The Sol Compass

by Caitlin Hummer

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February 2018 Recap

Hi everyone, welcome back!  Sorry for the radio silence around here.  When life gets really busy, unfortunately the blog is the first thing that has to be taken off the burner.

That being said, it was the perfect time to do some reflecting on the direction I want to take The Sol Compass in over the next year.

It became clear to me throughout January that I wanted to broaden the focus of the blog.  I try to curb my spending in the early months of the year (since it’s a time of year that I really don’t need many new things, and also the time of year that can be actually painful to take outfit photos in when you live in New England).  For three years, I’ve shared nearly three outfit posts every single week.  That is a lot of new outfits every month!  I love personal style, and it will always be a cornerstone of my own personal identity and the identity of this site.  At this point, though, an increasing number of my life goals are centered around other things, and most of those things don’t involve creating new, fresh, and inspiring outfits at a somewhat alarming rate.

I have always needed a creative outlet, and this blog has been nothing short of perfect for me. As I take a step back from fashion, it means I can focus on other things that you and I both care about.  My main idea in this shift of direction is that this place will be fewer photos of me in my outfits, and more about us.  Nearly 40% of you are women between 25 and 34 – we are all going through the same things together, and care about many of the same topics (our jobs, our homes, our skin, our vacations).  I love researching these topics, learning about them, and sharing my findings with you all through writing.  So I hope you stick around as I take an editorial approach to the things you want to see more of!

(In case you missed my intro to my monthly recaps, see January’s here).

B and I had quite a few nights out this month, which was a really nice way to break up the winter blues.  We went to Providence with my family to see Sebastian Maniscalco, and ate at a little Italian place in Federal Hill called Massimo.  I’ve mentioned before that my mom and both of my siblings have celiac disease, so finding an Italian restaurant that has so many gluten free options is a big win with them (even though my dad and I were pulling to go to Los Andes… all parties left the meal full and happy).

For Valentine’s Day, we have a tradition of staying home far away from every overpriced prix fixe menu.  This year we decided to have a little cheese night and make a small board for ourselves.  We’ve spent a lot of time learning about cheese and cheese boards over the last year, so it’s really fun for us to put something together.  I’ve been toying with the idea of writing a post about it, so if that’s something you would be interested in seeing leave me a comment!

We moved Bryan’s side hustle (Think Wood Thoughts) into a physical space, which was super exciting!  He now has a small collection of his pieces available in Sterling, Mass!  If you’re nearby, you can check his booth out here.

As a gift, Bryan also made me a gorgeous side table to serve as a coffee station!  I have lots of coffee beans and makers, but really had nowhere to store them all.  I also think coffee cart is going to be the next bar cart, and wanted an area everything could shine.  This gift really will keep on giving throughout the years, and I can’t wait to show you all how I style it in the next couple weeks!

The last exciting thing that happened this month, is we saw Black Panther, which is a two fold excitement.  First off, the movie is great and if you haven’t seen it yet you should change that ASAP.  The next piece, is we got to start our full re-watch of the MCU in preparation for Infinity War.  This article is the perfect order to watch, in my opinion.  Needless to say, we have our work cut out for us with this marathon!

Thank you so much for reading.  I love you all tremendously, and the fact that you are reading these words right now means nothing short of the world to me.

xo, C

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Apple Watch Review

One of the questions my friends in real life and on the internet have in common, is “How do you like your Apple Watch?!”  The truth is, long before Apple even announced a watch, I was searching for a watch with standalone GPS function.  I never found one that seemed worth the purchase though, so I postponed the purchase.  When Apple launched the Series Two, B got himself one, and I waited with baited breath to hear his full review.  As the technology world tends to do, the whispers around the Series 3 kept me waiting around for that launch, and in September I decided the new Apple Watch finally had everything I was looking for.  My family actually bought me one for my birthday, and I have gleefully worn it every day since then.  Every week or so, someone has asked me for my review and recommendation.

My number one interest in the Apple Watch was its health features.  As mentioned, I have long searched for wearable technology that allows me to track my runs (and walks) without carrying my phone around.  Some of my other favorite features include the activity rings, the “stand” alerts, and the workout app, which allows you to track cycling, elliptical, and stair master workouts, amongst others.  It’s also really nice to not need my phone strapped onto my arm at the gym, I just use my watch and Bose Earphones.

The unsung hero of the Apple Watch, in my option, is its integration with Maps.  No more forgetting to take a turn, the watch will gently, but repeatedly, tap you when you have a turn coming up.

My friend Brad told me I would never notice how many notifications I got in a day until I got an Apple Watch, and he was 100% right.  I had to turn off everything except calls and texts after just one day!  I do love that I can check my texts even when I don’t have my phone nearby, and the Siri is very useful in its own right.

A slightly annoying, but fixable, side effect was that after a couple months of wearing the Watch all day long (besides sleeping), I began to notice some small red bumps on my wrist.  I assumed it was because of my dry winter skin, and I had never worn a watch all day, through workouts and all, before.  So I asked my mom (an avid watch wearer), and she said some hydrocortisone would fix it!  (She was right, as always).

My only real complaint about the Apple Watch is the lack of Spotify integration.  It works great with Apple Music, but I’m very loyal to Spotify for a plethora of reasons, which can make leaving behind your phone very frustrating.  I’m not sure the future the Watch and Spotify have together, but in my book it’s the only real area for improvement.

Do any of you have the Apple Watch?  What are your thoughts on it?

xo, C

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5 Ways to Beat the Winter Blues


Hi everyone – welcome back!  I was looking for something in my OneNote app last week, and I found this post that I wrote last year and never published!  I actually really like the way it came out so while it’s not completely relevant (I’m not doing Whole30 this year, and our trip to Florida was over a year ago), I decided not to change it and just leave the text as it was.  It’s a good little reminder for myself too, since we’re right in the thick of those tired winter blues right now!

Today I want to share with you a few things that have helped me the past month combat those winter blues.

Take advantage of the slow season to focus on your health.  While I was in Florida, I was really starting to feel the effects of eating out for every meal and snacking unhealthily throughout the day.  There was no way I was going to pass up a beignet or a churro or a Mickey bar… I have never dieted a day in my life, but I was starting to feel the effects of all the bread products and sugar I had been having.  Towards the end of the trip I started thinking about going on Whole30.  Then I got a stomach bug and pretty much didn’t leave my bed for three days.  After sleeping more than I usually do in a month and always being tired, I finalized my decision to start Whole30.  My goal wasn’t to lose any weight or have a miraculous appearance change, but rather to force myself to make healthier habits.  They say it takes 21 days to form a habit, and my hope was that at the end of Whole30 I would reach for healthier breakfasts (over my usual bagel) and have a better knowledge of what foods would help me feel better and give me the energy to keep going throughout my very long days (I usually wake up before six and frequently come home after 11).  Researching a lot about food, what I could have, and experimenting with recipes also got me into a pretty good habit of meal prep and actually taking time to make my own breakfast, which was my ultimate goal.  During the first week I missed carbs so much.  Mentally I kept thinking I was hungry or needed a more “filling” part of a meal as I stared at chicken and vegetables on repeat.  I can definitely say that my Whole30 journey was a success in steering me away from the empty carbs and towards food with a nutritional value, and having a slower social season to focus on it was really helpful as well.

Drink more water.  This is one of those things that everyone sort of knows we should do but hardly anyone actually believes they do enough.  I always thought S’well bottles were the best way to help these.  Every morning I try to make myself drink a full bottle of water before I got up from my desk for the first time.  Unfortunately I tend to get up a lot, so sometimes it’s a challenge but it is pretty good motivation.  Especially while I’m downing that morning coffee it is extremely good to mix some water in.  Then wanting to get up to fill my water throughout the day is another decent excuse to keep drinking (and stretching the legs).

Read more.  While I was sick, I got that judgy message from Netflix asking if I was still binge watching New Girl.  I usually only watch one episode of anything at a time, so seeing that really struck a nerve with me.  I actually deleted my Netflix app on my iPad the next day because seeing that message just made me feel awful.  I started to keep two stacks of books on one of my nightstands.  One with nonfiction books on my list, and the other with fiction.  I’ve been trying to get in the habit of reading more at night because reading really does bring me so much joy (my mom used to joke that she would punish my sister and I with “no reading for fun”).  Unfortunately, it’s one of the first things I put to the back burner when my life gets busy and I always feel the empty hole it leaves when I stop.  Whatever genre you choose to indulge in, reading is amazing for your creativity and critical thinking.

Self care.  Face masks are one of those things that feel so indulgent and not a single bit guilty.  You get to relax and give yourself a quiet night in, and your face gets treated to some much needed care?  Win win.  Same with going to the gym.  When did you ever feel bad after going to the gym?  Sometimes it’s hard and sometimes it sucks, but in the end it’s over and you get to eat pizza for dinner.

Schedule downtime.  I am always out and about on any given night of the week.  December was particularly busy, and between Christmas gatherings, movie releases, store opening parties, Taco Tuesdays, and my friends coming back to Massachusetts for the holidays, I felt like the only down time I had was spent on writing five blog posts per week!  Socializing is something that can seem so urgent and important, but I have always known that I need some time to myself.  As I’ve gotten older, I’ve found that scheduling my nights alone is something I need to be better at.  My problem was always that I didn’t know in advance that I would have time alone, and so I would wind up wasting an entire evening.  Planning my time alone ahead of time (planning a meal or a book even) and not just allowing myself to waste the night away busying myself has been really important to my ‘me time’.  Michaela and I will very easily pop on a movie with our laptops or tablets in front of us, and then all of a sudden I’m answering emails and working on finding links for next week’s post.  One of the greatest things about blogging is I can do it any time, any place.  But it also makes it that much harder to turn it off and take myself off the clock.

What are your favorite ways to beat the winter blues?

xo, C


January 2018 Recap

Hi everyone, happy Friday!  One of my goals for 2018 is to make more videos for myself and the blog, and another is to reflect on each month more instead of waiting until the end of the year to do a potentially overwhelming reflection.  Today, we’re going to tackle both by recapping January!

January is a really tough month for me every year (as I think it is for everyone).  One of the reasons I like New Year’s Resolutions so much is because it gives me a goal and a purpose during this otherwise bleak 31 day stretch.  B and I got back into a gym groove again (let’s just say the last half of the year was not our most healthy), and I was pretty surprised at how easily I fell back into the habit of going.  I really, really love the gym that we go to (I’ve been going there for almost four years now), and think it plays a huge factor into going.  It’s possibly the least judgy gym either of us have ever set foot in, and the people there are so incredibly nice.  I hadn’t realized how much I missed the act of just being there.

We also celebrated my Gramma’s 80th birthday this month!  She’s somehow both the strongest and sweetest person I know, and if I turn out to be half the woman she is by 80 I will be pretty damn proud of myself.  (She also looks amazing and when we got the invitation B said “there is no way your grandmother is 80!” so we should all take some pointers from her).

I go to more than my fair share of concerts, so over the years it’s become pretty hard to really impress me with one.  While I firmly believe that live music can heal in a way that most things can’t, few artists can really blow me away with a live performance.  The last concert that wowed me was New Politics and Andrew McMahon (who I’ve seen many times) at the House of Blues back in November of 2015.  I’ve wanted to see The Killers live since I was 13 years old.  That’s half of my life I spent idolizing Brandon Flowers and turning him into this untouchable musical God in my head.  I constantly kept postponing it, thinking that he could never live up to the pedestal I had placed him on.  After his solo album, The Desired Effect, crept it’s way into my Top Five Albums of All Time list, I knew I had to make it happen.  B and I bought tickets even before ‘Wonderful Wonderful’ was released.  The concert blew my damn mind, you guys.  Everything from the visuals to Brandon himself was everything I could have imagined and more.  So, yes, he did go back to back with Springsteen in my book.  15/10 would recommend.

One of my favorite parts of January is our schedule finally dies down. From September straight through the holidays, B and I had a packed social calendar, so winter is the time we have to relax and catch up with each other on some date nights that we had gotten put on the back burner.

B and I also went to Dave and Buster’s with my siblings one night, and had so much fun embracing our playful inner children.  It was a day that the high was a whopping 1 degree, so it was nice to get out of the house, but stay inside!

I was lucky enough to escape the cold for nine days with a work trip to sunny Orange County.  I did sneak in a little Vitamin D (and a few bare leg days), which I shared on my Instagram.  My best friend and I visited LA and San Diego back in 2014, and it was really nice to be back.  It’s one of the few places I’ve visited and felt like I could live there.

When I got back from SoCal, I was so ready to stop eating out for every meal! B and I spent the whole Sunday I got back researching meal prep options to find what might work best for us. If you’re interested in a full post on it, or have any good meal prep tips, let me know!  While there’s been a little trial and error, we still have plenty of room for growth.

Check out my January video here.  Due to the weird nature of January, it only has footage from California.  I’m hoping the next months will be a little bit more inclusive of my every day life.

Thanks so much for stopping by!

xo, C

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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




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