by Sydney Paige Pauline
New Year’s resolutions.
Fresh notebook pages.
Shiny new planners.
Indulging in “self help” books.
Just a few of my favorite things.
One might say I’m addicted to new beginnings, starting fresh, a clean slate. I’ve always been like this. I have an affinity for self-improvement, for always striving to find new ways to begin again and challenge myself to be better. From reading this, you might envision me as some sort of Type-A, nerdy, neat-as-a-pin and on-top-of-her-shit kinda gal. Well, I promise you, I am not.
To sum it up: I'm a left-handed, right-brained creative with ADHD (I’m sure it will show throughout this entry). I live in organized chaos (it's a real thing) and I am constantly on the go, go, go. If I'm not busy, I'm bored out of my mind and nothing is worse to me than that. My short-term memory is non-existent; I forget where my car is parked almost daily, I stray from regimens and routines, and prefer my day to day to be at random as opposed to structured and mundane.I sleep with my planner though because without it, I would simply lose my brain.
I started my blog two years ago as a creative outlet; my fiancé and I had recently moved from Philadelphia, my beloved hometown, to Baltimore for my fiancé's job, and the transition was tough. I still frequent Philly and am constantly between both cities. I also started my third year as a Speech-Language Pathologist at a new job in Washington, D.C, making my commute a death trap (I spend about three hours in a car each day - podcasts and Spotify playlist recommendations are always welcome here.) I work in a pre-K through 2nd grade school and seeing my little babes' faces each day makes it all completely worth it, although it's a paperwork-heavy job and it is often hard for me to separate my work and home lives. All of these factors combined, I felt like I was losing control of myself and losing touch with my creative side. I felt so out of place, so lost, and so disconnected.
Enter Coffee-Stained Lace, my blog baby, a tribute to all the simple joys that keep me going. Fashion and design, fitness and feminism, coffee and cocktails. A little bit of this, and a little bit of that - kind of like me. I like to think of myself as put together on most days and have found styling to be my favorite creative outlet. Whether it be a fun little frock in the summer with bright accessories, a simple yet stepped-up look with a statement bag for a night out, or donning denim and a top in my favorite shade of yellow, I love all things fashion and I don't set rules for myself. It's all fun - remember that.
In addition to trying to look really cute all the time, I have this aforementioned on-the-go lifestyle; constantly rushing, running late (being 'fashionably late' is also a thing...), driving from Baltimore to DC to Philly to wherever is next. Coffee fuels my every move, so naturally, in the hustle and bustle of each day, I’m always running out the door with coffee-stained you name it- lace, satin, cashmere, velvet, Burberry trench coat (*facepalm on that one*). It’s kind of inevitable and in my nature. My fiancé Michael likes to call me a walking hurricane and the title suits me well (thank GOODNESS for Tide-To-Go pens).
So there you have it, “Coffee-Stained Lace.” Captures me well, don’t ya think? It’s been one of the best things that has happened to me in a long time. I could never imagine being where I am today without this incredible platform that connected me with such talented creatives, an incredible, supporting community and some of my favorite brands. I cannot wait to see where this journey continues to take me.
Back to Sundays - that’s why we’re here, right (told ya my ADHD would shine bright)? Sunday has been my favorite day of the week for as long as I can remember. Now, I’d be lying if I didn’t mention that the “Sunday Scaries” do pop up at some point in my day, almost always around 1PM, after I’ve settled into my day just a smidge, but not enough to fully reap the benefits of what a Sunday should be, which is an opportunity for reflection, relaxation, slowing down and wiping the slate clean. It’s a day to get ready for a fresh start with no nagging, lingering negativity leftover from the prior week. It’s around that time of the day I consciously decide to take back my Sunday, and all at once, my entire being is at peace. I am able to reclaim control and to find joy within my day. What does that look like? Well it just depends. Like I said, I’m not a routine person. I like having options and I like not feeling pressured by what I do and do not want to do. It’s not necessarily a matter of what I do that is important, but the simple fact that I have control over choosing my joy, whatever that may be. Of course, I do have my favorite go-tos….
Making La Colombe coffee in my French press (only the best coffee ever and it’s a nice change to the usual weekday Keurig)
Reading something, anything, for at least 15 minutes (currently loving reading about Stoicism- pick up The Daily Stoic by Ryan Holiday for an easy, digestible read)
Sunday Forever candles - I pick a scent based on my mood
Snuggling my two pups, Tierney and Daphne, which is mandatory
Buying fresh flowers, a weekly essential in our house because they immediately brighten the mood
Work on content for my blog/social platforms
Listening to a podcast (The Skinny Confidential is my forever fave) or a mellow playlist
Spending some time organizing/going through my closet helps me outfit plan for the week and revisit items I haven’t worn in a while or have been wanting to style differently
Writing in my “brain dump” journal, something I started doing almost daily because it clears my head
A good lifting workout or run around the harbor if the weather is nice and I feel like it
Maybe I’ll buy myself something special I’ve been eyeing up from a local boutique or small business
Prepping for my week ahead: reviewing my to-do list, short-term and long-term goals, and events or things to look forward to
A bubble bath, face mask & my ‘stepped up’ skincare routine (I will go the extra mile on Sundays, making sure my skin is super hydrated for the week ahead; currently loving the R+R from Summer Fridays, finishing with their Jet Lag mask afterward and ice/jade rolling in between all steps)
Wine (no explanation necessary)
There you have it - just a few of my favorite ways to tell Sunday who’s really in charge. It’s not about keeping it all together, filling your day to the brim with to-dos, or feeling weighed down with the stress and anxiety of work, family, politics, wedding planning or *fill-in-the-blank-here*. We have six other days to do those things. Let’s choose to have just one day free of this noise, when we get to choose our own joy. We all deserve a day for this. If nothing else, it helps us survive the other six.
Sydney Paige is the face behind Coffee-Stained Lace, a fashion & lifestyle blog. She believes in statement pieces, puppy kisses, good coffee, strong cocktails, city living, luxurious simple joys, & popping champagne to celebrate all of life’s toastable moments. Follow her journey @coffeestainedlace & www.mssydneypaige.wordpress.com