Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and here are my picks for gifts for the man in your life. I love Valentine’s Day and the last two years Will has been in China! So this year we are planning to do something fun to celebrate the day. Maybe a post about that coming soon.
Thursday Thoughts about Creativity and Inspiration
After returning home from the gym, I found out our wifi wasn’t working (which is a pretty common occurrence). I had some work to do for a client and was hoping to find some much needed inspiration for it by scouring the internet for ideas. Not having internet definitely threw a wrench in my finely tuned plan. Sure I could go to a coffee shop or the library, but I think best at home…preferably in shea butter socks and a candle near by.
Taking a shower followed by sulking and snacking for about 30 minutes I decided that no internet might be just what I need-A break, time to think, to ACTUALLY create and write without being distracted by an anthropologie sale or a show on Netflix. It’s true a lot of blogging is the research. Its finding good sales, getting the perfect instagram shot, and promoting your blog but its also about creating good content and sharing ideas I am really excited about.
While the internet is a great tool, sometimes it can really curb our ability to be authentic. We can get so caught up in comparison and perfection that we forget ourselves. Too much internet can stifle creativity either by discouraging me because everyone else has already done something or by flooding my brain with so many ideas that I never move forward. By stepping away from what everyone else is doing and really focusing on what I want my life to be and what deserves my attention helps recenter my mind.
It’s so important that we develop our own sense of style, likes and dislikes, and passions because thats what makes us unique and our uniqueness is what we have to offer the world.
How I’m getting the creative juices flowing this year without the internet:
- Cooking: One of my favorite things to do is cook. Not just following a recipe or throwing something into the crockpot, but actually learning why things taste good together and how to properly cook things is so much fun! Cooking is a great way to exercise your mind and getting comfortable in the kitchen can make life so much more extraordinary. Also, it makes great date night.
- Hiking: Getting outside can help clear and recharge your mind. I love to get outside and connecting with nature really helps me get inspired.
- Flipping through old photos: Sounds strange, I know, but connecting with your past can really help inspire your future. I love to go through old photos because it helps me remember who I’ve been and how I’ve changed over the years.
- Connecting with friends: Catching up with old friends or the same people you talk to all the time is a great way to get inspired. Focusing less on yourself and engaging with the people you love is the best way to get inspired. Shut the computer, turn off the phone and spend time with the people you love.
This weekend was uncharacteristically warm for January which was a wonderful change from the freezing weather we’ve been having. For the first time in what feels like months Will and I have a weekend at home together and we decided to head to the local park to enjoy the fresh air and sunshine. We’ve been looking for houses and to be honest its been an interesting experience. It was great to take a break from house hunting and working to get outside and spend time together. If you are looking for a good day time date that doesn’t involve food or shopping, go for a walk.
Styles from this post
For this post I wore Melrose & Market Top I found at Nordstrom Rack and it’s been one of my favorites this season. It’s so comfy! The jeans I wore are vintage Levi’s, but Levi is bringing a lot of their old styles back (similar ones linked below). My boots are Sam Edelman that I’ve had for several years and are still one of my favorite boots.
It’s a calm but cold Wednesday morning here in Ohio and I am currently sitting at my desk with a large mug of tea and a slumbering dog. Today, I’m multi-tasking both writing, reflecting and designing for clients. Usually at this point in the day I’ve already been to the gym and am still in workout clothes or a oversized sweatshirt. But today I’m so tired of the cold that I’m forcing myself into a t’shirt. I’m looking forward to 2018, hopefully buying a house, I’m going to be an aunt come May and a fair bit of traveling adventures. Before I get carried away I wanted to take some time to reflect.
Recently on a car ride home, my husband and I thought about ways in which we want to challenge ourselves more in the coming year. We both are youngest in our families and decisions have never been easy to make from things as trivial as where to eat dinner on a Saturday night to important things like where to buy a house. 2017 definitely pushed us to make some difficult decisions and for 2018 we both picked the word “Bold” as our challenge for the year.
I have the tendency to stay within the lines and never try to push myself beyond what I think I’m capable of. I let decisions often come to me instead of carving my own path. Like most people, I’m afraid of failure or disappointing people who I care about. Boldness is definitely a steep challenge for me this year, but its beginning with small steps like wearing short sleeves in the winter, making more challenging recipes for dinner, and not being afraid to put myself out there even when I am afraid to look stupid or fail. Yay for 2018! What are some of your goals for 2018?
In this Post:
One of our family baking tradition is making candied orange peel for the holidays. This sparkly, festive dessert is much easier than you think and very pretty to spice up a holiday cookie plate. Dip them in chocolate for some extra goodness or set it in a pretty dish for a bar snack at your Christmas parties.
Here’s how you make it:
4-6 navel or cara cara oranges
2 cups sugar
1 cup water
Cut the orange peel into 1/4 inch slices
Place into sauce pan in cold water and bring to boil for 20-30 minutes
In a sauce pan combine 2 cups sugar and 1 cup water. Bring to boil and heat until it reaches a temperature of 230 degrees F on a candy thermometer.
Drain orange peel, reduce heat, and stir into sugar mixture and let simmer for 5 minutes
Drain orange peel and roll in granulate white sugar. Place on a drying rack and let dry out for several hours.
Here are my picks for relaxing, cozy items to give to that person on your list who needs pampering this Christmas. Perfect ideas for every price range!
With the air getting dryer and the weather growing colder its important to combat dry skin before it starts. I’ve decided to share with you the products I use to keep my hair and skin hydrated throughout the year and especially during this winter season.
- Clinque Superbalm is a product to use for severe chap lips and a great way to keep your lips hydrated this winter. Truly scentless its the perfect alternative if you hate smelly lip balms.
- Aerin Rose Lip Conditioner is a great product to keep lips smooth. With so many holiday parties and events I wear a lot more lip colors then I usually do so this keeps my lips ready for darker colors and heavy products than my usual gloss. I like to put it on before I go to bed because of its relaxing rose scent.
- Clinque Moister Surge daily lotion is seriously my favorite product. I have blogged about this product before and after trying several other moisturizers it is still my favorite. It is very light and soaks in very quickly. You can apply it even after you’ve put makeup on which makes it great to use throughout the day.
- Aveda Wedding Masque – seriously so nice. I am a big fan of Aveda products and this is a masque that came out last year and is seriously amazing! It’s a great to wear overnight to provide a fresh hydrated face each day.
- Aveda Hand Cream is another great Aveda product I use regularly to keep my skin soft and supple. The Hand Relief has a great scent.
- Kristen Ess Strand Strengthening Hair Mask is sold exclusively at Target and is quickly becoming one of my favorite hair products. With a delicious scent and ease of application this mask is the perfect if you are too busy to mess with homemade masks or overnight masks. It leaves your hair smooth and rehydrated.
- Black Tea Age Delay Toner while helping to tone and fight from discoloration, this product is really great to help aid against the winter elements. Toners sometimes seem like a waste of money or superfluous but investing in a great toner can help keep your skin looking young and vibrant.
Its already November and the holiday ads have started popping up on social media and TV. If you are like me, the holidays usually come and go and I feel like I never fully enjoy them. Whether its too much going on with scheduling or work I don’t really invest in making the most of the holiday time. I never feel that I’ve had enough Christmas music, cookies, time with family, or decorations. So since last year I’ve been formulating a list of things that will help me make the most of the holidays.
Whether you’re on your own this Christmas or have a family, its important to take seriously the traditions you’ve created and to make the most of them when this time comes around. It’s easy to get lost in the gift shopping and party planning and forget to take time to actually enjoy the holidays. Here are 7 ways to make the most of the Holidays this year.
Write one thing you are thankful for each day leading up to Thanksgiving and post them somewhere you can read them each day.
Part of what makes the holidays something special is our attitudes. The position we put our hearts in leading up to the holidays is so important to having a pleasant holiday versus a stressful one. Living a life of gratitude throughout the year, not just around the holidays is crucial to our existence. What are you thankful for? What is it that makes you say “I am extremely blessed!”? There are so many reasons to be thankful and part of the holidays is celebrating those things and putting them on display.
Last year I wrote down each day what I was thankful for and kept them in the cupholder of my car. Each morning as I got in the car I would grab them, flip through them and say a prayer for thanksgiving for all the ways I have been blessed. As we head into thanksgiving, I hope you’ll think of all the ways you are blessed. If its someone you know who you are thankful for, send them a note saying so. I have found that life is to short to let the embarrassment of emotion get in the way of telling people how they have blessed you. If its something that you own that has blessed you- give or share it with someone you know so that they too can be blessed by it. Thanksgiving begins in the heart so reflect, mediate and share so that you can cultivate a more thankful and giving heart this holiday season.
Create a Christmas Playlist
A large part of the holidays is music and the perfect holiday party starts with the perfect holiday playlist. Here are a few of my favorite Christmas albums to add to your collection.
Set aside a day to have a baking fest
Growing up, we would spend a whole day baking our favorite recipes and decorating each cookie with colored frostings and designs. This holiday, invite some friends over and have a day of sharing recipes, watching christmas movies, and baking goodies together.
Buy a holiday outfit
Reflect on Advent by doing an Advent reading or calendar
A good way to get excited about an event is to count down to it. Do an advent calendar this holiday season by making your own. Get excited about being creative or purchase one if you like me have very little time. On a more serious note, doing an advent reading each year is a great way to focus on what the holidays truly mean. Here are two websites that I found have great resources for the advent season.
Decorate your bedroom for the Holidays
One of the best ways to get into the holiday spirit is to invest in holiday bedding. Each Christmas I pull out my holiday sheets and twinkle lights and decorate my bedroom specially for the Christmas season. It may seem silly, I know, but you will be amazed how turning your bedroom into a Christmas cove away from the rest of the holiday decor around the home adds extra spirit and helps wake you up with joyful thoughts! This is my bedding is from Potterybarn and this year they have more great seasonal bedding
Make finding the perfect Christmas tree into an event
My sisters, my dad, and I used to go and pick our Christmas tree out each year at a local tree farm. Running through each lane of trees, finding each trees best parts and greatest defects was one of our favorite things to do. The past two years I’ve sadly gone to Home Depot to retrieve my tree and I can safely say it is not the same experience. This year I am taking the time to drive to a farm, pick out the perfect tree, and drink lots of lots of cocoa while bundled in my layers of clothing.