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Little Life Upgrades.

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  1. Cook with wine. In your glass and in your recipe. There’s no feeling in the world that says, “I’m basically a french chef” then one hand holding a glass of red and the other hand adding a generous dash to a pan of sizzling onions. Seriously. (Speaking of wine, use the correct glasses with your alcohol. Unless you’re at a barbecue, pour your beer into a tall, cold glass with an inch of foamy, creamy head. Pour your wine into a delicate wine glass just begging to be swirled. Picture yourself in Mad Men and drink scotch from a fabulous tumbler. I guarantee you’ll feel awesome.)
  2. Have nice PJs. “You know, nothing makes me feel sexier/more awesome than coming home from a hard day at work and putting on a grimy old t shirt and big underwear” said no one ever. You only need a couple items to make sleep and lounge-time feel extra awesome: a chemise with a soft robe or draped cardigan , a couple sets like this and this, something sexy and luxuriously expensive,  and of course, something warm. A good plan would be to find 2-3 PJ tops, 2-3 PJs bottoms and 1-2 Night Gowns, one light robe or cardigan, one thick robe and a pair of slippers – keep the colors similar, mix and match for ultimate “I have my life together” feelings.
  3. Clean out your purse, clean out your car and keep them that way. When I hop into my jeep and it smells like mold and is filled with old receipts and dirty coffee cups I feel like I smell like mold and am filled with trash. A quick trash pick-up, a shake of the mats and a new air freshener are probably all it will take for a pick-me-up. A clean car is seriously a luxury and a tidy purse says, “I care about me so you should too.” (especially when you keep some Honest Co. Hand Sanitizer and a pack of Spry inside so every time you open it up you smell orange minty perfection) Do it. It feels good.
  4. Speaking of cars, make your favorite music readily available when you drive. Please don’t go out and buy a $10,000 sound system, but definitely keep what it takes so that you can have a happy, musical driving experience. For me that means a CD case full of music mixes my friends made for me + a tape deck converter to plug into my cell phone for instant Spotify action.
  5. Speaking of music, just go ahead and make it readily available everywhere and totally awesome. Go ahead and create a couple mixes on your laptop or cell phone so you’re ready for any one of this situations at a moments notice: dinner party, a party with friends, a party with family, holiday, something chill and something to get your blood pumping to clean the house or kill your workout. You’re welcome to check out my spotify account for inspiration, though beware, it needs streamlining. Oh, and one last thing, get some good earbuds (I like to keep the style simple, adult and classy – no glitter please) and keep them in your purse.
  6. Eat al fresco (dine outside). Feel fabulous with a glass of pinot grigio and a soft summer breeze in your hair.
  7. Do you drink coffee? Learn how to make it better, yummier: try a Chemex, a French press or a higher quality k-cup. Buy a beautiful mug that fits perfectly in your hand and makes you smile every time you see it. Don’t just chug it down, but sip slowly. Notice how the steam dances off the surface and the feeling of warm ceramic in your palms. Breathe and enjoy. (Don’t like coffee? This concept works with anything that you enjoy on a daily basis. Take something that you enjoy but rush through or take for granted, and then make it special and awesome. Turn a routine into a special occasion)
  8. Buy fresh flowers for yourself. Put them somewhere that you’ll see them every day. This is especially wonderful when you’re having a bad day.
  9. Splurge on that amazing lotion that makes you feel like a total queen every time you use it. And then use it. Don’t save it for a special occasion. Use it every single day, because guess what? Every day is a special occasion.

What are some ways that you make every day special? How do you create that feeling of awesome? That life upgrade”?


 

5 Ways to Beat the Winter Blues

Winter Blues are totally real life, guys. No sunshine, the gray, dreary weather, the lack of vitamin D – they can all take their toll when the winter is long.

If you feel down or anxious due to the weather, here are a few easy tips and tricks to combat those winter blues:

  1. Clean up. Being inside all day means that the house can get messy fast. Take a quick tour of your home, pick up any clutter, straighten the pillows, wash the dishes and give your dining room table a quick wipe down. Last, light a candle and watch it flicker for a second. Be in that moment. Take a few breaths.
  2. Turn on some happy tunes. Music really can change your mood. Keep it up beat or relaxing. Something to bring peace to your home and to your day.
  3.  Have a cup of tea. Make your favorite kind (maybe even a health or de-stress tea!) and then take a beat to sit in a comfy spot and two hand sip the entire thing. Thing of it as meditation.
  4. Go for a walk. Yes, outside is miserable, but bundle up and go out there anyway. If nothing else, the cold elements will make your home feel cozier.
  5. Get social. Meet someone for lunch or coffee. Face-time your bestie. Call your mom. Talking with someone will make you feel less isolated, like maybe the walls aren’t closing in after all.

Try these tips all together and maybe, just maybe you’ll remember that winter won’t last forever, spring will come and one day you’ll see the sun again. Oh and listen to this.

** P.S. If you feel like your depression is more then just “seasonal blues”, please see a doctor.**

Ask Yourself…

I’ve been creeping away to Barnes and Noble for hours at a time to read a new book that I’m obsessed with ReThink: The Way You Live by Amanda Talbot. Yesterday I finally finished it.

So eye opening. Talbot questioned design and made it real, tangible and comforting. I highly recommend the book. I especially appreciated her methods for creating a home specific and personalized – something I’ve gotten away from:

We love a good netflix binge, but we hate our sofa.
We love to have outdoor get-togethers but our porch and yard are a disorganized mess.
We love a good warm bath, but the tub is almost always dirty.

Why am I not making our home a place that accurately reflects our family’s rhythms?

A couple questions to get you thinking…

Where do you congregate in your home? Where do you spend most of your time? When I asked myself this question I realized that David and I have a routine, coffee, work, dinner, couch, bed…So why not make these rituals all the more precious and beautiful?

What do you love? We love coffee and food. We love full plates and a kitchen full of people. We love board games and movie night. Our home needs to reflect these things.

Who lives here? David and I are laborers, I own a cleaning business and he has just recently started his own carpentry and landscaping company – we work hard with our bodies, feet and muscles. When we come home we need rest. Our home needs to reflect that.

Being business owners we also have a lot of office-details to handle every day, meaning we need a place to organize, schedule and plan. Our home needs to reflect that.

Easy simple clean up. Low maintenance. We’ve already been working all day, we don’t want to come home to more cleaning and mowing. Our home needs to reflect that.

We desire a life that is natural, healthy. Clean. Not smelling of the garbage can and a banana peel that was left out over night. Instead, a place of refresh. Our home needs to reflect that.

We need to be inspired daily  – to work harder, be better and to strengthen our businesses and ourselves. Our home needs to reflect that.

We need a time of calming, a place to disconnect and tune out. Our home needs to reflect that.

Talbot encourages her readers to design a space to work with the family’s rituals, rhythms and routines. What are your rituals? What is the rhythm that you follow every day without thought? I’d like to encourage you to make your space (a bedroom, an apartment, a house) reflect you and your needs – not the latest greatest trends. How can you make your home a precious space for your family this week?

life lately…

Home

We’ve moved into a beautiful new rental and couldn’t be happier about it. We painted the walls gray and hung some of my old thrift store finds and call it home. I’ll put up a full tour soon :) 

icee

Summer is here and it’s hot as bugs. We’ve beaten the heat with some shaved ice and lots of vanilla coke. I’m ready for fall – scarves, jackets, cozy knit sweaters – mmm!

Sunflower

Going summer places…

veggie

Eating summer things…

Beads

Staying in the A/C and crafting! Today I spray painted lots of beautiful wooden beads, lacing them onto some gorgeous scrap leather cords to make necklaces. Coming soon to my etsy shop!

This has been such an emotional time for me. Maybe it’s because I’m almost 24, but my heart is just s e a r c h i n g.

Trying to learn and discover and decide. To grow in the Lord and strengthen my beliefs. So ready for this journey!

Homestead.

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So we’ve been in our new home for three months now! Since we’re both working so much I don’t feel like we’ve gotten as much done as I would’ve liked. I’m still dreaming of painting these bright yellow walls and having a dining room table that will actually fill our dining space. The list goes on! There’s so many alterations and details involved before I have my “perfect” home.

But guys, guess what? My home is already perfect. I read a quote the other day and shared it on my instagram:

The secret to having it all is knowing that you already do.

As I look around this house, instead of focusing on all the changes and DIY that needs to be done – I want to focus on the love that resides here. I want to look into my front door and see, not the ugly yellow walls, but a life well lived and happy memories. I’ll still DIY and decorate and dream – but I don’t want all that “to do” list to inhibit this moment and this time.

Let’s love our homes.