Friday, January 29

Fun Finds Friday #117



Also,
P.S. I finally went live with the new blog layout... check it out, and let me know what you think! Please bear with me while I work out the kinks, like streamlining the tags, updating the about and recipe pages, and figuring out where the comments links disappeared to!
Happy Friday!!!

Wednesday, January 27

Snow Day

The title of this post is, in fact, misleading. Why? Because Storm Jonas was more of a snow weekend... and I still had to work, so I never actually got a snow day. Everyone on the east coast knows about the epic snow fall that hit over the weekend. I'm not sure exactly how many inches we got here because the wind created some crazy snow drifts... but it looks to have been anywhere from 18-24 inches! The last time we saw this much snow was in 2010, when Shawn and I drove down to Virginia for a job interview and got stuck at a hotel for a weekend.... but that's a story for another day.




















Yep, that's my car up there... that was fun to dig out Sunday afternoon! Mine wasn't even too bad - the photo above that one is also of cars.... you just can't see them! Despite all the snow fall, I actually had to work all weekend. We had a skeleton crew that consisted of the five of us who lived locally and could walk to the brew pub. There wasn't a lot of foot traffic over the weekend, but it was kinda fun to trudge through the first foot of snowfall at 6am on Saturday morning and have the place to myself for a few hours while I baked bread.

The side streets are still a mess around here, but yesterday's higher temperatures helped melt a lot of the snow. I think almost everything will be back to normal by the end of the week!

Tuesday, January 26

Frosty NYC Day Trip

My friend Jess and I had been planning a trip to New York City since November. She hates winter, and she thought it would be fun to have something to look forward to, so we picked a random day in January that worked for both of us. Little did we know that Tuesday January 19th would be the coldest day of the year (17 degrees Fahrenheit but felt like -4 with the windchill!!!).... but since we had nonrefundable bus tickets we decided to just say "Eff it, let's go anyway!". I wore a pair of tights under my jeans, a thermal long sleeved shirt under my wool sweater, two scarves, tall boots, and we were on our way!

... I thought I had a lot more photos for this post, but upon looking back, I didn't take many photos at all. (Pretty much all of these are from the MoMA.) Our biggest focus was staying warm, so there was no way I was taking off my gloves and pulling my phone out at every street corner. We stopped into a tiny bagel place for breakfast as soon as we got off the bus, then started our walk up to the MoMA, stopping at the NY public library and a random crystal place along the way. We shared a flourless chocolate cake in the MoMA cafeteria before wandering around the galleries. (They had a Van Gogh sculpture special exhibit, and a Jackson Pollock special exhibit!) After looking at art for a few hours, we walked through Central Park to go indulge in all sorts of delicious things at Bar Boulud. We sat there for way longer than we probably should have (and spent way more money than we probably should have... OMG, French food!) and then slowly walked back to the bus station and caught an earlier bus home than planned. There were a ton more things we had planned for our trip, but ultimately the cold got the best of us.


I can't even begin to describe how immensely huge this was, and what it felt like to stand in front of it.



Pollock's doodles may be even better than his paintings, in my opinion.



This was so much smaller than I expected it to be!



Simply amazing to see in real life.



I wanted to take home this giant fossil we saw at the crystal place.



Random, but does anyone else think this looks like Lloyd?! Same markings!



Go home, Marine; you're drunk.

Even though we were freezing our buns off, we ended up having a great time in the city together. We've already started talking about taking another trip in the spring time, when we can enjoy some of the outdoor things the city has to offer. Although I grew up frequently going to New York City because my father worked there and it was only a 1.5 hour train ride from home, this was my first time visiting the city as an adult. I hadn't been back to NYC in about 6 years! It was a lot of fun going there with a girlfriend who knows her way around the city and who loves indulging in the same things I do. But next time, I'm looking forward to being a little less bundled up!

Friday, January 22

Fun Finds Friday #116

  • There's something simultaneously creepy and cool about this amulet.
  • Last year I started to embrace crop tops.... I'm really lovin' this look.
  • Can I please have a menu board? (Mostly so I can write FART on it.)
  • One of my ear piercings closed up, so now I'm always on the lookout for single studs.
  • This vintage skirt reminds me of hieroglyphics.

Also....

Happy Friday!!

Thursday, January 21

2016 Shopping Goals List



1. Golden Ponies Leopard Print Oxfords
2. Mika Yoga Wear Lynn Top
3. Frye Sacha Moto Shortie Boot
4. OhMeOhMy Clothing Circle Skirt
5. Omerica Organic Lucky Squirrel Plugs
6. ?
7. ?

Everyone who knows me will say that I really love shopping. I love finding good deals, and I love switching up my wardrobe on a regular basis. I've always had a very full closet with lots of clothes, shoes, and bags, and I was never overly selective with what I purchased (if the quality was good and the price was low, hello!). Last year I started looking at it with a different mindset though... I purged 75% of my wardrobe and became very picky with what I would bring back into my closet. But even though my mentality towards what and how much I was buying changed, I still loved to indulge in shopping on my days off, or any time I saw sale signs outside of a store. I realized that even though I wasn't spending the money, I was still spending a lot of my time and energy actively shopping. In fact, I spent a lot of my trip to Spain doing just that as well (Mom, I love you, but you're a bad shopping influence on me!), and I kind of regret not having spent more time exploring the country.

So this year I'm looking at shopping a little differently. I'm not going to do it. I'm going to do a lot less of it. Instead of spending my days off roaming from store to store ogling all the things, I'm making an active effort to not go into any stores, regardless of what sale signs they may have posted in the windows. Of course, I won't be able to avoid stores all year, let's be honest.... that's why I said effort ;)

Shawn and I have decided to make this year the year of savings. (I'll post more about that later.) So in recognizing that one of my habits is shopping without any intention, I've come up with a goal for myself this year. I'm allowing myself to purchase 7 items for my closet. Yep, just seven things for the whole year! I'm forcing myself to be intentional with my purchases. The price of things doesn't matter, it's more about the limitation. And you know what? It's already having an effect on my mindset. Any time I've thought to myself "Oh, I should go see what's on sale at the Gap!" it's immediately followed by "But then again, I really want to save up for those Frye boots, so maybe I won't." That's pretty freakin' rad, you guys. It's all about changing the thought, which then leads to changing the action, right?

I thought about allowing myself 12 items (one item per month), but that sounded like too many. Then I struggled with whether to give myself a limit of 7 or 8, and ultimately 7 won out because I really just love the number 7. So we'll see how this goes! I'll be sure to keep you updated throughout the year, especially since I still have two undecided open spots, and one or two things on the list may get switched out for others, depending on how the year goes.

Have you ever attempted a shopping goal? ... Do you think I'll last the whole year?

Wednesday, January 20

Snapshots















Although I'm not doing a 365 Project this year, I still want to post photos I'll be taking throughout the year that aren't related to anything in particular. I'll be posting these under the title of "Snapshots", since that's what they are.

Favorite things lately:
  • I've been making a big batch of steel cut oats every week and having a cup for breakfast in the mornings with bananas, almond butter, local honey, almond milk, and chocolate chips. It is sooooo good! I never thought I'd like oatmeal so much!
  • Still on the topic of food, my friend turned me on to a local sushi place and I've been going there about once a week. I love sushi so much! And they always give you extra miso soup, so no complaints here.
  • We got rid of our Christmas tree on new years day; normally we like to keep it up as long as possible, but it was starting to droop and was losing all of its needles. Our living room feels huge now!

Wednesday, January 13

Lloyd Sleeps on Things











Just pictures today, no paragraphs.

Tuesday, January 12

Project 365; 356-365

Here are the last few days of 2015's 365 project... better late than never, right?

356/365: One of my colleagues had a Christmas party at his house, so I went over with the intention of leaving after an hour or so...... one Muppet's Christmas record, a few drinks, one snake, and four hours later.... I finally went home.


357/365: The best cure for a hangover is a huge hearty breakfast, right? WRONG.


358/365: My brother and sister came over to exchange gifts, and we spent the better part of an hour playing around with Shawn and I's new camera. Hilarity ensued, as is quite common amongst siblings. You think I'm ridiculous? You should meet these two.



359/365: Waiting for Santa!


360/365: Shawn and I stayed home for Christmas and had a relaxing day in our pajamas. I baked off some frozen Trader Joe's croissants (you guys, those are supposed to be mini!!!!) and we indulged in some champagne. Or I should say, I indulged. Good thing I got the small bottle.


361/365: Our fridge became holiday card central for a few days.


362/365: What's up, Doc?


363/365: Kaylah sent me some tea with her card, so of course I had to try it. Dude. That was so freakin' tasty!


364/365: I was so done with this project, I'm not even going to make an effort to fill this in with a photo from another day....

WHOMP WHOMP


365/365: This is the perfect representation of how unexciting our New Years Eve was. We got invited to a few parties, but we opted to stay in, fell asleep on the couch, and were in bed before midnight. Yep, we are an old couple.

Reflections on Project 365:
I can't even properly express how happy I am to finally be done with this project! The motivation to keep at it lasted longer than I expected, but these past few months have been difficult. Ultimately, I just don't feel that my life is interesting enough to take a photo of every single day. Or, I'm not artistically inspired enough to even take a self portrait on the days that I'm just sitting around at home. While I do feel that doing this project slightly improved my photography.... I still went through all of the pictures recently and wasn't really wow-ed by many of them. It was fun while it lasted, but I'm really happy to not continue it into 2016. Maybe 2017? We'll see.

Sunday, January 10

Mindfulness in 2016


This year I was all set to make a list of goals for myself like I did last year... but the other day I woke up earlier than usual with three words running over and over again in my head.* Three words that seemed like a perfect way to sum up my aspirations for this year. Three words that somehow manage to fit into the major aspects of my life: self, home, and work. Three simple words that make an easy mantra to come back to throughout the year.

Breathe
Focus
Purge

Breathe: This is a word that I have been coming back to on a daily basis. It was my mantra last year, the source of much needed calm that I would turn to whenever I felt frustrated or upset. Breath is the essence of life; it is what keeps us alive every second of every day, it's what moves through us and stimulates our entire beings. And yet, breathing is something we rarely think about. (Which is a good thing, I mean, can you imagine having to concentrate on breathing all the time?!) When I think about my breath it reminds me to slow down, and reconsider, which is something I think we all forget to do in this fast-paced world we live in. That brings me to the next word....

Focus: I've said it before and I'll say it again, my head is constantly in the clouds. If you believe in astrology, then you can blame it on my birthday... if you're not into that stuff, well, then I don't know what to tell you. I really struggle to keep my feet on the ground sometimes. Just the other day I managed to lose my wallet a mere block from our house! (Thanks to a good samaritan I got it back within the hour though!) Of course this all happened right after I was telling Shawn about my three words...... So yes, focus is something I definitely need to work on. This may actually be the most difficult of the three for me.

Purge: The last of the trifecta, but perhaps the most important. I'm not just talking about materialistic things here, although I plan on purging a lot of those this year.... I'm also talking about negative emotions. I'm very quick to judge people, often in a negative manner. I worked on this a little bit last year, but this year it really ties in with the two other words. Any time I feel any negative energy building up, I just need to remember to breathe, focus, and purge the negativity. Hey, it sounds a little hippie-dippy, but I don't care. (I may be a bit of hippie, ok?)

It all ties together to say, my big goal for this year is to practice mindfulness. It's a concept that is a big part of my yoga practice, and I'm ready to take it off the mat and introduce it to other aspects of my life. Mindfulness is something I could really use in areas like finances (I'm terrible at budgeting!), work (trying to get a promotion, yo!), and even myself (I think I'm awesome, but I recognize that there are areas that still need some work).

I do have a few concrete goals for 2016, but I feel like they don't fit into this post. They're mostly related to blogging, sewing, yoga, and shopping.... so they're more, shall we say, hobby goals? I'll touch on those in another post.


* Shawn has been moving the furniture around in our bedroom to get it more feng shui.... apparently you're not supposed to have a lot of books in your bedroom because that's too many words and it's not conducive to sleeping. Well, I had three big books on my nightstand that day, so perhaps this is all a ruse and it's just my books playing mind tricks on me....

Friday, January 8

Fun Finds Friday #115

  • I'm in the market for new snow boots. (Despite the distinct lack of snow this year....)
  • These postcards are too cute!
  • Sorry, vegetarians, but I'm aboard the bacon train.
  • I'm also in the market for oxfords... I wish these red ones were more affordable!

Also: (with the beginning of a new year in mind...)
Happy Friday!!!!

Tuesday, January 5

2015 Highlights

Let's see, in 2015....
  • Shawn and I took a short staycation and explored Philadelphia in January.
  • That included a visit to The Academy of Natural Sciences.
  • I baked a ton of amazing things, including fossil cookies.
  • I posted way too many selfies in this post about growing out my pixie cut.
  • I shared the recipe for my favorite muffins.
  • I saw Incubus in concert, and one week later, Earth Wind and Fire!
  • My phone took a lot of photos on its own.
  • I flew down to Ft Lauderdale to spend a girl's weekend with my very-much-missed girlfriend Sam.
  • I quit my baking job and started working at a brew pub.
  • My best friend got married and I co-hosted her bridal shower, and threw her a bachelorette weekend in Cape May.
  • I started taking charge of my closet.
  • You guys got a peek at our apartment. (Which has changed since then....)
  • I shared my make up routine, and then promptly stopped wearing any for the most part.
  • I took a trip to D.C. to renew my passport, visit an old friend, and visited the National Arboretum.
  • I died my hair pink! Then purple.
  • I simultaneously over and under packed for my trip to Spain.
  • I went to Spain!!! I spent 10 days with my parents and got to see Barcelona, Madrid, and Segovia!
  • I cleared out 60% of my closet by listing a bunch of my clothes for sale on Poshmark.
  • Shawn and I celebrated two years of marriage!

When I was going through the 2015 archives I actually thought to myself, "Man, there weren't many quality posts last year... just a bunch of Project 365 and Cat Life posts...", but apparently this list begs to differ. All in all, 2015 was a pretty good year. It had its ups and downs, but despite all the unpleasant things that no one wants to hear about here, 2015 was generally positive. I certainly experienced a lot of personal growth this past year; maybe I'll broach that in another post, we'll see!

This blog definitely took a back seat once I got back from my trip to Spain in October... I don't regret that though. I'm going into 2016 with fresh ideas and excitement about what's to come (both online and off). Thank you all for following along this past year, even though the cat photos have been sparser for a few months now ;) I hope you'll keep reading and learning with me as we go through 2016!

Friday, January 1

Fun Finds Friday #114

Fun Finds Fridays are taking on a slightly new format for the new year. I've been working on a new layout for this ol' blog and I want everything to look a bit more streamlined. This is the first in a series of small (but significant, at least in my mind!) changes I'll be making over the next few weeks. Don't worry! Content will be the same, if not better!


Also:
  • Same apartment, different people.
  • Liz's post about consuming less & creating more really resonated with my holiday philosophy this year.
  • This blog will forever pay homage to my never-waivering wanderlust.
  • Ahhhh!!! Is this not the cutest thing ever?! Well, Lloyd aside, of course.
  • I made these burgers, and they were awesome. Oh, and I added bacon, because... bacon.
  • I've been watching a lot of shows about unique architecture lately, and I think this building takes the cake.

Happy Friday!!!!
(& Happy New Year!!!!)

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