The Summer Of Killing "All Or Nothing" Thinking

When I decide I want to do something, my first instinct is always: all in, right now. An idea or a thought or a goal plants itself in my brain and roots itself in there in a way that feels like I have to address it immediately with full force, or it will simply go away forever. For a long time I felt like unless I was all the way committed to something — anything — I was already giving up on it.

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How I Re-Learned Everything I Thought I Knew About Routines

I love a good routine. Love

It's not that I'm not flexible or can't deal with not being in a solid routine when it comes to my day-to-day life (although I have my moments), but more that I know I am generally better, happier, more relaxed when I have routines figured out that work for me. This doesn't mean I do these things every single day, or that every morning, noon, and night is exactly the same. In fact, I probably only do these routines in their entirety maybe 60 percent of the time. Contrary to popular belief, it's not really about consistency at all as much as it is about creating a place to go back to when things start to feel overwhelming, or stressful, or just simply off. It's not that doing my morning routine every day will revolutionize my happiness, but that the comfort of knowing that if I start to feel stressed or off or unlike myself, I can go back to all of these steps and start to feel a little more centered is priceless.

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After 25 Years, I Finally Figured Out The Perfect Father's Day Gift

For as long as I've had money to buy things, I've loved giving gifts. I love picking out the perfect item and spending way too much money on cool wrapping paper. I love finding clever cards. I love finding things people will be surprised by or have wanted for a long time. But when it comes to buying gifts for my dad, it's always been difficult. He's both very particular (a trait I inherited) and one of those people who doesn't really need anything. Unlike my mom, for example, I can't just go to LUSH on a holiday where I'm not quite sure what to get and buy 10 bath bombs and be done with it.

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Olivia Muenter
The One Non-Makeup, Non-Skin Care Beauty Product I Cannot Live Without

This post kicks off my Just One More Thing series, where I’ll be talking about one more thing I think everyone needs in their lives — all things I love completely and totally. No exceptions.

Until very recently, I believed flossing was stupid. Sure, my dentist told me I needed to for most of my life and I had like 19,000 rouge floss picks in my medicine cabinet that I wasn't using. But still. For about 15 years, I just would rather my gums bleed profusely every time I went into for teeth cleaning rather than make myself floss daily. And then... I discovered Coco Floss. And my god, now I am a flossing apologist. I would stand on a street corner and talk about how Coco Floss saved me if I could. OK, it didn't save me. But it did save my gums. And I love it.


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The One Podcast That Changed How I Approached Instagram

While I do love a good podcast (especially if I have a long drive ahead of me, or am looking for some non-musical background noise while I work), I'm not a podcast person per se. I don't listen to all of them, or spend all my free time listening to my favorites that I missed. I have a true crime favorite (The Vanished) that I listen to every Monday at lunch, and I've listened to most of the big ones (Dirty John, Serial, S-Town, etc.), but other than that.. I am not a podcast aficionado. 

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Olivia Muenter
I Spent $60 On Hangers & It Instantly Eliminated My Biggest Daily Annoyance

This post kicks off my Just One More Thing series, where I’ll be talking about one more thing I think everyone needs in their lives — all things I love completely and totally. No exceptions.

Last weekend I had my bi-annual closet clean out. You know, the thing where you begin by dumping everything you've ever owned (and some things you're fairly certain you've never really owned, but there they are anyway) on the ground, determined to go through it all and get rid of the stuff you don't use. It's also the thing where you eventually end up laying like a starfish on a four-foot tall pile of clothing in the middle of your room with zero desire to finish what you started. I love this kind of closet clean-out, but since we've moved to our new apartment, it's been harder than ever to make peace with my closet.

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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