

Button Front Cardigan, $49

originally $79
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VINCE

Wool Longline Cardigan, $324

originally $545
Shop now




Nordstrom

Cashmere Sweater, $69

originally $119

Cashmere rarely goes on sale, so we’re adding this one to our cart while we still can (in multiple colors, if we’re being honest). This is one of the lowest prices we’ve ever seen for a classic, cashmere sweater, and we know this is a piece we’ll wear for years to come.

Shop it now




Barefoot Dreams

Cozy Chic Cardigan, $79

originally $128

One of our favorite things to pick up at the Nordstrom Sale is any and everything Barefoot Dreams (they make the softest, coziest products we’ve ever experienced in our lives), and this wrap cardigan is like a hybrid between our robes and a sweater. All we can imagine is sitting on the couch on a winter day working from home snuggly in this.

Shop it now

Nordstrom

Cashmere Sweater, $69

originally $119
Shop now

Madewell

Coziest Yarn Cardigan, $58

originally $98
Shop now

Halogen

Rib Cardigan, $45

originally $69
Shop now

Free People

Too Good Sweater, $49

originally $78
Shop now




Madewell

Kent Cardigan, $58

originally $98

Looking for a staple to add to your wardrobe? Look no further than this classic cardigan that you’ll reach for time and time again.

Shop it now

BDG

Fisherman Half Zip, $45

originally $69
Shop now

VINCE

Chunky Wool Sweater, $269

originally $445
Shop now




Good American

Collared Sweater, $79

originally $129

Polos aren’t just for the country club anymore, and this sweater falls into the 2021 trend in a subtle way that you can wear for years to come.

Shop it now

VINCE

Easy Fit Crewneck, $179

originally $295
Shop now

Free People

Princess Sweater, $69

originally $108
Shop now

Boots

3 colors available

Cedar Bootie, $89

originally $135
Shop now

4 colors available

Water Resistant Stretch Bootie, $329

originally $495
Shop now




4 colors available

Lace-Up Bootie, $149

originally $249

You’ve probably seen this cult-favorite boot all over Instagram every time the temps drop below 40—but they rarely go on sale. If you’re looking for a new winter boot that will keep you warm and looking good, this is it.

Shop it now

4 colors available

Knee High Boot, $149

originally $225
Shop now

4 colors available

Stevie Bootie, $109

originally $168
Shop now

6 colors available

Welland Bootie, $99

originally $150
Shop now

4 colors available

Slouchy Boot, $89

originally $139
Shop now




2 colors available

Water Resistant Chelsea Boot, $59

originally $99

This water-resistant boot was constantly sold out last year for a reason: it falls into the chunky boot craze that’s all the rage (without being too chunky), but is practical for real life since it’s water resistant. I wore these boots almost every time I left the house last winter, and if I didn’t have them, I’d be snagging them up in an instant this year. These are going to sell out fast, so get your hands on them while you can.

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SARTO BY FRANCO SARTO

Chelsea Boot, $119

originally $190
Shop now

2 colors available

Chelsea Lug Boot, $249

originally $378
Shop now

2 colors available

Ramona Bootie, $152

originally $228
Shop now

3 colors available

Lori Bootie

originally $170
Shop now




4 colors available

Pointed Toe Bootie, $129

originally $198

With a walkable, two-inch block heel, these are the absolute perfect booties—and are an editor favorite around our office. If you’re looking for a go-to black bootie, this leather option is for you; if you want a statement bootie for the colder weather, the blue suede is calling your name.

Shop it now

 

 

The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Is On! Here Are Our Favorite Picks

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40+ Must-Have Home Essentials From the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

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Our Beauty Editor’s Picks From the Nordstrom Sale

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Darling Letters: Disappointment Is A Comma, Not a Period

A woman's hands as she writes inside a magazine, one page with a large comma and the other with writing

We are bringing “Darling Letters” from your inbox to the blog! We love the art of letter writing and believe it helps build authentic community. Our editors and contributors have thoughtfully written encouraging letters to cut through the busyness and speak straight to your heart.

After a long day of frantically refreshing my inbox, I finally got a response, but it was not the one I was hoping for.

Waitlisted.

The small, Arial text seemed as though it spoke in all caps. It felt as if the short message punctuated a dream of acceptance into the program and the subsequent joy that I anticipated. 

It felt as if the short message punctuated a dream of acceptance into the program and the subsequent joy that I anticipated. 

The immediate disappointment that followed this email seemed like confirmation that dreaming and hoping for something that was not immediately within reach was not viable nor worth it. In an ongoing season replete with dissolved dreams, this seemed like another reason to see the present moment as one of isolation disconnected from the future.

However, to dream is to realize that what you see is not all there is and is not all there will be. In doing this, we take stock of the state of things around us while also allowing ourselves to long for something better. When disappointment comes, we can try to suppress our dreams as “outlandish” or “unattainable,” or instead, we can discern a healthy discontent for the present moment while still creating new aspirations for the future.

May we see interruptions to our dreams as commas, not periods. Dream on (even when it’s hard).

To dream is to realize that what you see is not all there is and is not all there will be. 

Sincerely,
Sam Miller, the Darling family

Is there any disappointment in your life that is causing you to feel disillusioned? How can we continue to dream in the midst of disappointment?

Image via Tony Li

How to Analyze, Tear Down and Rationalize the False Narratives We Believe

A black and white photo of a woman standing near the ocean with her hair blowing in the wind

Every word and sentence that people say about themselves tells an enduring and more consistent story of how they perceive and experience life. For example, if someone refers to others as “stupid” and then utters painful stories where they expose ideas of their own worthlessness, it begins to shape a narrative of the way that person suffers.

This person may see things in a depressed light. He or she may believe that life only deals a poor hand of cards, that nothing good could be dealt and that life is meaningless. However, such statements begin to shape a pattern of one’s reality, whether the person is aware of it or not. 

A key to transformation begins with perception. Perception uses the faculties of the senses to come into awareness of something and construct a lived reality. To varying degrees, we perceive every moment to help us understand and function within the world we live in. We typically perceive things without being conscious of how sensory information is interpreted and organized through our nervous systems. Instead, we go about experiencing life, sensing and feeling our way through.

We perceive every moment to help us understand and function within the world we live in.

Perception helps form the realities we experience. One experience after another begins to build the narrative of our lives just like a story with a beginning, middle and end. Words tell a story of what one perceives. Oftentimes, people are unaware that how they speak about experiences helps organize the mental framework of their personal narrative.

If I were to tell a story about how everything went wrong, then it could be a stand-alone story of bad luck. If I told similar stories every day, then that could become an enduring tale of personal defeat and disappointment, expressed in my daily life.

How do we become conscious of the narratives that we may be writing? Long-term psychotherapeutic work suggests that when we become more conscious of false narratives, we ultimately transform them.

When we become more conscious of false narratives, ultimately we transform them. 

Here are some points to consider for self-reflection:

Reflect on what you call in. 

Perception teaches us that, while we may not be conscious of it every moment, it can help us reflect on how to attract the best possible experience and create the highest quality outcome. This may mean sensing that good things will happen as opposed to the worst.

This could mean intentionally reflecting on and drawing in positive emotions, thoughts, images and energy to help serve the day and fortify a more resilient life narrative for the long-term. This is a daily and even a moment-to-moment reflection.

Listen to the pattern.

Each person has a pattern of internal communication based on word choice and tone, which frames the narrative of one’s life. The way to identify your patterns is to listen to yourself without judgment. 

For one day, listen to the words you use to describe yourself, others and the world around you. How would you describe your language and tone? For example, perhaps you notice that your language is quite defeatist or maybe your tone represents a positive narrative of faith and perseverance.

Do this exercise over multiple days and see if there is a pattern you see emerging. Try to be open to what is and refrain from self-critique.  

Listen to yourself without judgment. 

Reframe the pattern by taking responsibility.

People can attempt to revise the pattern by taking responsibility for their portion of healing. For this exercise, focus on a particular event that recently occurred that was charged for whatever reason. 

How would you describe what happened in two sentences? Take a step back and consider that there may be multiple sides to the story. While you may feel connected to your side of the story, see if you can hold onto it less nd observe things from another perspective. The other perspective may not always feel good to think about.  

Now imagine that you are an author attempting to write the story in a balanced way to present a perspective for greater healing. Would you see the experience in the same way, an alternative way, a mishmash of both or something else?

You are the author of your narrative.

False narratives rely on experiences happening to you without you happening to them. People may perceive things happening to them without their intended participation. In many cases, but certainly not all, you may have a role to play, which could be quite empowering.  

Through the everyday choices you make, you are the author of your life. This is an invitation to step into that experience. You have the right, the ability and the wisdom to take any experience and “write it” in a way that empowers you.

You have the right, the ability and the wisdom to take any experience and “write it” in a way that empowers you.

If you did not get the job you wanted, change the narrative to not a “job lost” but “a future opportunity gained.” If a relationship ends, then rewrite the narrative from “a bitter ending” to “two consenting individuals doing their best with disattaching.” Your version will be better because it is yours, and it will be authentic to you.

Take a moment. Call in a false narrative, perceive it in the light of day as opposed to the shadow of the night. Reframe the words and tone. Write it in your own way. Sign your name under it and make it the new signature of your life: one of truth, empowerment and wisdom.

Have you ever made assumptions about other people or written a false narrative in your head? What power have you found in reframing your thoughts?

Image via Navarro Aydemir, Darling Issue No. 17

20 Summer Hobbies You Can Start Today

The Everygirl’s product selections are curated by the editorial team. If you buy something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission, at no cost to you. We only recommend products we genuinely love.






Source: Lucas Ottone | Stocksy

I don’t want to jinx it and scare away warm Chicago temps but summer is almost upon us which means that it’s the perfect time to finally adopt that summer hobby you’ve always wanted to try. 

If there’s one thing that I’ve learned about adulthood, it’s that finding a hobby is more difficult than meets the eye. It can take a bit of trial and a whole lot of error to find what exactly lights your fire, but once you do, life just gets so much better. Whether you’re in it to fill a void, get away from your tech screens, work your creative muscles, or experience new ventures, we’ve got you covered. These 20 summer hobbies are here to help you have your most fulfilling season yet:

 

1. Take up photography

Remember that one time when you bought that one DSLR camera and swore you’d use it, then refrained from bringing it anywhere because it’s just too chunky for casual use? Fair enough, but hear us out: Summer is the perfect time to pick photography back up and to learn how to use your fancy camera beyond “auto” mode. Whether you’re documenting your favorite summer sights or learning how to get the perfect golden hour pics, there is no better time to learn the groundwork of photography than when you can comfortably be in natural, outside light without freezing your ass off.

DSLR or not, learning the basics of photography can make any pictures (yes, even the ones you take with your iPhone) exponentially better. Watching YouTube videos to learn about photography basics (aperture, exposure, shutter speed, and ISO),  tips/tricks, and mistakes to avoid can help you understand the camera you already have or inspire you to invest in one. Read This If You Want To Take Great Photographs by Henry Carroll has great reviews on Amazon and is another great place to start.





Canon

DSLR Camera Bundle

Shop it now





Fujifilm

Instant Film Camera

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Sensyne

iPhone Tripod

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Henry Carroll

Read This If You Want to Take Great Photographs

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2. Develop your green thumb

Maybe you’re already a trusty plant mom or maybe you’re like me who can’t get within 10 feet of a plant without it passing away. Regardless of your previous skill level, gardening can be a nice, rewarding hobby to take up in the summertime. Starting a garden can be an intimidating task but thankfully, there are plenty of resources out there to help you get your green thumb on. Whether you prefer to read about how to plan, sow, plant, and maintain your garden or watch a YouTube series on how to get started, there are plenty of ways to learn and to get going and growing.





DK

The Complete Gardener’s Guide

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Tammy Wylie

Container Gardening For Beginners

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Aladom

Gardening Kit

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AeroGarden

Indoor Garden

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Planters’ Choice

Indoor Herb Garden

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3. Take a hike

Grab your hiking boots, ladies, we’re trailblazing this summer. If you’ve been hiking before, you know that it’s one of the best ways to reconnect with yourself and the world around you. Hit up a local trail in your area or road trip to a place with great heights and terrain—the world is truly your playground! Get lost in thought, get those endorphins pumping, soak up some vitamin D, and let the good times roll. If you’re a beginner, invest in some good hiking gear, stay hydrated, bring a good SPF, and check out these hiking tips to ensure that you have a safe and fun experience.





Osprey

Hiking Daypack

11 colors available

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KUYOU

Hydration Daypack

5 colors available

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Salomon

Backpacking Boots

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4. Make your own jewelry

Arts and crafts have always been at the tip-top of popular summer hobbies but have you tried making your own jewelry yet? Capture your own design aesthetic in wearable pieces that you can make from the comfort of your own home. Make them for yourself, gift them to a friend, sell them on Etsy… the possibilities are endless. There are some awesome kits, books, and Youtube videos (essential techniques, supplies to purchase, and of course, hacks) that will make getting started a whole lot easier.





Cecilia Leibovitz

Bead Jewelry Making for Beginners

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Shynek

Jewelry Making Kit

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5. Repurpose old fabrics

Here at TEG, we’re all about spring cleaning, bingeing our closets when they’re busting at the seams, and donating or selling pieces that either don’t fit, aren’t our style, or remind us of darker days. But one thing we haven’t quite explored? Upcycling our fabrics into cool new pieces that you just can’t buy on any online shop or any storefront.

Grab your scissors and your sewing kits (sewing machines, if you’re fancy) and prepare to transform your dusty old pieces into something fresh, trendy, and wearable. If you’re not into sewing (yet), start with these 11 no-sew upcycle clothing projects and then move on to some more advanced techniques when you’re ready to completely transform an item you’d otherwise get rid of. Whether you want to flip thrifted pieces, try out a new trend, or completely transform your wardrobe, upcycling your old clothes is a fun way to enter a creative flow, express yourself, and be a bit kinder to the environment. That’s what we like to call a win-win situation and we’re here for it.





Artika

Mini Sewing Kit

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Yula Designs

Embroidery Starter Kit

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Fiskars

Fabric Cutting Mat

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LIVINGO

Fabric Shears

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6. Explore new places in your town

If there’s one thing that we took for granted pre-pandemic, it was appreciating the beauty, the nooks, and the crannies of our own hometowns. As small businesses, farmers’ markets, and attractions begin to reopen with masking and social distancing restrictions, it’s once again becoming safe to rediscover the beauty of your own city. Challenge yourself to visit one to two new places a week to safely broaden your horizons and to appreciate all that your city has to offer.

 

 

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7. Hit the tennis court

Channel your inner Serena Williams because tennis is a phenomenal way to get outside, get your heart rate up, and get your sweat on. Do I personally know one thing about tennis other than the mandatory grunt that comes with serving? No. But do I enjoy the satisfying “plunk” that occasionally occurs when a tennis ball bounces perfectly off of the center of my racket? You bet. If you want to get official, you can hit up some YouTube tutorials like this one so that you can get a match going with a friend.





Penn

Tennis Balls

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Wilson

Tennis Racket

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Aoneky

Portable Tennis Net

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8. Read in the sunshine

Name a better feeling than curling up with a book while basking in the sunlight. We’ll wait. The slow moments of summer serve as the perfect opportunity to finally tackle that ever-growing “to-read list.” And whether you’re looking for books that keep you on the edge of your seat, give you a sense of wanderlust, give you all of the Bridgerton vibes, or inspire you to be better, we’ve got some page-turning recommendations for you. 

 

9. Dabble in mixology

If whipping up classic, daring, or snazzy cocktails has been a feat on your to-try list, we’re declaring that this summer is the one that you make it happen. Try taking a virtual mixology class from the comfort of your backyard, check out a cocktail recipe book (that doubles as a coffee table book, of course), invest in some cocktail accessories, and toast to trying new things.





Sother Teague

I’m Just Here for the Drinks

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Tim Federle

Tequila Mockingbird

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Mixology & Craft

Mixology Bartending Kit

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A post shared by Janelle Marie Lloyd (@waityouneedthis)

 

10. Practice journaling

Journaling is a great way to get in touch with your inner-self, explore new ideas, and express what is weighing on your heart. Whether you view journaling as a way to record a stream of thoughts or as an outlet to discover your purpose (like with these awesome journaling prompts), getting started can be a therapeutic addition to your “me time” that you can take just about anywhere (early, sunny morning on the Chicago lakefront, anyone?).





Paperage

Bullet Journal

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Bonnie Myotai Treace

52-Week Guided Journal

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Intelligent Change

The Five Minute Journal

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iBayam

Colorful Journaling Pens

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Pilot

Fine Point Gel Pens

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11. Hit a hole in one

OK, maybe a hole in one is a little ambitious for those of us who may have never hit the links before but golfing is a summer hobby that you can stick with for (pretty much) ever. There are so many components to golf that you can spend time mastering (putting, chipping, driving, driving the golf cart while looking cute in golf attire, etc.). While investing in a set of clubs can be a bit expensive, a good set can last you forever and can be a great social activity to partake in once the world opens back up. 





Wilson

Women’s Complete Golf Set

4 colors available

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Adidas

Golf Shoe

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12. Switch up your form of transportation

Yesterday, I saw this video of a gal effortlessly gliding on and off of a longboard, barefoot, and looking cool as hell. It seemed so liberating and the vibes were absolutely immaculate. I briefly thought to myself, “I want to do that!” before coming back to reality and remembering my super average athletic abilities and impressive lack of balance. Though I’ll likely never zippity-do-da on a longboard like the aforementioned graceful woman, there’s something about biking, rollerblading, and scootering that reminds me of summer nights in my hometown as a kid and leaves me nostalgic AF. And who knows, maybe you’ll spot me gliding on a longboard down Michigan Avenue one of these days.





OutdoorMaster

Cycling Helmet

11 colors available

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SANVIEW

Beginner Longboard

8 colors available

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Public Bikes

European-Style City Bike

8 colors available

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K2

Inline Skates

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A post shared by Rachel / Style Travel Food (@lovelyinla)

 

13. Update old furniture (or start from scratch):

There’s a big learning curve when it comes to tackling anything handy—especially if you’re like me—but after watching stunning home improvement projects on TikTok for a few hours, I suddenly feel like I am Joanna Gaines herself and start looking at my old furniture thinking, “oh, I for sure can sand and stain that!” Entering the world of home improvement is no joke but the payoff is wildly great. Not only will you feel a sense of “holy shit, I did that” accomplishment, but it can also result in some really great pieces that save you a ton of money in the long run. 





Black+Decker

Home Tool Kit

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Krylon

Matte Black Spray Paint

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Black+Decker

Orbit Sander

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Retique It

Furniture Paint

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14. Brew some beer

Nothing screams “it’s summer” quite like cracking a cold beer but, as with all things, food and drink tend to taste better when you put time into making it yourself. I’ll admit, until our Editor in Chief mentioned that her husband dabbled in beer making last summer, I hadn’t even considered the possibility of brewing my own. I am picturing myself in a garage, singing the wrong words to country music, brewing some beer, and enjoying the fruits of my labor and I declare—this could the most unexpected summer hobby yet.





Northern Brewer

Beer Making Kit

4 flavors available

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John J. Palmer

How To Brew

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Joshua M. Bernstein

The Complete Beer Course

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Jonny Garrett and Brad Evans

Beer School: A Crash Course in Craft Beer

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15. Foster an animal

If you’ve fostered an animal before, you know that fostering is one of the most rewarding and mutually beneficial relationships in the game. Not only may it result in cuddles, kisses, and overall cuteness overload, but it’ll help prepare the animal for future adoption and free up room in the shelter, allowing the shelter to take new animals in. It’s a great way to experience puppy or kitty love without long-term commitment and is a great way to help out a furry friend in need (and your community). Reach out to shelters in your area to find fostering opportunities near you and thank me later!

 





 

6 Beach Outfits to Wear This Summer

The Everygirl’s product selections are curated by the editorial team. If you buy something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission, at no cost to you. We only recommend products we genuinely love.





No matter who you are or where you live, odds are, the beach will be at least a small part of your summer days. Whether you live close to one or are just going on a trip, you’ll need more than just a bathing suit to wear to the beach—you’ll need full beach outfits.

Sure, it’s easy to throw on a go-to bathing suit, but the real challenge is what you wear with it. Styling a bathing suit is no easy feat, but from breezy, linen shorts to terrycloth pieces á la Juicy Couture, there are dozens of outfits to wear with your bathing suit for a day on the water. We’ve all thrown on a T-shirt, jean shorts, and flip flops before, but this year, we’re taking it a step further.

Toss your SPF, a bottle of water, and a towel into your beach bag, and get ready to be the best-dressed one at the beach this summer. 

 





 sunglasses / bikini top / bikini bottoms / tote / cover-up / flip flops 

 

 





sunglasses / bathing suit / bag / cover-up / sandals 

 

 





sunglasses / bathing suit / bag / shorts / sandals

 

 





 hat / bikini top / bikini bottoms / beach bag / terry shorts / sandals 

 

 





 necklace / bikini top / bikini bottoms / cooler bag / shorts / sandals

 

 






hat / necklace / bikini top / bikini bottoms / sandals

 

 

A Lesson From the French on How to Rest Well During Summertime

A view of the Eiffel Tower from behind a tree

It’s difficult to put into words what summertime means in France. An analogy that seems fitting is to compare summer in France to a finely aged wine. The French work hard all year to harvest the fruit of their labor, but when it comes to summer vacation, they know that, like an aged bottle of red, the secret to excellence is allowing time, rest and stillness to do the work. So let’s learn the French way to do summer—by taking time to relish in the abundance and harvest of the year through true rest. 

As a lover of California sunshine, living abroad in France for four years gave me a new understanding of summer as I faced my first dark, cold and damp winter in Paris. The short days and crowded metros made me crave space and light. Springtime in Paris was an emotional rollercoaster as weather was unpredictable and thunderstorms would interrupt pique-niques and plans.

The French do not live to work. They work to live. Even embedded within the language, the verb “être” (to be) is often used more than “faire” (to do). Daily life in the summer is centered on being not merely doing. Summers are not just for kids on break from school, but the entire society celebrates and savors all that summer has to offer. 

The French do not live to work. They work to live.

Summer Solstice, June 21, is welcomed with a national music festival called La Fête de La Musique. The festival originated in the 1980’s when the Minister of Culture desired to bring people and music to the streets. 

By allowing amateurs and professionals to play without permits, cost or noise restrictions at the festival, all genres of music are made accessible to the public. On the longest day of the year, everyone celebrates life with a 24-hour nationwide party. In Paris, all you need to do is walk for a few blocks and you will stumble on elderly couples dancing in the streets, punk-rock youth blasting their protests, classical quartets lining cafés and children, always at the front line of any crowd, soaking in the sounds and experience of music. 

This annual festival is just a debut of all France has to offer for the summer months. All year long you hear the French dream and discuss plans for “les vacances.” Embedded in French culture is the value of time for rest more than the grind of work and capitalism. 

Embedded in French culture is the value of time for rest more than the grind of work and capitalism. 

The government by law requires full-time workers to take at least five weeks vacation, on top of public holidays throughout the year. By August, most shops are closed for the month with handwritten notes from owners explaining “on est en vacances.” We are on vacation and will reopen in September. 

The French summer is unlike any other. Located in the heart of Europe, the geography of France allows for easy access to travel and weekend trips to new cultures and countries. All you have to do is hop on a south-bound train and you will be at the seaside in a matter of hours. 

The longer days, full feasts of delicious seasonal food, time spent with family and a nation-wide pause on work allow for a restoration of the soul of humanity. This summer, may we also learn to pause and let time and rest do its work in usmaking us like a fine wine full of flavor and life.

How good are you about prioritizing rest? Why is this so important?

Image via Coco Tran, Darling Issue No. 19

Independence Day and the Ongoing Road to Freedom

Fireworks exploding dimly
Colors splashing silently
Against the midnight blue sky
I stay inside heart broken and awry

I want to celebrate you today—I do
Even if you haven’t always loved me too
Celebration for liberation I cannot feel
For I need space within myself to heal

Land of the free, home of the brave
Oh land of my heart, the blood you gave
To tear away and become your own
The victory won to now stand alone

I love my country: yes, I do
I am proud to have come from you
With your imperfections I am wrestling
With all that is not yet free I am reckoning

I wrestle so I can find truth’s acceptance
Then we can move forward in repentance
Both celebrate the birth of our nation in 1776
And commit to work on what still must be fixed

May we continue to push for the promises
Of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness
For all humankind created equal and free
From colonies to one nation we overcame tyranny

Until all experience the same liberation others do
It is growth and change we must pursue
As we wish each other a happy fourth of July
May we commit to help every American be able to fly

To honor all who have fought for our nation, we persevere:
For respect for each other, we fight
For unity with one another, we fight
For liberty and justice for all, we fight

This time, I’ll step outside to look up at the sky
A sparkler in hand to enjoy the festivities I’ll try
To sing a new anthem: I am proud to be an American
This is my country to shape and to liberate is my inheritance

What injustice have you seen in your corner of the world? How can you be an advocate for people or groups of people who are disenfranchised or overlooked?

Image via Raisa Zwart Photography

Darling Letters: How to Keep Your Heart Tender

A woman in a navy blue suit crouched on the floor

We are bringing “Darling Letters” from your inbox to the blog! We love the art of letter writing and believe it helps build authentic community. Our editors and contributors have thoughtfully written encouraging letters to cut through the busyness and speak straight to your heart.

My bleary eyes check the clock, confirming it’s already tomorrow. 1:17 a.m. I grab my journal and scribble “I’m too raw and exposed. Just teetering on an edge.” 

I breathe in and out the prayerful pleas on my heart to steady myself back into my body. Now, it’s 6:12 a.m. I’m awake again as my 4-year-old daughter clumsily tries to sneak under my covers. Her big, sleepy eyes beg for a snuggle, and she’s wrapped up in my arms just like that. Down the hall my eldest runs his fingers across the keys of our hand-me-down piano, and music fills the house and my heart too, which is strung out from yesterday’s heartache. Right now, however, it’s so full from the sweet glory of a new day that tears hit my cheeks.

Right now, however, [my heart is] so full from the sweet glory of a new day that tears hit my cheeks.

The kids are antsy for breakfast, but I quickly journal, “My mind reels and wanders. My heart swells and breaks. I need the both/and. I don’t want to dull myself from feeling tender to all that remains good.”

The tender parts of us are a glimmer of our humanity. We remain tender by holding the tension of our “ands”joy and grief, hard and sacred. I want to be soft enough to behold and brim the beauty of it all while remaining unflinchingly curious and empathetic to wade into the deep of what is broken and painful. Hard-fought, deep joy doesn’t deny or look away from sorrow. Even in heartache, we can hold space for hope to return. 

Even in heartache, we can hold space for hope to return. 

Author and activist Parker Palmer taught me the etymology of the word humus, which is the decayed vegetable matter that nurtures the roots of plants. It comes from the same root word for humility. Our most humble momentsface down in the dirt, tender and rawmay create the richest soil for deep rooting and meaning. If we harden ourselves, we’ll miss it. Stay tender for truth, healing, beauty and justice to grow wild here.

With a tender heart,
Jessica Mayfield, the Darling family

What negative connotation does “a tender heart” carry in society? How do you perceive “tenderness” and “vulnerability”? How can keeping your heart soft and tender be used to your advantage?

Image via Taylor Roades, Art via Ash (Opperman) Wilson