Recent Faves


It's been a while since I've done faves! I usually do them in a video but since I'm short on time with the holidays to prepare for, I'm going to tell you all my favorites here instead. Some of the links in here may be affiliate links which means that if you click or buy something through them, I might be compensated at no additional cost to you. It helps me continue to be able to blog here.

1. Fenty Matchstix Trio. Believe the hype, y'all. I'm obsessed with my set in Medium 200 and have bought additional Matchstix in Yacht Lyfe and Blonde. Each trio comes with a highlight, contour, and concealer and has a value of 3 for the price of 2. Crazy lightweight, buildable, and easy to use. I love the magnetic, hexagonal packaging as well.

2. When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon. This book was a lot of fun to listen to! I got the Audible audiobook and luckily for me, the great writing was complemented by great readers. It tells the story of Dimple and Rishi who are being set up by their very traditional Indian parents. Rishi is a dutiful son and is excited by the prospect of meeting a (potential) life partner. Dimple is not as aligned with her parents' traditional ideas and wants to focus on her career. This is why, when both families decide to send the two soon-to-be college students to the same summer program for web development to get to know each other, Rishi's parents tell him about his potential mate and Dimple's parents... do not. If you're looking for a fun read about two kids falling-in-love maybe and coming-of-age definitely-- and are really tired of only reading stories about white people-- check this book out.

3. Audible. Speaking of listening to books, I just started up with Audible and I love it. As someone who wants to read more but had trouble making space for it given my issues reading on trains (I get motion sick!) this has been a fantastic solution. I can read books while on the train, cleaning my apartment, or while drifting off to sleep. It's $15/mo and each month you get a credit for a book-- so as long as your book is $15+ on Audible, you've made your money back. You own the books so you can keep them in your library to re-listen to whenever and they also allow you to roll credits over to the next month or return books if you realize you're not that into them.

4. NARS Powermatte Lip Pigment. This is a new favorite formula and the chocolate brown Done It Again is definitely my Fall Look. Non-sticky, has great hold, highly pigmented, and on top of all that, it's not heavy at all. I might have to get more of these in different colors.

5. LUSH Montalbano Shampoo Bar. My cousin Caroline recommended this to me and I'm obsessed now. It's a citrusy, all natural, cruelty-free shampoo that I love. I'd never tried a shampoo bar but I have to say, I'm sold on it and I might never go back. My hair feels so clean and the scent energizes me!

6. Cellphone Rings. As a clumsy person with small hands who drops everything, this sucker has really changed the game for me. Stick it on your phone and you've got a ring to help you hold your phone or to stand it up on surfaces. I like the flower one a lot and I find them more useful than popsockets.

Tell me what stuff you're loving, especially books I oughta try on Audible!

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Zero Energy PSA


I've been away a while. Granted, I did literally go out of the country for a bit, but that's not the majority of why I haven't been posting. Frankly, I haven't had the mental capacity or energy. That's in part due to a hormone disorder I have called hypothyroidism. It started effecting me around 19 and while I improved a lot with treatment, it turns out I haven't actually geared up to the necessary dose I need. Basically my body doesn't have enough thyroid levels so I have to take synthetic versions to make up for what I lack, and apparently I'm not taking enough. Luckily, I have recently found this out, and plan on gearing up my dosage with my doctor so that I can function better.

Hypothyroidism causes a host of things including muscle and joint weakness and soreness, dry skin, lethargy, fatigue, memory loss, hair loss, slowed heart beat... basically it makes everything about you feel very slow. I used to think it was really normal to just want to be asleep all the time but apparently people genuinely enjoy being awake most of the time. Who knew! (Not me, obviously.) My condition was really severe in college so in comparison, I totally thought I had this handled, but this just goes to show that "better" is very relative. I'm really excited because this means that all that fatigue and depression that I have been dealing with will improve a lot just by taking a pill every day! And you know, all the other symptoms too, but the fatigue and depression are going to be the big game-changers for me.

I say all this to let you know a few things:

Firstly, if you are having these problems, too, go get tested for hypothyroidism-- it's a super simple blood test and it's very very treatable. It's especially common in women. I wonder how many of my peers have this disorder without knowing and haven't yet found ways to deal with their depression or general tiredness. (PS: Your depression might have multiple causes which could include this or a host of other things. It might not be just one thing and that's okay! Work with a doctor to figure out how you can manage your own unique stuff.) I bet a lot of us are totally ignoring our suspicions and/or blaming ourselves like I did for a while in college, thinking I was just useless. More recently I totally suspected a lot of my hair was falling out but I have so much hair (my ponytail is 3 times thicker than most people's) I thought "maybe this is just proportional." Turns out, nah. My initial "oh my god am I dying??" every time a wad of hair shed off me was... well obviously not completely warranted-- I'm a pretty dramatic person, let's be real-- but correct in my gut instinct that something was Not Right.

Secondly, I am totally going to continue blogging and hopefully making youtube content as well. It's just been super hard with all this going on, but I'm not giving up on this. I'm just really, really tired. Most notably from this, but there are other changes in the world of Harper that take precedence over this blog. Hopefully I will have more energy within the next few months and get back on schedule!

Thirdly, I will eventually get all my content up about my trip to Europe and other things. In the meantime however, you can follow me on Twitter and Instagram, which are much more manageable for me at the moment. I'm @harperyi on both.


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August Shopping Picks

This post contains affiliate links. That means clicking a link or purchasing something though the link may result in a small amount of money coming my way at no additional cost to you. My opinions are always my own. Thanks for helping this blog keep running!


This month I'm covering some things I've already bought alongside some things I wanna buy since it's been a while since I've done a wishlist post. It's just something it doesn't make sense to even think about when you are looking for work, you know? But now that I'm back on my feet, I must admit that I've been shopping with a bit of a vengeance. Here are my picks for this month!

1. Gold & Black Embroidered Reversible Bomber - One of the things I realized when I was working through Nicole's amazing workbook, Feel Good, Dress Better's first chapter is that I love bomber jackets-- they are super versatile, more put-together than hoodies (an adolescent fave), and they actually make me feel more confident in other outfits on days when I just wanna be a little more covered. I'm working toward getting them in all my main colors. So far I have baby pink/white, blush, burgundy, and black with pink and purple florals. This one is next up on my list! Black and gold, and it's reversible which really means it's two jackets in one.

2. Anastasia Beverly Hills' Subculture Palette - Look, I know I said the Two Faced palettes met most of my needs, which they do, and then I said I needed the Limited Edition Urban Decay Full Spectrum Palette for my intensely colorful looks, which is still very true, but this palette, I'm positive, is also going to be a very valuable add to my collection. It's got golden undertones which on a fairer person might be grungier, but on me, I'm thinking it won't be so grungy and will just come off looking very complementary to my tan, warm skin tone.

3. BASU Sound Grenade Personal Alarm - I'm a huge fan of safety, and personal alarms are a must-have in my book. Unlike weapons which can be difficult to obtain and can be turned against victims of crimes, personal alarms de-escalate dangerous situations by making loud noises that will send an attacker running the other way. This sound grenade is super compact, easy to attach to your keys or bag, and all you have to do to activate it is pull the colored part off the black pin. It emits a very loud alarm sound and doesn't shut up until you put it back together or it runs out of batteries. It's super easy to use and comes in a variety of colors. They also make great gifts! I bought the Sound Grenade+ which is larger but has 2 clippable ends (great for setting trip wires when camping or traveling), plus it's pink (always a plus in my book). I got a matching one for my sister and the compact one for my brother.

4. Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Aquacealer - I really like liquid concealers and Mia recommended this one! It works well and it's vegan and cruelty-free which is always a bonus. I'm currently using the Tarte Amazonian clay concealer but I'm frankly not a huge fan of the stick formulation (surprising because I'm a stick makeup person). At some point in the near future, I'm definitely switching over!

5. Studio 1 Short Sleeve Fit & Flare Dress in White & Coral - I'm a huge fan of coral and I've learned that I need more pieces I can wear for more social events. (Thanks again to Nicole's great workbook-- I'm really learning where the weaknesses of my closet are.) I'm really excited about this one because the colors make this a piece that can be worn day and evening to parties, brunches, dates, etc. The lines are super flattering and have a lot of bounce to them. I placed an order for a few dresses on JC Penney to take advantage of a sale and this was in the mix!

What are you lusting after this month?


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6 Tips for Getting Started with Snail Mail


Last week I talking about why I love sending snail mail as an act of self-care. Today I'm giving you tips on getting started as a letter writer and snail mailer.

1. Get your friends' mailing addresses. This is probably the most involved step but it's the first! Tell your friends you're making an effort to send letters and cards every once in a while and that you can get them in on it. The holidays make a nice occasion to ask for this info if you'd rather wait til you have a good excuse! If you don't wanna keep a physical address book you can sign up free with Postable (which I know is what Mia uses) to create an easy, secure, online address book for yourself.

2. Start small with postcards. One of my favorite things to do is buy postcards and send them to friends. Post cards are great because they are cool art pieces that also take the pressure off you to write a ton. Staring at a blank page can feel like a whole lot of responsibility, but with more postcards leaving about about the same amount of space as a post-it note, you'll probably be able to send someone a quick, nice thought. Pro tip: go to the post office and ask them for postcard stamps! They're about half the price of a forever stamp and will get your postcard where it needs to go without you overpaying.

3. Buy some nice stationery. Nothing wrong with the rustic nostalgia of sending a letter to a friend on loose leaf but getting to write a cute card or on a fun piece of Rilakkuma paper really adds a little oomph to the thing, doesn't it? It's a little more motivating and it also means whatever you write is that much more fun/interesting.

4. Send thank yous. There's very little that is as good for your brain and your heart as saying thank you to someone. You can thank someone for a gift or a dinner or recommendation letter, but you can also just thank someone for being a friend, teacher, or smiling face. I try to always have a stock of thank you cards at my disposal since they never stop being useful!

5. Keep things simple. I try to always start and end letters with a well-wish. Talk about something you have in common, an old memory you have with that person, something they recently posted on social media that you loved, or something you experienced recently that they would like. For some people it can feel kind of weird to "talk" to someone without having a conversation, but I'll put it like this: what do you wish someone would send you? It's probably not that complicated or long.

6. Make time for it. If you can put aside an hour a month, or maybe during the weekends to sit down with a coffee, listen to some music, and write something to someone, you're doing great. It doesn't have to be an intimidating production. Just put an hour aside to write something nice for your grandparents or a far-flung friend. One or two less episodes of a show during a Netflix binge won't kill you.

Those are my tips for making sending letters super easy and non-intimidating! What are your biggest hurdles or tips for sending mail?

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August Small Goals



I completely lost July. I have been so busy with work things and trying to figure out how to get groceries and have a social life and sleep, but I'm definitely back on track again so I'm here to jump back in on Nicole's Monthly Small Goals round up.

Last time I participated it was June, so first let's get old business out of the way and see how I did.

Wear sunscreen more. I am definitely doing better at this! I wear sunscreen almost every day I leave the house. Now my big problem is reapplying, but since most of my days I get sun in the morning and not much after that, so I'm ticking this one off as a win.

Edit my wardrobe. I'm working through Nicole's Feel Good Dress Better Workbook very slowly but I'm already learning a ton about where I've been going wrong with my closet. I sent a ton of stuff to ThredUp and hopefully I'll get some change out of it-- if not the items they don't sell will be responsibly recycled so I feel really good using them. (Get $10 credit through this referral link.)

Read two books. I'm definitely failing here, but I have been spending a good amount of time outside work being social and sleeping, which is not a bad thing! So many people are in town so I've definitely prioritized going out over staying in with a book, but I'm sure I'll get through these books eventually. It might just have to wait until the sun starts to fade.

Update my about and contact pages. I've updated my about-- but not my contact. That's a half a win, right?

Alright, now that that (very) old business is handled, let's get onto my goals for this month.

Be more active on Instagram. Twitter is where I spend most of my time but I feel like I'm missing out on a lot by not being on Instagram, especially since more of my IRL friends are on Instagram than on Twitter.

Pack my lunch. I recently booked a trip to London and Iceland for this fall so there has never been a better motivation for me to figure out how to make packing lunch part of my everyday life.

Go to the gym. I've honestly been telling myself that I've been getting out more (which is true and great) so I don't need to go to the gym, but a big part of my getting out more has also involved food that leans more toward "irresponsible choice" than "responsible choice." Frankly, I love eating foods for their enjoyment value and nutritional value takes a back seat-- but if I'm going to live like that, I really have to be less sedentary. I'm eating myself into a cycle of sluggishness. I know once I start going to the gym, I'll be better motivated to eat garbage food a little bit less since it's a lot more noticeable when you feel bad at than gym than when you are watching netflix.

What are your goals for the month?

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