THIS WEEK’S ROSE AND THORN

Happy Friday! I’m off on a once-in-a-lifetime trip this weekend: NetJets invited a small group of bloggers to fly to Palm Beach for the weekend and I have a good feeling this is the first and last time I’ll find myself on a private plane, haha. I will be Insta story-ing it up if you care to follow along!

*original post

This week’s rose was hearing from more than 1,000 who have taken the reader survey. The vast majority of you offered super helpful constructive criticism and it got me totally revved up to make Design Darling the best it can be. A few comments I loved:

“Would love to see you transition more into lifestyle (travel, home, etc.) as you settle in to married life. As a semi-newlywed with no kids, my husband and I are building our home together and would love to get some inspiration from someone doing the same. Also – love your insta stories the most when you are being you! Funny and sarcastic – showing us it’s not all perfect.”

“The personal posts (even when “off brand”) are some of my faves, but always appreciate your consistent aesthetic and appreciation for quality over quantity.”

“I understand how important it is to selectively share on the internet, but I think there is so much to you that is unique and compelling, and it’s a shame that you don’t share it more often. I appreciate how concise you are, and your ability to let the high-quality imagery do the talking, but I truly think that you have more to offer. Learning about your cooking woes last week? Awesome and SO relatable. Let’s talk about that. Managing transition (NYC to Dallas to Greenwich, getting engaged and then married, etc…)? Let’s talk about that. I think you have so much power to dig a little deeper into the stories you tell and turn it into amazing, helpful content. You have a lot of influence. I’d love to see you use it in a big way!”

“Love your fresh, modern take on preppy style! I love seeing your Nantucket posts and hope to take a trip there this summer based on your recommendations. Not to be overly personal, but we are at similar stages in our lives (I got married in June, and buying a home and starting a family are also on my 101 list) so I would love to follow along as you share those stories.”

“I think you’re great!!! It still pisses me off that some people unfollowed you after the women’s march. I think you’re so diplomatic while still holding your values and I just really appreciate that. I wish you all the success in the world!”

“Loved your wedding series, especially getting to see your wedding video and clips of your family! Would love to see more personal posts – I’m sure there’s some pressure on you to keep the blog “aspirational,” but you seem like such a fun, hilarious person, and it would be great to see that side of you more on here, not so curated.”

“Thank you for sharing your life in the way that you do; I know living a public life is not without its challenges, but I genuinely feel inspired and excited reading your blog.”

It was after reading these comments and others that I wrote yesterday’s post about being myself on the internet, so I want to thank you again for taking the time to help me improve. It’s an incredible privilege to connect with so many of you through this platform and it makes me excited to improve both personally and professionally. Knowing you’re picking up what I’m putting down — and want more of it! — makes my week and then some.

This week’s thorn was insomnia… ugh. I almost always sleep through the night, but at least a couple times a week I have a really hard time winding down and actually falling asleep (and it doesn’t help that Will is usually asleep and snoring before his head hits the pillow). For some reason I get in bed and start thinking about everything I did that day, everything I need to do tomorrow, an email or a text message I forgot to respond to, etc. A few of my friends have recommended meditation but I think I’m the least patient person in the world and get so restless trying to sit still for even 5-10 minutes. Who else has trouble falling asleep? Any tricks that have worked well for you in the past?

What were your rose and thorn this week? I’d love to hear from you! 

29 thoughts on “THIS WEEK’S ROSE AND THORN

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  1. I have a hard time with regular mediation too — in fact it makes me panicky (the pressure!).

    But have found Kundalini Yoga videos on YouTube super helpful. The sarcastic girl in me laughs at the woman I watch who hosts them, but sure enough they work.
    http://kellygolightly.com/new-morning-routine/

    The other thing, which is equally odd sounding, are ASMR videos on YouTube. Admittedly they seem really creepy and weird, but they work for me and I’ve had a brain orgasm several times from them. I think of them as adult lullabies.
    http://kellygolightly.com/asmr-cure-anxiety-insomnia/

    Oh and epsom salt baths – hey those aren’t weird!

    Have a fun trip and I see plenty of private planes in your future xo!

  2. How exciting! Have a wonderful trip to Palm Beach – can’t wait to read the fun details 🙂 Also, on the insomnia topic – my doctor recommended listening to a book you’ve read before (I’ll binge on Tje Great Gatsby on Spotify or Harry Potter if I can’t put my mind to rest and the author’s voice kind of puts you to sleep). Just make sure it’s a book that you’ve read before and that it won’t be distracting/overstimulating so that you want to stay up. Hope that helps!!

    Xx
    Kaitlyn
    NYCGirlinPearls.com

  3. A silly trick for following asleep, but it seems to work for me! I write a novel in my head. I have the same general story I start with every night (location, people, plot, etc.) — but as I start to “write” the first page….I fall asleep. Apparently my stories put me to sleep!

  4. I used to have really bad insomnia. I’ve been drinking chamomile tea at night, and sometimes if my mind is really spinning I will take a hot shower or lie down on the floor to just stretch. It just immediately helps me to calm down and I think cues my body to “bed time mode”. I’ve also been making sure to put my phone/computer away before bed. Ideally it would be an hour before I go to sleep, but it’s usually more like 30 mins. I also try to watch less TV/netflix late at night. Instead, I have been making an effort to read each night, even if it is only a few pages, it helps me to unwind and fall asleep within 20 minutes. And I get to feel like I accomplished something. I started reading every night as my new year resolution and I’m already on my 4th book! Hope these tips help, insomnia is so annoying!

  5. Mackenzie I am now officially onboard the meditation train and do NOT consider myself patient. 🙂 However, I don’t really do it for sleeping — I do it more for belief work/shifting perspectives/becoming more peaceful overall, etc.

    For sleeping: I love my Dohm Sound Conditioner machine. It’s a little pricey ($50) but I like it so much I bought one for our guest room as well! It kind of lulls me to sleep.

    Loved your survey! xx

  6. Happy Friday! I used to have the worst insomnia – only slept well like 1 night a week! I agree with the other comments, I think establishing a solid bedtime routine is key. I like to wash my face well before I go to bed and get in my pajamas so I’m ready to wind down. I like to have evening tea (herbal or apple cider vinegar with hot water) and read in bed for a while. I also noticed something very critical for my sleep was to go to bed early (like grandma-level 9pm) even though I can be a bit of a night owl. I finally realized that even if I got the same amount of sleep going to bed at 11 and waking up at 6:30/7, my quality of sleep was 1000x better when I got in bed around 9/9:30. Just something that works for me!

    And I know meditation is getting a lot of buzz right now but I have to say it’s been super transformative for me. I’ll let you in on a secret: you’re not going to be “good” at it when you start. Period. But that’s the whole point of the journey – practice every day and learn not to judge the practice. It can be uncomfortable at any point along the way but it can also be life-changing if you commit to it.

  7. I so get you on this!! I had a psychologist friend tell me that there’s actually a time at night (usually around 10pm for most people) that your body naturally goes into that “it’s time to go to sleep” mode. You get sleepy, and maybe a little cold, and if you are in bed when that hits then you can just ride the wave to sleep! If you miss that, then your brain levels go back up and you go back into your “hello I am awake!!” brain pattern. I have found it to be so true!!! If I get into bed early enough when I am tired I can go to sleep, but if I get into bed late I am WIRED and my brain will not stop racing!!! Sometimes it isn’t realistic to get into bed by 10ish, so on those days I try to listen to an audiobook or podcast to fall asleep to keep my thoughts focused on something. Or I keep a note pad by my bed to write everything down I think of so I don’t panic about forgetting it. The struggle is real though!!

  8. I sometimes have trouble falling asleep, especially due to a medication that I take in the AM, so I’ve picked up some tricks along the way that help me to fall asleep. To help falling asleep, I’ve learned that I must workout at some point during the day. (For me, doing some type of intense cardio in the morning and hot yoga at night works wonders.) I limit caffeine during the day, and I stop drinking caffeine around mid-afternoon. I also try not to eat dinner too late (at least before 8 but ideally 6:30-7ish). And right before going to bed, I write a to-do list for the next day with anything that I need to get done (including anything that I may have forgotten to do earlier that day)–I’ve learned this helps me fall sleep without the anxiety of feeling like I’m forgetting something.

    1. Also, I love taking a shower before bed to help me fall asleep. And in college, I often had trouble falling asleep because of all the sounds that come with living in a dorm (definitely don’t miss that!), so I completely depended on ear plugs (just cheap, foam 3M earplugs), and they were AMAZING. They’re not the sexiest by any means, but they might help block out Will’s snoring! 🙂

  9. I’m on medication that can cause insomnia, so I take melatonin (the brand matters, I use Naturemade) and this awesome lotion, Sleepy by Lush. I find it doesn’t make me fall asleep faster but I’m much less likely to wake up in the middle of the night.

  10. I have the exact same kind of anxiety/insomnia that got worse and worse because I worked night shift so I could never get on a normal sleep schedule. To fix the thinking about everything you have to do, get a notebook to leave by your bed and write it all down. Actual pen and paper so the screen of a phone doesn’t make it harder to sleep. And I know it’s easier said then done but try winding down 30 minutes before your bed time. So get into bed and read for 30 minutes. Also, the thing that has truly helped me is the “sleepy” lotion from lush. A friend got it for me as a gift and I was very skeptical. I also wasn’t too fond of the scent at first, but I have to say it actually works!

  11. To help me get to sleep I like to mix the “Natural Calm” magnesium supplement (found at Whole Foods/Amazon/etc) in hot water with lemon. Drinking this nighttime mix has really helped me to fall asleep more easily as magnesium helps soothe anxiety naturally (and has a bunch of other health benefits too)!

  12. I work as a Corporate Flight Attendant on private jets. I occasionally do flights for NetJets. They are a fantastic company! I hope they hook you up with a big jet! Enjoy your weekend.

  13. Maybe try a notepad on your bedside table to jot down those thoughts that come as you’re trying to fall asleep. That way you’ve written them down to address the next day and your mind doesn’t have to worry that you’re going to forget. Have a fun weekend!!

  14. Haven’t read it yet but it’s on my list for this month: Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics by Dan Harris. Might be what you need to buy-in to meditation 🙂

  15. We sleep with a fan (a plug-in one, not an overhead) for white noise and that absolutely helps. I also read on my kindle (not my phone!) before bed and I usually nod off while reading, so as soon as my eyes get heavy, I put the kindle down and conk out. That usually prevents me from thinking about my to-do list as I’m trying to fall asleep.

  16. I too struggle with anxiety and insomnia and kind of rolled my eyes when people recommended meditation (I cannot sit still for 30 seconds let alone MINUTES!). But I heard about this app called headspace and they have different series/bundles on various areas of focus (sleep, anxiety, joy, generosity). There is a series on sleep (which I actually havent tired yet) but I find the single session on sleep very helpful in ‘turning off my brain.’ I find when I’m restless and can’t get to sleep, I put an earbud in and listen to this…more often than not I’m asleep before its over!

  17. I feel you, always hate it when I just can’t get my head to rest and fall sleep. If I can’t get my thoughts to stop spinning, sometimes I just jot everything down – it helped me to get things “out of my head” because I would not fret over forgetting them again in the morning. Reading some pages in a (not too exciting ;-)) book might put your mind at rest, too, or offer an exit form the thought-carousel. Hope you’ll have some better nights ahead of you!

  18. Legs up the wall for 5 minutes. It’s such a basic restorative yoga pose, and even 5 minutes helps you get into sleepy mode! Set an iphone timer and it’s over in no time. Foam rolling and the occasional soak in epsom salts is great too.

    I’ve heard keeping a notepad by your bed so you can jot down all those late night thoughts can be helpful too.

  19. I do the Calm Sleep Stories, kind of a meditation but not really, it’s more about nonsense subjects and I just get knocked out by them. No real focus needed! Worth trying.

  20. When I can’t fall asleep, I make a mug of chamomile tea. It always helps to calm me down and make me feel relaxed. Sweeten it with a dab of honey instead of sugar. It works wonders!

  21. I used to have the WORST insomnia. This sounds a little simple, but drinking a cup of “bed time” tea every night has seriously helped me so much. There are so many different brands out there but Twinnings and Bigelow are my two favorites. I’m not a huge peppermint person so it took a while to get used to the flavor, but now I really enjoy it! I usually make a cup after I shower, and then it steep/cool off as I’m doing the rest of my nightly routine (skincare, picking out an outfit for the next day, etc). Then I get in bed, drink my tea, try to read a few chapters of a book, and I’m usually asleep in less than an hour. I also tend to get really distracted by my phone so I try to put it completely away and not look at it. Hope this helps!

    1. Another vote for nighttime tea! I drink Twinnings, too (non-caffeinated at night). I squeeze a whole bunch of lemon in there, and it’s just a sleepy, warm Arnold Palmer before I head to bed. I shower at night, too. I also light a candle in my room so it’s the only light in the room, take my eyes off my phone, and play some music. That calms me down enough to remember to blow out my candle, and then drift off. Good luck! Not getting enough sleep is a hard feeling; I don’t wish it on anyone!

  22. My rose: I just started teaching spin classes and last night, one of the attendees came up and told me how great I was doing and how much I had improved since the first time…it made my week!

    My thorn: The gas company and water department have my street torn up for various reasons and they also managed to knock out my cable. I’ve been dealing with this FOR WEEKS. WEEKS. If I could add an eyeroll and wine emoji, I would.

  23. Get a sound machine or download the sound machine app (sleep sound or really any of them) I swear I us dnto have the same problem and whenever feeling restless I turn it on and am asleep in minutes

    1. I use Piromi sleep tea. You can get it at Whole Foods or Citarella here in town. It is so amazing, I gave it to my doctor and she is now obsessed with it.