The Sol Compass

by Caitlin Hummer


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26 & A Birthday Wish

Good morning everyone, welcome back!  Today is (somehow) my 26th birthday!  The past three years (since I started blogging) have been a crazy ride and I have grown so much during them.

Today I’d like to ask something of all of you.  Occasionally I still get people asking me what I would like for my birthday, and honestly there is nothing I want for myself.  I have more love and objects in my life than I could ever need and I am so thankful for everything the past 26 years have brought me.

Something that does need your love and attention, however, is Susie’s Senior Dogs.  SSD is a nonprofit that is working to bring awareness to homeless senior dogs.  These dogs have had really tough lives and all they need is love and a forever home.  The stories are so touching I wish I could take in all of them (though my current living arrangements won’t allow me one at the moment).

There have been days where I call Bryan up crying because of a sad story I saw about a senior dog who had to be euthanized due to lack of space in a shelter.  It absolutely rips my heart out to see what these poor pups have to endure, and they have done absolutely nothing to deserve it.

Whether it’s buying a book, making a donation, or just following along on Facebook or Instagram, please just take a minute to support these pups or help them find their forever homes.  Awareness is the first step we can take!

Thank you all so much for listening!  I cannot believe how blessed I am to have such supportive readers and a dedicated following!  I started this blog at 22, never knowing how many people I would connect with over it!  Thanks for sticking it out with me through my mid-twenties.  I have a feeling this year will be the best year yet :).

Outfit Details – Dress: Old Navy | Jacket: Lucky Brand | Boots: J.Crew Factory | Bandana: Madewell | Hat: Nordstrom (old, similar here, here, here, and here) |

xo, C


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Tuesday Ten: Podcasts

Tuesday Ten

Hey everyone, welcome to the start of a brand new series on The Sol Compass!  On Tuesdays I thought it would be fun to start sharing some things outside of fashion, beauty, and traveling that I love and enjoy.  Today’s subject is Podcasts, so let’s dive right in!

I am a music lover through and through, so I usually turn to Spotify for background noise.  However lately I’ve been so caught up in my head that I prefer a podcast on a quiet Sunday morning.  Putting a podcast on for inspiring and thought provoking conversation really helps keep my brain moving!  They’re also great if you have a long commute, an elliptical day (I really hate elliptical days), or a sink full of dishes to tend to!  I love any opportunity to learn something, but sometimes I fall into the busy trap of not letting myself read enough.  Enter the podcast, which allows you to multitask!

  1. TED Radio Hour.  Hosted by Guy Raz, a prominent voice in the Podcast world, the TED Radio Hour uses TED talks, expert interviews, and fresh perspectives to unravel a topic and dive in to new ideas.
  2. How I Built This.  Another Guy Raz podcast, this one is all about entrepreneurs, innovators, and exceptional creators who built powerful businesses, movements, and empires.  Some favorites have been Spanx, Instagram, and Airbnb!
  3. Goal Digger.  Any #girlboss trying to forge her way through a saturated market with her creative endeavor absolutely needs to listen to Goal Digger.  Jenna Kutcher re-inspires me even on my hardest days where I wonder if I have what it takes to keep blogging.
  4. Patcast.  I have to include Patcast because it was the first podcast I ever listened to (four years ago!).  Pat Monahan, of Train, interviews musicians and artists he likes, and sometimes you get a nice little duet!  They haven’t had a new episode for two years, but there are some great gems in the archives!
  5. Stuff You Should Know.  This is B’s favorite podcast and what got me back into podcasting after a bit of a hiatus.  SYSK covers a seemingly endless variety of topics in a conversational format and I always feel educated and informed about something new after listening to one.
  6. Strong Opinions Loosely Held.  This Refinery 29 podcast is great for anyone who loves pop culture. As someone who actually isn’t always engaged in all facets of pop culture, I love seeing how it impacts our daily lives, even when we aren’t noticing it!
  7. Modern Love.  As a literature lover I have a soft spot for love stories.  Modern Love, from the New York Times column, shares some beautiful, heart wrenching, powerful essays of love, loss, and redemption.  Be wary of this one, it can be a tear jerker!
  8. Crash On My Couch.  Arden Rose and Will Darbyshire cover so many topics I don’t really know how to narrow this down.  I feel like I’m hanging out with two friends as they touch on things all millennials want to know more about, such as friend breakups, Spongebob conspiracies, long distant relationships, and more!
  9. Anna Faris Is Unqualified.  Anna Faris hosts this hilarious podcast, dishing out advice with a fellow celebrity each week on love and relationships.  If you are looking for a feel-good podcast to lighten up your morning commute, this one will not let you down.
  10. 99% Invisible.  This last one is super hard to describe but worth every listen.  It brings to light the overlooked elements of design that exist all around us and propel our lives forward.  You might never look at statues in New York City the same again!

I am super excited for next week’s Tuesday Ten (it’s already written!) so make sure you stop by again!  Have a great week!
xo, C

 

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Pool Party

 

Hello everyone, welcome back!  This year for her birthday, Michaela wanted to take things back to our childhood and have a pool party for her friends at our parents’ pool, and everyone was so excited when we first told them about it!  We didn’t want to spend too much money, so our first step was to hit up Target for inspiration!

Michaela is a bonafide hospitality nerd, and she loves its symbol (the pineapple), so we decided to have a pineapple/flamingo themed soiree; filled with bright colors.

We picked up most of this table in the dollar section (though realistically it’s $1-$5 section).

We put Starbucks Iced Passion Tea in this big dispenser so everyone could stay hydrated using these adorable pineapple and palm tree cups Michaela ordered online!

B served as the grill master, and whipped up some food while everyone was taking boomerangs on the floats!


Always playing the good hostess, Michaela put out a bucket of sunscreen and sunglasses in case anyone forgot!

All in all, the party was definitely a success without putting too much time or money into it. The floats are always the biggest expense, but worth it to see how much fun people have on them!

xo, C


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Five Favorite Things

 Happy Monday everyone!  Today I wanted to spice things up a bit and talk about five things that I have been loving so far this year, but haven’t quite made it onto the blog!  I started this blog as a way to share my favorite things, but usually that’s only in regard to fashion.  If you want to see more posts like this let me know in the comments and I’ll share more of the things I’ve been loving outside of my usual recommendations. 

 

Salt Lamp.  Salt Lamps have been really trending for a while, and you can find them everywhere from Bed, Bath, and Beyond to your local vitamin shop.  I got mine from Urban Outfitters (I was trying to get to the $50 free shipping with something else I was buying!) but you can definitely find some more affordable options elsewhere (my mom bought my dad and grandmother one at Bed, Bath, and Beyond).  I really needed it in the first few months of the year to combat my Seasonal Affective Disorder, but the benefits are nearly unlimited and I’ve certainly experienced my fair share of them.  You can read about some salt lamp benefits here, and I also liked this article about salt lamps if you’re looking to learn more!


The Inspiralizer.  When B and I decided to try Whole3o in January, I went after one of the famed Inspiralizers.  It had been on my mind for at least a year, but Whole30 finally gave me the excuse I had been waiting for!  We’ve tried a few of the Inspiralized recipes (I was obsessed with these fajita bowls!) and also managed to make my dad’s famed pesto with zucchini noodles – it was delicious, and I’m dying to bring it to game night and see what my family thinks of it!


Sweet Peach Palette.  I have been living and dying for this relaunched Too Faced palette.  My go-to every day eye shadow look combines white peach, peaches ‘n cream, georgia, purse, caramelized, and luscious. It’s the perfect soft and bold brown eye, but I also love creating looks in hues of pink and purple. This palette really does it all.  Plus, it smells mouth-wateringly like peaches.  What more could you want??

 

Alarm Clock.  I have been pondering the addition of an analog clock to my makeup area so I can keep track of time.  This one was an instant winner as soon as I saw it.  I love the brushed finish, the traditional alarm style, and the soft color.  As an added bonus it works great for a backup alarm if you aren’t a fan of the cell phone! (You can shop the acrylic spa cylinder set here, and the single one here).


Taco Trucks.  These amazing taco trucks take the handy stands that restaurants have to a whole new level.  They’re fun, they’re functional, they’re dishwasher/microwave safe, and they can be at your door in two days with Amazon Prime.  Need I say more?
Thanks for stopping by! Hope you all have a great week!

xo, C


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How to Make the Most of Your Weekend

 

Welcome back everyone!  I hope you all had a great week.  I was doing some reflecting and realized that I scarcely have that Sunday night feeling of regret/dread that I used to, so I must have learned what works for me in the past few years.  While every person is different, these are some things I’ve noticed have helped me

 

Don’t leave anything unresolved.  I know it is tempting to run out the door on Friday afternoon, but I’ve found that it’s worth the extra 15 minutes to stay later and finish everything that I’m working on.  I’m the type of person to let an unresolved issue or a conflict I have to address eat away at me for days until it’s solved, so tying up any loose ends on Friday is worth staying late so that I can have a relaxed and stress free weekend.

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Schedule downtime for Friday night.  There are plenty of weekends when I don’t feel like I need any downtime at all.  If I do have a long and tiring week that makes me feel like I need time to do nothing, that time happens on Friday night.  Getting myself totally reset right away makes it so much easier for me to get on with my weekend than say, going out Friday night and putting that needed rest time off until later in the weekend, because without hitting that reset button I could just drag on all weekend and never make the most of the weekend.  Last weekend was super chilly so I spent the evening reading Bruce Springsteen’s book that’s been sitting on my shelf for months and looking into buying new pots for my growing succulents.  It was heavenly!

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Get going on Saturday morning.  Nothing makes me feel worse than waking up on a weekend morning and scrolling through my Instagram feed for an accidental two hours.  Yikes.  Instead I go to yoga at 8:30 every Saturday morning.  It’s late enough that I can sleep in a little bit if I need to, but early enough that I can’t really dawdle in the morning.  Plus I’ve found that yoga is the best weekend exercise since it really resets my hectic mind and allows me to stretch out some of the tension I’ve been holding on to, thus starting my weekend off on a completely clear slate.

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Do something you love.  Everyone who knows me knows that Saturdays are for adventures.  After a long week, or even a short one for that matter, I always look forward to doing things on Saturday.  I believe that life has to be lived more than just on vacation, so Saturday is my day to do just that.  For me it can be anything from going to a museum, exploring a fellow New England city, or just heading to a cool brunch spot.  Saturdays are all about exploration, and trying new things gives me a reason to get up and out of the house on Saturdays.  This means if it’s rainy, hitting up a museum or if it’s sunny, hitting up a hiking trail.

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Don’t waste Sunday afternoon.  Sunday afternoon by far can be the worst part of the weekend for many people.  Sometimes 4 o’clock rolls around and the Monday dread starts to kick in, even though there is still plenty of time left to enjoy the weekend.  When football season is over, I find myself making plans for Sunday evening so I don’t collapse on the couch into an endless internet scroll.  Sometimes it’s a family dinner to look forward to or a movie night with my mom.  In warmer weather, B and I take a twilight stroll or run to work off all the brunch food.

 

Schedule something to look forward to.  B and I have a regular Taco Tuesday reservation for many reasons (the most obvious being our undying love for tacos).  This also gives us something to look forward to on Sunday night.  Instead of dreading the work week, it’s a great opportunity to look for that early or mid week reward (my parents were always more into rewards than punishments when I was a kid, so this might explain a lot about my belief in the reward system).  For others it might be Margarita Monday or a Tuesday spin class… Whatever it is that actually keeps you looking forward into the week.

 

Don’t spend your entire weekend doing chores.  I heard somewhere (presumably Oprah) that housework can take as long as you let it, and it really resonated with me.  There’s never really a set end point for chores, especially if you’ve been meaning to clean out a closet or tackle a larger project.  Doing chores is just like more work, and really takes away from the enjoyment of a weekend.  Instead I’ve been trying to check them off on a weekday evening when I wouldn’t do much other than eat dinner and watch a movie.  My current project right now is cleaning out my closet, so instead of spending an entire weekend doing it I’ve been trying to just take out three things to sell or donate every day.  It’s easy to do while I’m getting ready, and I’ve found that I might be more willing to part with something if it doesn’t feel like I’m getting rid of so much all at once.

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What are your tips for making the most of your weekend?  Sound off in the comments below!


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Apps I Love


Welcome back friends!  Today I’m talking about apps.  Obviously, like most of you, my five most used apps are Spotify, Instagram, VSCO, Snapchat, and Messages.   These are all fantastic apps that I use every day, but they aren’t necessary apps that make my life easier or more well rounded.  Think about all the functional holes still left in your digital life.

 

OneNote.  OneNote is probably my favorite app of all time.  The best way to describe it is as a digital notebook.  Or notebooks, plural.  As someone who really loves traditional notebooks, I honestly did not expect to love OneNote as much as I do.  I have it downloaded on my phone, iPad, laptop, and desktop computer, because it syncs across all my devices.  No more lugging four different notebooks from your home, to car, to office, to car, to home…. Everything you need is updated and present whenever you need to access it.  The is amazing to say the least.  For very little effort, you can have your notes organized however you like best, right down to tags and color coded details.  For example, I have a blog notebook filled with ideas I’m currently working on, spreadsheets, and forms; and a personal notebook with travel itineraries, job applications, and Whole30 ideas.  It’s compatible will all MicrosoftOffice suites and continually finds new ways to surprise and delight me.

 

Slice.  As an avid online shopper, I love that Slice tracks all my packages and let’s me know when they are expected to arrive and even sends me a notification when they are delivered.  It syncs with your email, so you don’t have to do anything to update your current shipments!

 

Venmo.  I’m actually pretty surprised at how many people I know that don’t use Venmo.  Squaring up with people financially can be such a struggle these days, especially since I have cash on me approximately 1 out of 67 days.  The only thing I hate more than having to bug someone about money is owing someone money.  Luckily, Venmo makes paying your friends back so easy.  You can pay or charge someone instantly, and not have to worry about forgetting, having a check on you, etc.

 

Ted.  I absolutely love watching Ted talks.  Any time I have 20 minutes to spare, I usually watch the most recent one, or delve into the archives to find something cool.  Trying and learning new things is incredibly important to me, and Ted talks are a really easy way of exposing myself to something different.  This app is sleek and easy to navigate, which is all it really needs to be while delivering the talks to my iPad.

 

Google Trips.  As a lover of Google Flights, you can imagine how excited I was when I discovered Google Trips.  Google’s attempt at creating a one stop shop for travel planning scans your inbox to save all your reservations, and uses Google’s unlimited knowledge to help you plan your itineraries.  Best of all, you can use it without internet.  Hello, traveling abroad like you’ve never seen it before.

 

Do you guys have any ride or die apps I should try out?  Leave them in the comment section!

Have a great day!

xo, C

 


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25 Things I’ve Learned by 25

25

Welcome back everyone!  Today I wanted to share with you a few things I’ve learned in my 25 years.  A lot of them sound painstakingly cliche, but sometimes we can really only learn these obvious lessons by stumbling through a few mistakes by ourself.  I am by no means an expert on life, but I did take a rather unconventional path in growing up, which taught me a few lessons earlier (and a few lessons later) than other people may have learned them.

 

  1. Never underestimate the healing power of a long drive with good music. (And coffee).
  2. Buying real pajamas will change the way you sleep.  If you don’t want to pull the trigger on a new mattress, just buy yourself some real pajamas.  Having clothes that are designated for sleeping helps your body figure out what it’s supposed to do better than climbing into bed in the same kind of clothes (such as leggings) you wear to workout in.
  3. Don’t sweat the small stuff.  It’ll just clog your pores.
  4. Life’s best moments are spent outdoors.  Nothing can replace the power of sunshine, fresh air, and wildlife.
  5. No one is really your friend until they’ve seen every dark shadow inside you…  And stayed.  The thing that amazes me most in this entire world is that my best friend is still my best friend.  She is the most beautiful and kind soul I have ever met and I cannot believe she still loves me after knowing me during a part of my life when I wasn’t very lovable.  That is true friendship.
  6. Try not to beat yourself up for the person you were at 20.  There is no part of me that likes the person I was between my 19th and 21st birthdays.  It took me a while to forgive myself and to let that person go; because without some of those tough lessons I might not be the person I am today.
  7. Living your life by a time table will not make you happy.  Everyone lives life at their own pace, and you may end up being grateful that you weren’t married with a kid and 30 like you thought you would be.  Our own experiences shape us all differently, and at different times.
  8. Life is short, buy the shoes.
  9. Investing your time at a job that you love is infinitely more rewarding than working at a place you hate.  If you’re going to spend 8 hours per day/5 days per week there, shouldn’t you enjoy it?
  10. Love doesn’t have to be romantic love.  We live in a great big beautiful world filled to the brim of things ready and deserving of our love.  This lesson was one that I resisted a little bit, but I have fallen in love with so many things over the past few years and it has only inspired me to try more and more new things.
  11. You only have one body so treat it well.  This extends from exercising regularly and eating well to taking good care of your skin and always taking your makeup off at night (this part took me 24 years to master).
  12. You are not for everyone.  Whether they are friends or significant others, you are not compatible with everyone on the planet.  Sometimes they realize this before you, and that’s okay.  It’s always a blessing in disguise to not waste any more time with people who aren’t right for you.
  13. Not being right for everyone does not give you the excuse to treat people poorly.  I once had a coworker that I was never going to be friends with, just based on personalities and interests.  We still existed and worked together pleasantly and respectfully, and I consider my relationship with her one of my most successful for this reason.
  14. Cutting toxic people out of your life needs to be done sooner rather than later.  It can be hard, but your mental health is so important it’s not worth suffering around those people who negatively effective you.
  15. Travel as much as you can as far as you can.  Life is not meant to be lived in one place.  I have learned more about myself traveling than I ever did at home.
  16. Sometimes, you just have to leap without looking.  I am the most panicked, calculated, logical person I know; and you can bet I have made three pro/con lists, a flow chart, and a time table before I make any significant life change.  The best decisions I made were the ones where I threw this well planned process directly out the window and just went for it.
  17. Let people know that you appreciate them.  This is probably my most valued trait.  As a manager, thanking people for helping you and telling them things they have done well is the most amazing tool for getting more out of your employees.  It’s also something I like to incorporate into my personal life.  I think telling people what you love about them is such a strong and powerful tool to strengthen your relationships and sometimes it’s just what that person needed to turn a bad day around.
  18. It will work itself out.  I spent most of my early (and mid) twenties panicking about literally everything.  The only thing that made my panic worse was everyone telling me not to panic.  I’m a little bit of a control freak, so not knowing how to fix things was constantly stressing me out.  Luckily I’ve learned that some things just need time to work themselves out.
  19. Do what feels right.  My friends, coworkers, and family are beyond sick of hearing me say this, because it feels like a cop out sometimes.  But at the end of the day, you just have to trust your gut.  My brain will play devil’s advocate all day long bringing me back and forth between different outcomes, but I think you always know what’s right for you.  Sometimes you just have to buck up and do the hard thing.
  20. Take a walk.  Sometimes this means taking time to yourself in the middle of an argument before you send that angry email.  Sometimes it means stretching your legs to get that creative energy flowing again.  Whatever it ends up being, taking a walk always helps.
  21. Having financial security will take away so much stress from your life.  Most of us do not have as much saved as we would like, but having enough savings to handle an emergency car repair or medical bill will take away so much stress from your life.
  22. Cooking for yourself will help your physical, mental, and financial health.  Starting Whole30 this month, one of my main goals was to force myself to cook more.  I was honestly shocked at how much better I felt physically after even just one week.  Added bonuses were not racking up a $30 dinner three times per week and having a lot of relaxing time at home where I learned new cooking skills and new nutrition facts.
  23. Don’t feel stupid if you don’t like what everyone else pretends to love.  I don’t like going to clubs.  In fact I can’t think of anything I want to do less.  It took me very little time after turning 21 to realize this, but it took me a little while longer to realize that I didn’t have to go.  You do you.  Spend your Saturday night with a face mask and a good book.  No one else gets to have an opinion on the way you live your life.
  24. If you have to ask what jazz is, you’ll never know.
  25. Starting over doesn’t have to be the end of the world.  Sometimes it’s refreshing to be able to wipe your slate clean and take the right steps to put yourself on a new path in a direction that’s right for you.

 

Do you guys have any lessons you’ve learned that you want to share?  Let me know in the comment section!

Hope you all have a wonderful day!
xo, C