Friday, November 21, 2014

Friday DO: Be Thankful



With Thanksgiving just around the corner, hopefully all our thoughts are headed toward giving gratitude for all the blessings that have drifted into our lives. But did you know that giving thanks each and every day can make you happier in your day to day life? It's true - taking a few moments each day to think about what you are grateful for will change your entire perspective for the day. As someone who has battles depression occasionally, I find taking those sweet moments to recognize the little things that make me happy to be on this Earth really put me back into place. I feel whole and aligned.

To accomplish this feeling of completion, every morning I wake up and immediately list 5 things for which I am grateful. These things can be anything from the way your pet says good morning, to the sun creeping through your blinds, the way your soft sheets rub against your naked skin, or simply the way your first conscious breath feels.

Once you get in this routine, you will find yourself saying thank you for the simplest things in life.  In fact, yesterday on a drive, I could see the most beautifully sunset. I was privileged in that time to witness layers of soft orange, blue, and purple merge into the sublime. In that moment, I was instantly grateful for this amazing opportunity. I was happy.



This Friday, find the little things in life, and just say thank you. You will be happy you did. Be sure to tell me what sweet little moments you find!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Apple Spiced Oatmeal




With all the chilly winds biting our noses lately, I have been feeling the need to have heartier breakfasts. The fruit, cheese, toast and occasional yogurt with granola that I am used to just is not cutting it.  Cue this oatmeal. It's hearty, healthy, warms you down to your bones, and you can make it while getting ready for work, though admittedly it will be easier to have everything ready for when you awake. Prep the spice mixture the night before, have your oatmeal measured and ready to go, and set your apples on the cutting board with the knife waiting to greet you in the early hours. Just make sure to time the apples to prevent burning while you are getting dressed.

Speaking of apples, I used what I had on hand: one gala and one macintosh. Most apples will be sweet enough, but if you use something more tart, like a Granny Smith, be sure to taste and adjust the molasses as needed. In fact, I find this to be very much a taste-as-you-go recipe. While I originally made this recipe for 6 servings (let's be honest, one person needs 2 servings of oatmeal and there are 3 adults in my apartment), it is easily adjustable by tasting as needed. For a single serving, try half an apple and eat the other half as a side or simply have oatmeal with your apples and cook the whole thing. You can also cook up a batch of apples ready for microwaving the next day!

Whichever method you prefer remember to adjust to your own preferences. Experiment. Find just the right spice combination for yourself. Leave home with a fire in your belly, ready to face the day.


Ingredients:

  • 6 servings of oatmeal, cooked per package
  • 2 Apples, diced
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 3 tablespoons of molasses, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon (for the apples)
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • additional cinnamon to taste
  • additional molasses to taste

Begin by chopping your apples into bite sized pieces. Melt butter in a frying pan and add apples, cooking until soft, about 5 minutes or more. Once the apples are soft, add your molasses and stir well, coating each piece of apple. Add cinnamon and nutmeg, stirring every few minutes for about 10 minutes or until desired consistency. Add apples to cooked oatmeal, adding additional cinnamon, nutmeg, molasses or anything else you might like to add to oatmeal. Butter and cream are always welcome additions to oatmeal. Enjoy!


Monday, November 17, 2014

Heartlines











Slip: Free People// Sweater: H&M (similar)// Boots: Betsey Johnson (old) Socks: Urban Outfitters// Leggings: American Apparel Winter Leggings// Hat: Tidebuy// Rings: various



I'm going to be honest. I really do not know how many more outfit posts there will be for a while. I am going to try my best, but with the temperatures being in the 20s and it getting dark before I even get home from work, it has actually been hard! I have so many wonderful outfits I have been wanting to share, but the weather and lighting has been a photo nightmare. And don't even get me started on try to get my photographers to go outside.

Anyhow, what I will say is that I love pieces that work for so many different outfits. This Free People crochet slip is a dream - it can be worn by itself, with a tank over it for summer, or with a warm cotton sweater in winter. Yes, we are already onto winter. As much as I love fall weather, for the last two years winter has totally kicked autumn to the curb. It's supposed to snow this week! Snow before Thanksgiving! What is this madness that my little Southern heart will never understand?! Where I grew up, it rarely got below 40 degrees, so this has taken some getting used to. Perhaps I should make some posts about winter goods as I find them? I could start with the warmest leggings I have ever worn, or my new Bean Boots...

However, back to the point (I try so hard not to get sidetracked), I love this slip! It's flows with the wind. It's durable (you know Zeke has jumped on it too many times already). It's comfortable. In other words, purchase this baby at the first Free People sale you find (hint hint - they have a 4 hour sale every November so watch them!). Stock up on some much needed winter layers because winter is here to whip its miserable winds in our faces.







































Maybe I can find a little love for winter though. Chilly breezes can be refreshing when paired against the thick, humid air of summer. What is your favorite part of winter?

Friday, November 14, 2014

Friday DO: Take Time To Rest



As mentioned in my previous post, taking time to rest is essential for us as human beings. Without sufficient rest, we often end up irritable, and frequently take it out on those we love most. We lash out, snapping, being hurtful, and end up feeling even worse for our negative attitudes. Sometimes, everyone needs a little time in which to do nothing. That little bit of nothing can be an unexpected day off, a relaxing afternoon, or even an opportunity to sleep an extra hour.

This weekend, find some time to lounge. Wake up when you feel good and ready, take a hot bath, slowly enjoy a simple breakfast and coffee. If you have plans and are too tired, consider cancelling them, or minimizing the stress by not staying as long at that meetup. Maybe even change the plan - have an at home spa day or Netflix binge with a pajama pal! I find that with holiday stress just around the corner, it is more important than ever to just wedge a little bit of rest in your week for what is to come. Refreshed with a new life, you may find the holidays are even more enjoyable than ever before!

Do the best that you can, even if it's just a few hours at home of silence. Sit on the floor and feel your breath rattle through your bones. Let the weight fall off and a beam of light shine pierce through your chest. Know that you are doing this for your physical and mental health. Know that your health is important. You are important.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

A Day to Relax







































You wake up on a crisp Sunday morning with the fresh light creeping through your blinds like stars about to burst with opportunity. Check the time and see that it's not too early, not too late. Grab your favorite pair of lounging pants and clumsily slip them on before floating to the kitchen to make your favorite at home coffee drink. This day belongs to you.

While the coffee brews, listen to the sound. Perhaps there is a low croaking and drip drip drip echoing through your home. Perhaps it is the crackle of fresh grounds absorbing their fate as you pour the water over the grinds. Take a moment to breath deeply, allowing the scents to carry you away, drifting to an imaginary land.



While the coffee is brewing, begin combing your hair, feeling each tingle and massage as the comb runs over your scalp. Feel your blood flow, waking your body from its peaceful slumber. A new day, and new life, a new opportunity is being created. Gaze into the clear sky and feel the rays of sunlight warm your cheek bones. If weather permits, crack the window and let clear, clean air infiltrate your lungs, refreshing your groggy mind.

With coffee in hand, allow yourself the luxury of time. Pick up a book you have been meaning to read, or an old magazine you always meant to devour. Light some incense and let the smell linger in the room for hours. On this day, simply rest as your body is meant to do. Turn off your phone and simply enjoy all that is around you. Play music for the mind and absorb chords you never noticed. Think about lyrics you always sang for granted. Allow each sensation of everything you do to quench your thirst for life. The day is yours.




Monday, November 10, 2014

Zero











































Shirt: American Eagle// Jeans: Lucky Brand// Jacket: Free People// Boots: Free People// Sunglasses: Forever 21

Some days, I really just want a simple model off duty style. I rarely post easy outfits like this, but honestly, sometimes I just don't feel a full boho completely put together outfit. Some days, I want my dark wash jeans, and a comfy, easy tee. Sometimes, the best things in life are the easiest things in life. Besides, this outfit made me feel like a rock star and I take every opportunity to look like something I am not. Whatever, it's fun. Anyway, I am pretty sure the fact that this tee, you know, promotes a rock concert for Bob Dylan, The Raconteurs, and The Black Keys might make me feel that way. You will never believe where I grabbed this shirt though. C'mon, guess.

Ok, so I know you don't want to guess. My brother had a bunch of clothes he was donating to Goodwill, and I happened to see this gem laying on top. I'm guessing it was some sort of "spend x amount get free shirt" at American Eagle, but I couldn't care less. I love this tee.

While we are on the subject of rock stars, I haven't been able to get enough of Yeah Yeah Yeahs lately. Karen O, you rock girl.




P.S. Can't get enough of these new boots. Have you purchased any boots lately? Who is your favorite rock n roll chick?



Friday, November 7, 2014

Friday DO: Embrace Nostalgia







































Nostalgia is a powerful thing. Things from days long past flood your mind. Occurrences and feelings seemingly long forgotten were simply filed away, waiting for a new time to fill your heart. Counting the hours, minutes, days, and seconds, waiting to etch a smile into the stillness of your psyche. However, the best thing about this capability of the mind is that the most random sensations can turn nostalgia on and send you flying full force into a deep tunnel of memories. Simple things, like the smell of a coffee, the way the breeze blows your hair into your face, or a song from days long past plays randomly on the radio. In fact, for me personally, music is one of the biggest factors in nostalgia. Today, I will be sharing a few songs that embrace personal memories for me, and share the memories they recover.

The Strokes - 12:51


This song - oh my gosh you guys, this song. 2003 seems like yesterday and forever ago. Reminds me of lazy days after school, just chilling, being, and dancing. Makes me want to break out a mix CD and dance around in my room just like the good old days. It's so hard to believe I was 15 when this song hit the world.

Florence + The Machine - Shake it Out



I played this song non stop through my first Kentucky winter. I had just gotten married, moved to Lexington, started a new job, and this song was my top played through cold, black nights. Whenever it comes up on an old playlist, I remember purple skies, drives home through the cold, and my breath generating smoke into the air as I walked up the steps into our new home, slowly twisting the key and cracking the door to reveal everything I loved about my new life. New opportunities abound when this song plays.

Fitz & the Tantrums - MoneyGrabber


My Dad was the first one to make me really listen to this song. I had gone to visit him in the San Francisco Bay, where he had recently relocated to work as an electric car engineer for a very popular car company that I won't name, though you probably have already guessed it. My dear old Dad had taken some time to get to know the culture, part of which was apparently a heavy alternative scene. He had tons of songs he played for us, but this one stuck with me. It was one of his favorites at the time and we discussed the band background, watched live performances online (Noelle Scaggs is a fab dancer/entertainer by the way), and drove around the city blasting the volume whenever it came on the radio. I love San Francisco and this song will always cause reminiscing of walking up the SF streets, exploring China town, Italian bakeries, getting ice cream from Ghiradelli, and eating Guatemalan food in the Mission. I love my Dad you guys.

So now, it's your turn. If you actually read all this, I deeply thank you with all my being. Please share with me what songs trigger nostalgia in your mind. Which songs can cause tears at the drop the hat? Which ones make you smile at fond memories?