How 'Queer Eye' Helped Me Find Joy Again After Losing My Friend

One of the most bizarre things about losing someone close to you is that it simultaneously touches nothing and everything. Beautiful things may seem different after, but they're still beautiful. Funny things are, horrifyingly, still funny. Joy is still out there, wrapping its fingers around all the same things it used to. When one of my best friends died suddenly in November 2017, I felt the weight of this idea instantly. Every time the grief bulldozed over me, there was also the realization that one day I would feel happy again.

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Olivia Muenter
3 Tiny (But Powerful) Ideas That Are Revolutionizing My Life

March was one of the best months I've had in a long, long time. But to be honest, even coming off of a good February, this surprised me. I wasn't expecting it mainly because my 25th birthday was in March, and birthdays (especially "big" ones) always makes me kind of emotional, leaving me with a week or two of that childhood day-after-Christmas feeling. Birthdays force you to reflect on the passing of time in a very real way. Most years, I've spent the weeks after my birthday reflecting on the inevitability of not achieving certain goals. The weight I didn't lose, the workouts I missed, the money I didn't save, the trips I was supposed to plan but didn't. But this year was markedly different. I was different.

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Olivia Muenter
How I Doubled My Instagram Engagement & Learned To Feel Better About Social Media Again

When I was a sophomore in college, I logged off of all social media for a month. Looking back, I honestly struggle to figure out exactly how I managed this. Was I OK? Had my study abroad months filled with 1 euro beers and eating my first meal of the day at 3 p.m. driven me mad? Probably yes. But also, social media wasn't necessary for me then — at least not in in the way it is for me now. Do I have to have Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter as someone who works in media? No, not technically. Would it make my job and life significantly harder without them? Yes. Still, though, going from college student who enjoyed social media to adult-with-a-job who needs social media presented the same problem: Very often, it all still made me feel bad.

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Olivia Muenter
House Tour, Part One

Living in New York means (unless you are very rich) living small. Sure, there are exceptions — but in general, apartments are small, overpriced, and basically never include a washer/dryer in the unit. (Side note: If you are one of the people who does have a washer/dryer in your apartment, please never speak to me again.) 

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Olivia Muenter
The One Lie I'm Done Telling Myself This Year

For most of my life, I never considered myself to be someone with a huge imagination. Sure, I've always been creative to some extent. And, yes, I have a general inclination towards daydreaming, and a love for story-telling that stretches from Little Women to Black Mirror to that one particularly great season of Real Housewives Of New Jersey where Theresa flips the table (*chefs kiss*). Still, though, for a long time, if you would have asked me to describe myself, imaginative is not a word that would have come out of my mouth.

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Olivia Muenter
Every Step Of My Nighttime Routine & Why It's The Best Part Of My Day

Truthfully, I can almost gauge how I'm doing mentally and emotionally by how much time I spend on my nightly routine. If I'm cutting out steps and ignoring the skin care rituals I've come to love, something is almost always off with me. Usually this means I'm feeling anxious, down, or distracted. Forcing myself to get back into the routine ultimately helps me focus on myself, feel good, and take time to pamper myself a little. We all need that. 

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Food, Whole30, & Me

For as long as I can remember, I've been thinking about food. 

These thoughts have ranged from your standard, "My God, is there anything better than a warm bread basket?" (no, obviously not) to more complicated notions, like the never-ending belief that an extra indulgent weekend of eating needed to result in diving into a diet on Monday — a constant game of addition and subtraction in my head. A ceaseless series of "if, then" negotiations in my brain regarding what I ate, and how much I ate, and how I would respond to all of those choices after. 

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The Year Of The Non-Resolution

After almost 25 years on earth, and probably more than 25 failed New Year's (and mid-year's and by-my-birthday) resolutions, I've come to the conclusion that while I love a good resolution, resolutions, at least in the classic sense, do not love me. I've made small ones, big ones, in-between ones, ones that I call something other than a resolution but are really just a resolution after all. You name it, and I've probably tried it. And then failed miserably.

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Olivia Muenter
How To Start Over

When I was growing up, I never dreaded the summer ending. I never panicked about going back to school. I was obsessed with the idea of a built-in fresh start. 

I always started my year with lists of how I was going to commit to being "better" — a concept that, at ages 12 - 18, was often limited to how other people perceived me. As I got older, the type of things I wanted to change or approve upon, of course, changed, but my desire to find a reason to be better and to begin again never went away. Time passed, I graduated high school, then college — but I never stopped looking for a reason to start over, even as it started to sink in that I was at an age where those built-in jumping off points weren't there anymore. I gradually accepted that I had to make those points for myself. And then, in November 2017, my friend died. And I realized that, when you're an adult, it's not that the starting over milestones don't exist, it's that they're just easier to ignore. T

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11 Of My Favorite Thriller, Crime, And Mystery Books

Most of my followers know I read a lot of crime books, thrillers, and mysteries. But this wasn't always the case, actually. A few years ago I realized that forcing myself to like books that were a certain kind of genre — full of a certain level of writing, or a specific type of elevated language — was a waste of my time. Reading is one of the greatest, most simple pleasures in life. It can lift you, pull you, drag you out of whatever anxiety, pain, worry you're going through at the moment. Few things can do that in this world so instantly. No matter what you like to read, the act of reading itself, and the escape it offers is flat-out joyful. When you let go of any expectation of what you're supposed to be reading, it's even better.

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I Should Probably Stop Watching Shows & Reading Books About True Crime (But I Won't)

I used to live alone in a studio apartment. And not a big, sprawling warehouse type studio from movies, where I'm just always roaming around in a giant button-down shirt and painting large canvases for no reason. No. If I had to describe it, it was like a one bedroom apartment had been Honey, I Shrunk The Kids-style zapped into a very miniature version of itself. And then zapped again. It was probably 300 square feet. But for me, it worked.

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Stop Telling Me To Love Being Tall

Although I'm 24 and have lived in New York for over two years now, I still have a Florida Driver's License with a photo from 2009. I was 16 then, and my hobbies included things like writing poetry at Starbucks while waiting for my mom to come pick me up and complaining that I would die alone. I had side-swept bangs, didn't know how to use makeup, and was 6 feet tall — as I have been since I was about 14. I didn't like being tall. I hated it.

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5 Weird Things I Had No Idea I Wanted In My Life Before I Was A Beauty Editor

When I was a child, I very specifically wanted to be one of two things when I grew up: a country music singer or female NFL referee. As time passed, a few key things happened that shifted my interests. With time and the wisdom that only years 8 through 12 of your life can bring, I realized that I couldn't sing, wasn't southern, and, like absolutely zero other children I knew, I lost my fascination with officiating football games. Once my totally unrealistic dreams were dismissed, I settled on a more traditional, yet equally unrealistic career goal: I wanted to work in fashion and beauty. This dream was paired with the Devil Wears Prada-inspired notion that, of course, that job would n

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5 Candles That Will Make You Ask "Wait, Did I Blow That Out?" As Soon As You Leave The House

There is nothing like the relaxation that a good candle brings. The soothing, flickering flame. The calming aroma. The $15 you spent on something that will quite literally burn out and die in front of your eyes. Alternatively, there is also nothing like the overwhelming sense of anxiety that comes over your body when you leave the house and promptly are convinced you forgot to blow said candle out. 

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Olivia Muenter
The Truth About Shopping At Target

It's 4 p.m. on a Sunday. You've happily wasted the morning, flipping through Fixer Upper re-runs, wondering if you too could someday live in a farm in Waco, Texas (you decide yes, but are still unsure if you could care for goats — you will return to this thought later). You were going to work out, but the only clean workout clothes are those yoga pants you really hate, so you decide to put it off until tomorrow. And suddenly it hits you, a natural instinct so powerful that you're completely sure you need to turn off the TV and get in your car immediately, Chip & JoJo be damned. You know, deep in your soul, one thing and one thing only: You have to go to Target. 

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That Velvet Chair From Amazon Everyone Keeps Talking About Is As Good As It Seems

I love Amazon because it encompasses many of my tiny loves into one giant love. There's just something incredibly satisfying about being able to buy granola bars and every season of Game of Thrones on DVD all at once. And when I saw an article about these velvet chairs on Amazon that I apparently just "had to have," I, of course, stood absolutely no chance in resisting. 

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New York Is Not Magical

One of my biggest pet peeves is when people say New York is magical. Granted, I would probably be lying if I said that I myself haven't described the city this way at some point, in some Instagram caption. Also, I am generally annoyed by most things. But keeping that in mind, let's get back to my point: New York is not a magical, fairy tale city. It is a lot of things, but magic is not one of them.

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