The last line in Taylor Swift’s new album (not coincidentally, one of the things on the list of items I’m loving lately) is “I want to be defined by the things I love – not the things I hate, not the things I’m scared of, not the things that haunt me at night. I think you are what you love”. I can’t explain how much I love that quote. I think there’s such a tendency, a nature in people, to get wrapped up in the things we’re upset with, the things that have hurt us, and to let those fill our vision, instead of focusing on the things we love. As sure, sometimes the things we love can be big, like our friends, our passions, or our partners – but other times, they can be small. And small things can pile up to mean more than the bad stuff. Today I’m sharing five things I’ve been loving lately that’s been making me happy. 

-The Lover Album

Did you really think I wouldn’t put Taylor Swift’s flawless new album on this list? From the song ‘Lover’, which makes me want to re-do the first dance at my wedding, to the perfect car dance jam ‘Cruel Summer’, it’s another perfect album. My personal favorite on the album is ‘Miss Americana and The Heartbreak Prince’ because I’m a sucker for a political metaphor from the queen of pop.

-Sarah Dessen books

How is it, that someone as dedicated to reading trashy summer novels all the year long, just discovered Sarah Dessen this summer? I’ve made my way through her whole library of titles this summer, and I love how she has the elusive ability to put emotion into words. If summer was a feeling, it would be a Sarah Dessen book. I wanted to share my favorite quote from one of my favorite Sarah Dessen books, ‘Lock and Key’.

“What is family? They were the people who claimed you. In good, in bad, in parts or in whole, they were the ones who showed up, who stayed in there, regardless. It wasn’t just about blood relations or shared chromosomes, but something wider, bigger. We had many families over time. Our family of origin, the family we created, and the groups you moved through while all of this was happening: friends, lovers, sometimes even strangers. None of them perfect, and we couldn’t expect them to be. You can’t make any one person your world. The trick was to take what each could give you and build your world from it.”

-ASOS Smock Dresses

It’s a running joke amongst my friends that I haven’t owned a pair of jeans in about a decade. I’m a dress girl, through and through, and all my favorite dresses are from ASOS. Their smock dresses are as comfortable as wearing a giant t-shirt around the house, but, you know, fashion. 

-The Ordinary Skincare

I’ve recently switched all of my skincare to the brand ‘The Ordinary’ at the recommendation of my best friend, and I am LOVING it. The whole line is ridiculously affordable, and better than the most expensive products I’ve used. Why sell your kidney to afford Drunk Elephant when most of these products cost less than ten dollars?

Change

This has been a year in my life, and my friend’s lives, marked by change. I used to hate change – I would fight and struggle against it and hope it would never come. I feel like I’m at a place now, where I have the parts of my life that I know won’t change – David, my close friends, my church – they’re my constants. As life changes, I’ve learned to hold on to the things that are consistent, and constant.

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