The Best Multi-Tasking Summer Dress

 J.Mclaughlin White Dress // Rosé All Day Bag // Leather Heels {similar}

Part of my new weekly routine is spending quite a bit more time in the car for my morning commute…like 3 hours a day. At first I really, really disliked it (okay, maybe sometimes I definitely still do), but it’s become a nice part of my morning routine to give me some time to reflect, listen to podcasts, call my mom, all those things that you should always do more of but never really have time to do. It’s a solid 3 hours where I get to have a little time to myself, and even though I might be stuck in traffic for the majority of it, it’s still nice to give myself time to think – especially when I always feel like I’m frantically rushing around.

I’ve been listening to The Good Life Podcast to buy my time, and it’s become one of my favorite things to listen to during my drive to and from work. Jonathan Fields narrates and interviews tons of interesting academics, thinkers, spiritual advisers, and asks them what it means to them to live a good life, while also talking about what they specialize in. It’s pretty remarkable, and every day I leave my car I feel like I’ve been mentally energized, even before I start my day.   Recently he talked about the truth about money and happiness, While I’m not high on they money-train by any means, I do think it’s interesting that so many people put such an emphasis on either prioritizing making as much money as possible, or instead just focus on what makes them happy – regardless of the money. Jonathan referenced some recent studies – all of which were fascinating, that there is actually a pretty solid correlation between money and happiness – which eventually starts to level off after your basic needs are met. Any way, I won’t spoil the whole thing because it’s definitely worth the listen (and I’m totally going to butcher it), but it’s definitely worth the listen.

One thing that stuck with me the most was the research around buying things vs. experiences. I’ve always prioritized experiences in my life, but lately I feel like the “things” I feel like I’ve needed have totally bogged me down. In the podcast, Jonathan Fields sites some pretty interesting research that shows that buying experiences makes you much more exponentially happy than buying things. When you buy experiences, you feel more mentally and spiritually fulfilled (and for longer) than when you buy a thing to enjoy, wear, etc. And even when you do buy things, it turns out that your brain is happier buying many little things rather than one big thing.  So clearly, it got me thinking about how I’ve been spending things in my own life these days. When I look at my bank statement, the purchases that made me the most happy were definitely the experiences, rather than the things I really wanted to splurge on (i.e. the trip to California vs. random trinkets and tops from Anthropologie…again). And as I’ve been thinking about what I want to do with my hard earned cash, I realized that to make myself truly happy and fulfilled, I need to plan for experiences that expand my world and get my out of my bubble that I’ve created for myself.

So rather than finding myself dropping my credit card at J.Crew again, I’m going to think about how I’m going to spend my money in ways to fill me up and give me more mental clarity. Maybe I’ll take a Spanish class, learn floral arranging, practice photography – do all the things that I’ve been meaning to do for so long but haven’t been able to squeeze into my schedule. Less shopping frees up more time, right? 😉

Oh, and I definitely want to make traveling more of a priority – especially traveling that challenges me in more ways creatively. I’ve been looking into meet-ups around the world, creative conferences, etc. and I’m already excited to plan something in the fall or winter depending on when I can swing some time off! And in other news, if you are going to invest in something – you might as well make sure it’s something that will multi-task for you all season long.  With work, events, and summer weddings/parties galore, I’m always in need of something that can take me from work, to cocktail party…and mayyyybe right back to work again 😉 Thankfully, this J. McLaughlin dress does the multi-tasking job for being pretty perfect for everything, and I’ve already been spotted by co-workers and friends wearing it multiple times. Paired with this cute bag from Alice & Wonder, it’s perfect for the summer parties, BBQ’s and picking up goodies at Randolph Street Market.

Okay, I’m being a little long winded for a Monday, so I’m going to get back to the grind. Happy Friday eve!!! xx

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  • Such a cute dress, Maya! I can see how it could easily be dressed up or down, and even layered with a denim jacket for a more casual look on a cooler day. Thanks for the podcast recommendation. I will definitely check it out! I also value experiences over things, though it’s easy for the balance to shift as the “things” start to creep in. I’ve also heard some of those studies about money and happiness. I think there’s some sort of threshold that a household income over X amount (now I can’t remember what it is) results in less happiness. So it seems like there’s sort of a sweet spot that is just around having needs met. So interesting. Have a great week, girl!

  • First, bless you and your patience for driving in traffic like that every day. This is a great post and I need to subscribe to this podcast. I think its so important to get experience, that so smart and mature of you realize! I hope you are having a great 4th of July weekend!

    xo, Sarah