Friday, May 12

Fun Finds Friday #141

  • Does anyone else think a typewriter keyboard is super awesome?!?!?!
  • I really enjoy this poem. Self love is the most important love.
  • How to plan a wedding in five days. Because, seriously, who needs all that other wedding B.S.? (Not us!)
  • As someone who only uses soap & moisturizer every day, I can agree with this post.
  • I like shirts with food on them.
  • Apparently, cats are nice. Well, duh.
  • This is the kind of art I can appreciate. (Anything that makes me smile.)
  • Small house dreams. Because we all have them! No? Just me? Okay.
  • Annnnnd on that note.... the end of that article made me think of that show Hoarders, and how people spiral into a weird emotional state concerning stuff when they lose someone. I like my stuff because it makes me smile and because it's pretty, but I'm not opposed to getting rid of it, especially if it's not serving a purpose. But I also like having quirky things displayed around our home. Does that mean I'm emotionally invested in it? I don't happen to think so. I'd love to know your thoughts on this.

Happy Friday!!!!!

* In light of my last post, I've changed the format of Fun Finds Friday posts ever so slightly. No more materialistic images, just a good old fashioned generic image and a handful of links. Now, that doesn't mean I won't link to clothes and such still, but I like to think this is much more streamlined and in tune with my current attitude towards things. The content is still the same! I just don't feel like bombarding you with images of stuff.

Saturday, May 6

More Brain Blabber

I'm currently procrastinating on doing the dishes. Maybe it's too early to claim this, seeing as this is only the second post in this "series", but it seems like every time I do one of these posts I have something in the oven. Today it's granola. I ran out about two weeks ago and had every intention of making some last week, but with temperatures in the 80's, there was no (f-ing) way I was turning on the oven for 40 minutes. So I pushed off the reminder on my phone every day for another 24 hours. Well, today's the day! I had to run to Whole Foods to grab some honey because it's the only thing I forgot to grab initially. Of course, a trip to Whole Foods never ends up being cheap - you go in there for one or two things and walk out with a bag full of stuff... I know I can't be the only one who continuously finds myself in this predicament. Today I went in for celery and honey, and walked out with those things, plus four yogurts, mayonnaise, dijon mustard, and tonic water. To be fair, I also made chicken salad today and needed the mayo and mustard. The yogurts and tonic water were pure indulgence. They were out of my fancy tonic... they've been out of it for weeks! I settled on the store brand tonic - I ain't that picky, man, I just want some tonic to have with my gin. Speaking of which, I'm due for another trip to the liquor store... I'm running low on gin. I love Hendrick's gin but I also hate it. Why? Because the bottle is opaque and heavy, so I can't ever tell how much is left. So one day I'll be pouring myself a shot and it'll be the last one in the bottle. Hence why I now keep two gins on hand at all times. Errrrr... yeah, that's my story and I'm sticking to it. To be honest, I never fancied myself a gin drinker. I think people are always surprised to hear that I am. I mean, gin, it's one of those spirits most people pass over. It's basically herbal vodka. I tried one once that was too heavy on the juniper and I had to fight my way through the bottle, but for the most part, I love them all. Anyways, I think that's about all I have to say about gin.

I've been watching quite a few TED Talks lately. That's nothing new, but what is new, is that I've been taking notes while watching them. You guys, this is a big thing for me! I mean, one, I'm terrible at taking notes. (Thank goodness for the pause button, amiright?) And two, I'm a kinesthetic learner, so I have a really hard time just sitting there and listening to things. (This is why I don't do podcasts... that's another thing people are always shocked to hear. Why is that?) I started taking notes on a whim - the TED Talk I was watching at the time just seemed to be calling me to write things down. All of a sudden, I was able to actually pay attention and take in the information better than I ever have before. I thought, "Why the hell haven't I been doing this? This is amazing!" So I've been doing it with most of the talks I've watched since. It. Is. Awesome. I seem to find myself scrounging for paper two minutes into each talk. I think I may need to start using a notebook, instead of grabbing whatever is closest to me (usually mail) and writing on that. Not only are the talks motivating me because I'm able to absorb them better, but I'm inspired to watch more of them. Seriously, grab some paper and try it. Maybe you'll find it's your jam too.

So, yesterday I ordered some business cards and bought a new domain name. Both for yoga. I liked the idea of having a website on my cards, so I came up with a name, and bought 50 cards. (Mo is what some friends affectionately call me. I figured yogawithmarine might be confusing... plus, YoMoCo has a better ring to it.) I figured that by having the cards, it would motivate me to create the website. Perhaps that's a bit backwards, but I tend to do things that way. I have this idea that one of these days I'll start posting short yoga sequence videos, so in my head it made sense to have a website to post them to. Is this something y'all would be interested in? 20-30 minute free yoga sequences? I can already picture the wall I would film them in front of in our front room... I just have to get some more birch tree decals for it. And then maybe I could offer longer sequences for a subscription fee? I don't know. I suppose I should start with the small stuff and work my way up. I'm terrible at these things - I'm all ideas and no action. Actually, I watched a TED Talk about that recently too. It's so hard to change the habits that are ingrained in you! I'm such a procrastinator. Always have been, probably always will be. But I am really diggin' this idea! I want to share my yoga with you - it's a big part of my life and it deserves a spot here (or there) too.

It's honestly part of the reason I haven't been posting as much here lately... a lot of the stuff I used to post about seems so trivial compared to what I want to be posting about. I want more posts like this! More down to earth, from the heart posts. I actually feel weird about my Fun Finds Friday posts lately too. I've been trying to get out of that materialistic mindset and it seems counterintuitive to post photos of things I "want", when I'd rather be posting more links to things that I find interesting, or mind-blowing, or whatever. But in my head I've built up this idea that all posts should have at least one photo to accompany them, so I've kept posting the visual wish lists too, even though I feel odd about it. I mean, I just posted my 140th Fun Finds Friday post... am I wrong to worry that changing the idea of them at this point would be weird? Perhaps I'm overthinking it (most likely true). You guys probably wouldn't care if those posts became more writing/linkage than photos. I don't know. Your feedback is appreciated :) I just feel like my priorities have changed over the past few months and blogging isn't as fulfilling as it used to be. I still love this space and want to keep it around, but it hasn't been feeling much like me and I'm not sure how to put some of the things I want to write about into words. Does that make sense? I hope so, because I want to keep y'all around, but I also want to make sure this space is worth you stopping by for.

Well, that's enough blabber for today. I dig this though. It feels... authentic. Let's do this more often :)

Friday, May 5

Fun Finds Friday #140


Happy Friday!!!!

Tuesday, April 18

Netflix Lately

My last Netflix post got an insane amount of views, so I took that as a sign that I should post some Netflix-faves more often! Judging by this list, you would think that we spend all of our free time watching Netflix, but let's be real... we're really just binge-watchers. If something catches our attention, we'll spend a whole afternoon getting through each and every episode. I'm sure we're not alone in this! Anyways, here's a rundown of the best of 'em.

Backstreet Boys: Show 'Em What You're Made of - A must-see if you are/were a Backstreet Boys fan. It covers the history of their rise to fame, and it follows the members in present-day as they revisit some parts of their past. I actually teared up a little - and then followed it up with a BSB dance party. Just sayin'.

Better Call Saul - Shawn and I had been impatiently waiting for season 2 for over year... and it's finally here!!! If you were a Breaking Bad fan, do yourself a favor and watch this. I actually think it's better than Breaking Bad (shh!!), but you kinda need the background of Breaking Bad to fully appreciate Better Call Saul - the two just go hand in hand. Plus, Saul and Mike were my favorite characters anyway.

Love - That's basically what the show is about - love... and all it's ugly faces and nasty habits. Yep, it's a story that has been played out time and time again, but I really enjoy the fucked-up-ness of these characters as they navigate their relationships and life in L.A., and I love the sarcastic hilarity of it all.

Lovesick - Shawn and I watched every single episode of this in one sitting; don't judge! The episodes and the seasons are short. It's a show about a guy who finds out he has an STD, and subsequently contacts every girl he has slept with over the previous five years. Each episode focuses on a different girl, and ties his past into his present-day. So good! And the actors are British so, you know, that's a plus.

The Great British Baking Show - Want more Brits? Enjoy watching baking competitions? Watch this. It's so freaking good. The one thing I still can't get over is how nice all the contestants are to each other! My family swears it's just video editing, but I like to think that the Brits just aren't total competitive a-holes like Americans are.

Burn After Reading - Classic Coen brothers. (Shawn and I saw this when it first came out, but he didn't remember it, so I happily watched it again.) George Clooney, Brad Pitt, John Malkovich, Tilda Swinton, and Frances McDormand... if the directors and the cast aren't enough to suck you in, then I don't really know what else to tell you.

I Don't Feel At Home in This World Anymore - This falls into the category of dark comedy crime thriller. The main character is fed up with the general selfish attitude of humans and when her home gets broken into, she enlists the help of her neighbor to find the culprits herself. Then shit gets crazy! We really enjoyed this one.

Waffle Street - Based on the true story of a wall street guy who loses his job and starts serving tables at a local waffle house chain, with the intention of one day owning his own franchise location. Really heartwarming story, and I love the take-away at the end. You'll have to watch it to know what I mean though!

Schitt's Creek - This was recommended to me on my last Netflix post; I remember seeing trailers when this first came out, and I'm so happy it's on Netflix because I really wanted to see it! A wealthy family loses everything they own and are forced to move to a podunk town that they bought years prior as a joke. Eugene Levy and Catherine O'Hara are hilarious, as usual. Definitely worth a watch if you're looking for a good laugh.

We also watched a few notable comedy specials:
Garfunkel and Oates: Trying to be Special
Neal Brennan: 3 Mics
Louis C.K. 2017

How about you - have you watched anything good lately?

Tuesday, April 4

Smoked Gouda, Bacon, Spinach, & Red Pepper Quiche

Around here, we really love quiche. It's just one of those things that's super quick and easy to throw together, and even easier to heat up later in the week when you don't feel like putting any effort into cooking. I'm actually surprised I don't have more quiche recipes here... but it's probably because I use the same base each time and just toss in whatever ingredients I have laying around. I'm going to try to post more of the combinations though - just because the base is the same, doesn't mean you guys won't appreciate a new combination!

This particular one came together Saturday afternoon. I made and baked the crust in the morning, chopped up some bacon I had cooked earlier in the week, and then filled and baked the quiche later in the day, after running errands. Prepping everything ahead of time made it come together really quickly, and then dinner was ready in a jiffy. I used to buy frozen crusts from the store, but I'm kicking myself for it now. Homemade crusts are just so much tastier, they require only three ingredients (okay, four if you count salt), and they really take no time at all to put together. One of these days I'll make a proper recipe post for pie crust. In the meantime, just use whatever you have!

Smoked Gouda, Bacon, Spinach, & Red Pepper Quiche

  • 1 pie crust, store-bought or homemade
  • 1/2-pound thick-cut bacon
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 1 small red pepper
  • 1 big handful baby spinach
  • 1 cup grated smoked gouda
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 425°F.
Line a 9" pie plate with your crust, trimming or folding in the edges to your liking. Prick the bottom of the crust a few times with a fork, and freeze the crust for about half an hour. Then par-bake the crust in the oven for about 8-10 minutes, pricking with a fork again if the center has started to bubble up. If the sides of the crust have shrunk, just use a spatula to gently flatten them back up the side of the pan. Set the crust aside to cool.*
Turn the oven down to 350°F.
Lay the bacon out on a sheet pan, placing the slices side-by-side. Bake for about 18-20 minutes, or until the bacon is cooked through but not dark. Drain the grease from the pan, (I usually fill a small bowl with it, refrigerate it, and then spoon it into the trash later; you can also reuse it for cooking!), and set the bacon aside to cool. Once cool, dice the bacon and set aside.*
Chop the onion and red pepper - you can go the large dice route, or chop them slightly longer like I did. In a bowl, combine the chopped onion and pepper, spinach, diced bacon, and the smoked gouda. Mix everything together with your hands, then pour it all out into your par-baked crust. Flatten everything down so that it doesn't surpass the top edge of the crust.
In that now empty bowl, whisk the eggs and milk together until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to your liking. Pour the mixture over the rest of the ingredients, and carefully place your pie plate in the oven. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the filling doesn't jiggle and looks set. Allow to cool slightly before cutting, and enjoy!

* The crust and bacon can both be baked ahead of time. I usually buy a whole pound of bacon and bake it off, then use it throughout the week as needed. And the crust can be made a few hours in advance too. Then all you have to do later is get all the veggies ready, whisk up the eggs and milk, and you're all set!

Also worth noting: I rarely eat the quiche straight out of the oven. I find it much easier to slice later, so I'll usually make it in the morning in anticipation of reheating it for dinner later. Letting it sit really allows the filling to set completely. Leftover quiche keeps well in an airtight container in the fridge, and can be reheated in the oven at 350°F for 15-20 minutes.

Friday, March 31

Fun Finds Friday #139

  • I haven't had a good raincoat in years! Love the yellow.
  • Caroline's closet tour makes me wish the closets in our apartment weren't so annoyingly tiny.
  • This pouch is the cat's meow.
  • Joy posted this recipe the night after I used up the last of our sausage for a sub-par dinner :(


Happy Friday!!!

Wednesday, March 15


I've been slightly M.I.A. on the blog lately, but that's okay. (Funny, that's how my last snapshots post started too.) Honestly, I've been having a difficult time putting my thoughts into words lately - there's a lot I want to say but I want to do myself justice and say it like I mean it. So for now, a few photos from the past few months will have to do. My last snapshots post was in December... I haven't taken many photos since then. Mostly photos of Lloyd, as you can see. Something tells me y'all don't mind that though...

  • I graduated yoga teacher training! Approximately one month ago, and I've taught five classes since December. It's actually part of the reason I'm having a hard time focusing on the blog... I feel like I'm in a new chapter in my life and until I can find the right words to put the whole thing down on paper, I don't want to focus on writing much else. It's a work in progress. I'm a work in progress. (And it's also exciting as all hell!)
  • Lloyd and Sylvester have finally bonded. They've been living together almost three years, and much to Sly's dismay, Lloyd had no real interest in being around him until recently. Now we've been catching them together regularly! It's adorable.
  • I've been cooking so much more often. Potato, eggs, and spinach are lunch for me most afternoons (when you wake up at 3am, you kinda miss out on breakfast). But I've been making more elaborate dinners for Shawn and I most nights of the week. It's fun to be able to look through the fridge and come up with something on a whim! That's not something I was able to do before.
  • I bought plane tickets!!! I'm going to France and Spain in November! I land in Paris and leave from Madrid, hopefully seeing some family in between. The tickets were super cheap so I went ahead and bought 'em. The plan is to go with two other girlfriends and spend a week exploring. I turn 30(!!!) at the end of October, so I'm considering it a birthday celebration of sorts.
  • I also bought tickets to see Incubus in July. It will be my third time seeing them - they're amazing live! I'm still a little upset about leaving the last concert early, even though Shawn and I had a bad time because of some of the people that were around us. This time I'm going with a girlfriend and you can bet your ass we're staying for the whole show.
I only just caught up on the last 4+ weeks of my feed reader. What have you guys been up to?

Friday, March 10

Fun Finds Friday #138

  • The most amazing cat bed, that they'll never use.
  • We need a new needle for our record player... or just a new record player...
  • I've made this recipe twice already in the past week!
  • I've always wanted my bedroom to be a literal bedroom.


Sunday, February 26

The Anthropologie Black Hole

The Anthropologie catalog came in the mail yesterday... I can usually flip through it pretty quickly and get on with my day, but their spring line up is pretty tight this year. I couldn't help myself, and spent a little a lot of time browsing their website this afternoon. Since I haven't done an Anthro round-up in a while, I thought I'd procrastinate today and show you a few things that caught my eye...

  • This jacket is amazing. I could see it pairing well with most of my dresses. And everything else in my closet.
  • A skirt that's also not-so-secretly pants? So ridiculous, I can't help but love it.
  • Of course a striped sweater caught my eye. 80% of my shirts have dolman sleeves.
  • Wide leg cropped trousers are so hot right now, and I can't help but wonder if I could pull them off...

  • Red? Check. Stripes? Check. Asymmetrical? Check. This dress? Check.
  • I'm on a jumpsuit kick right now. The colors in this one are on point.
  • I want to do yoga in this. It looks so freaking comfortable!
  • Want a jumpsuit that's both casual and fancy? I want a spring wedding to go to so I can wear it there.

Other honorable mentions: short-alls that remind me of an apron, a gingham dress, another striped sweater, the same dress as above but more colorful, and an embroidered peplum top.

Now that I've thoroughly wasted three hours of my day (and probably yours too), I'm going to attempt to go do something much more productive. You should probably do the same.

Friday, February 17

Fun Finds Friday #137

  • This bag is for kids, but I'd totally rock it.
  • I made this salad last weekend and - WOAH! SO GOOD.
  • I am feeling so much kimono love lately.
  • This look exudes comfort! I wish there were a Prana store on the east coast.

  • I want to build/live in an Earthship sooooo bad. Been telling Shawn that for years!
  • Must make this.
  • On making friends; lowering your expectations and putting yourself out there.
  • Ain't nobody got time for assholes. (Yes, thank you for all three thoughts, Anthony Bourdain!)
  • The busy person's guide to reducing stress.

Happy Friday!!!!

Friday, February 10

Tuscan White Bean Soup

I've been really into making soups lately- they're quick, simple, and you really don't need more than a few veggies and some water to make a delicious soup. Plus, they warm your belly, you get a large yield, and they're super easy to reheat later! One of the bakeries I used to work at had four rotating soups each day, and one of my favorites was a Tuscan White Bean Soup. I've been trying to get Shawn and I to eat less meat lately, so I thought it would be fun to recreate one of my favorite veggie soups!

This one is great because you probably have most of the ingredients on hand already. (I always have carrots, celery, onion, and garlic in the fridge, and I stock up on beans when they're on sale.) To make it vegetarian, just swap the chicken broth for veggie broth - I just don't like store-bought veggie broth because it's often too carrot-heavy.

Tuscan White Bean Soup

recipe makes approximately 3 quarts
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium sweet onion, small dice
  • 3 carrots, small dice
  • 4 stalks celery, small dice
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 2 cans great northern beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1-1/2 quarts chicken broth
  • 3 cups swiss chard or kale, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper

In a large stock pot, heat the olive oil and add the onion, carrots, celery, and garlic, cooking until the vegetables have softened and the onion starts to appear translucent. Add the tomatoes, beans, and broth and bring the mixture to a boil. Once boiling, lower the heat and add the swiss chard and all the spices. Adjust spices to taste. Once the swiss chard has wilted, the soup is ready to eat! Top with grated parmesan cheese and serve with bread, if you'd like.

This soup keeps well for about a week when stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator. Or, pour it into a large ziplock bag and freeze it flat for easy storage and quick defrosting.

Friday, January 27

Netflix Lately

As much as I try to fight it, winter is a time for being lazy and retreating into the deepest corners of the couch. We have been watching a lot of Netflix lately. There have been a few things I've really enjoyed, and a few things that are just worth mentioning, so I thought I'd share them with you. Make some chocolate chip cookies, grab a tasty beverage, and settle in for an evening (or four).

Blue Jay - Grab a box of tissues and your coziest blanket before starting this one- it's a tearjerker. Shot entirely in black and white, it follows two high school sweethearts who run into each other later in life, and their story slowly unfolds. This movie is the definition of heartbreaking. Real life: I ugly-cried, and had to pause the movie because my nose was so stuffy that I couldn't breathe. I felt physically sad for two days after watching this. So worth it though.

Blind Date - A french film about an uncanny relationship between neighbors. Super cute. We got some good laughs. The subtitles aren't terrible, so that's a plus.

Hard Candy - Ellen Page plays a sixteen year old girl determined to take down a pedophile. This got way more intense than Shawn and I expected. This definitely isn't a movie with a happy ending. (Pun intended...)

Penelope - A modern fairy tale; Christina Ricci plays an aristocratic girl cursed with a pig's nose, looking for true love to break the curse. We needed something-light hearted after watching Hard Candy, and this definitely fit the bill.

The Beaver - Mel Gibson, Jodie Foster, Jennifer Lawrence, Anton Yelchin (the kid from Charlie Bartlett), and a beaver hand puppet. That pretty much sums it up. All in all, not a terrible movie- it actually starts a pretty solid dialogue about depression.

Nightcrawler - Jake Gyllenhaal plays a f*cking weirdo in this one. He's really freaking good at that.

Minimalism - A documentary about (you guessed it) minimalism. Definitely worth a watch though, if that's a concept you've been thinking about or actively working towards.

Black Mirror - This series is a bunch of stand-alone episodes that act as commentary about how we interact with modern-day technology and where that might lead us. Brilliant. And scary (in the holy-shit-that's-not-terribly-far-off sense). I've been recommending this to everyone lately.

A Series of Unfortunate Events - We've only actually watched the first episode of this so far. But I love Neil Patrick Harris, and I wish Patrick Warburton would narrate everything, all the time. I'm not actually familiar with the books, but I really like the way this is filmed.

Other shows I've been catching up on: It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia and New Girl - SO GOOD.

What have you been watching lately?

Wednesday, January 25

Intentions for 2017

I've been thinking all month long about what I want my intentions to be for this year, with the intention (haha - get it?) of sharing them here with all of you. But the deeper we get into January, the more I've been stressing out about getting this posted before the end of month (because doesn't everyone make their intentions at the beginning of the month, and if I wait til the end of the month, I may as well wait til the end of the year... and then none of these other posts I have planned for this year will ever pan out and I'll never get half of the shit on my to-do list crossed off and I'll be a failure at living any sort of a productive life and AGHHHH!) I have to remind myself to calm the f*ck down and just sit down and write sometimes. There is a serious disconnect between my brain and my fingers most of the time. The problem is that the times when I have the most brilliant revelations and thoughts, are always when I am not in a place to write any of it down. So by the time I get there, everything is already lost in translation. Does that makes sense? Do other bloggers/writers/crazy people have this problem? I don't know. Anyways, enough rambling; let's get to the bulk of the post here: my intentions for 2017.

I struggled with whether or not to make actual concrete goals this year like I have in the past or whether to live this year with certain concepts in mind like I did last year. Then I came to the realization that I can do both! I can pick an intention, and apply it to my goals. They may sound like the same thing, but I don't believe that they are. Intentions seem to leave room for freedom whereas goals tend to be more concrete and determined. I think each have their place in our lives. What my yoga practice has taught me though is that living life with intentions and constantly working towards those intentions leads to a powerful and more fulfilling existence. And that we may very well be working on certain intentions forever - it's part of the practice, it's part of life!

My intention last year was mindfulness, and I really only dipped my toes in. This year, I'm hoping to apply it to more areas of my life. I'm actually working on a Mindfulness Series for the blog! It's something I thought up after having a few ideas for posts that were all mindfulness-based and it occurred to me that I have the opportunity to turn it into a series. So keep your eyes peeled for that. I'm hoping to do one post a month, or so. We'll see how it all pans out.

As far as more concrete goals go, I do have a few this year. They're pretty loose, yet attainable. I'm generally pretty terrible with these sorts of things, so I'm giving myself space to breathe. They're also very much related to being more mindful. Most of these are actually going to be broken down further in the mindfulness series, so if I'm a little vague here, don't worry - we'll delve further into these later on!

+ Unplug
As much as I try and mostly succeed at not being sucked in by my phone and the tv, the computer is a whole different story. I can easily sit in front of the screen, browsing and reading, and next thing I know a few hours have gone by and I haven't done anything to really nourish myself. Then there are those days when I realize I haven't touched the computer even once all day, my phone is no where to be found, and the tv has yet to have been turned on that day... I love those days! I want more of those days. I'd like to spend more time reading books, coloring pages, sketching things, writing with a physical pen... really doing things that feed the soul. Ideally, I'd love to unplug completely for one day a week. Realistically, I'd love to do it at least one day a month. Hopefully I can land somewhere between the two.

+ Teach yoga
I'll be a certified yoga teacher by this time next month! I should be able to teach at least one class a week at the studio where I've been doing my training, but I'd also like to explore other options and really see where it takes me. I'm actually planning on sending out some feelers over the weekend; I have a few places in mind. Teaching will hopefully help me implement a more regular home practice in my life too, since I'll need to work on sequences for classes. I've already noticed a difference in my everyday life, in the sense that I view every conversation and occurrence as a possible theme for classes. Bring it on!

+ Meditate
I never meditated until last year when it was introduced to me during yoga teacher training. It's a really great thing to be doing, and I don't do it nearly enough. I was on a roll for a while, meditating every morning, and really starting to see the benefits of it spreading into the rest of my day. Then I switched jobs and subsequently started waking up at 3am for work, and my meditation was the first thing to go out the window. So the meditation doesn't happen as often as I would like because I really do like meditating first thing in the morning. I need to form a new routine and stick to it.

+ Save money
I used to be pretty good with my money, but it seems that over the years my concept of spending and saving responsibly has gotten a little loose. (I think it goes hand in hand with "well, I'm making more money now, so it's fine, I can buy this.") I'd really like to tighten my finances back up this year! I've been talking to other people about methods they use for saving, and I've got lots of good ideas about it now. I need to sit down and come up with a realistic budget. This is a huge thing for me. Like, real adulting right here!

+ Shop less
This was also a goal last year, but I made it way too concrete and failed miserably. Well, I failed at limiting myself, but I succeeded at being more thoughtful about my shopping habits. In fact, in doing so, I actually changed my shopping habits! So this year, I'd like to continue... not by limiting myself to a specific amount, but by continuing to browse less and purchase more intentionally. (This also goes hand in hand with saving money...) Something I'd also really like to focus on this year is buying more ethically and sustainably.

+ Post more often
Last year I ended up posting the least amount I've posted since 2012. I'm not setting myself up for anything specific here... I feel like every year I say "I'm going to post more recipes!" and every year I come up short. I'm not really concerned with what the content will be specifically, I just know I'd like to post more content in general. I'm hoping that doing a Mindfulness Series will inspire me to bring more insightful content to the blog, even outside of the series. And yes, I would like to post more recipes, especially since I've been cooking so much more! Ideally I'd love to be posting 2-3 times a week, but honestly, that's probably still a stretch for me. But if I can do it, while still keeping the content organic and not rushed, I'd like to!

+ Have more dance parties
I threw this one in for fun. And I'm not talking actual parties here... I want more of that feel good, move like no-one's watching, ridiculously exaggerated kinda dancing we all do on our own time. I think we all need more solo dance parties! (That's my campaign, and I'm sticking to it.) More dance parties a la Hugh Grant in Love Actually. I mean seriously, who doesn't feel good after a quick dance session? Also, I don't know about you, but I'm more likely to clean the apartment when there's dance music playing. Just sayin'.

Did you set intentions/goals this year? Got any pointers for how to stay on point?

* Intention cards are from here.

Friday, January 20

Fun Finds Friday #136

  • This looks delicious! Wish I had more sour cream on hand right now...
  • A cute and minimalistic cat dress!
  • Soap that's too pretty to use.
  • Flats made from recycled materials!


Happy Friday!!!!

Monday, January 16

The Zen Room

We've been living in this apartment since June 2016, and though we've had it decorated and looking decent for the majority of that time, only one of the rooms actually feels finished... or at least close enough. The living room is next in line, once I get off my ass and sew some cushion covers for the couch... but I digress. Let me finally give you a quick photo tour of the Zen Room!

We live in a rowhome - one long rectangle with a hallway that connects all the rooms and runs adjacent to another apartment which is laid out in the exact same way. Thankfully, we rarely hear our next door neighbors, and the darkly lit window-less woes of a city rowhouse are not upon us - we actually have an end unit on the corner of a semi-busy street and the sunlight is amazing. It's actually part of the reason we chose this unit! *

This is the first room you walk into; aka the front room, but we like to call it the zen room because that's our intention for the space. When we moved, I was at the beginning of my yoga teacher training and looking forward to finally having a space to practice at home. So we decided this would be the yoga/relaxation/plant space. When I want to practice, I just move the rugs out of the way. (I actually recently had three friends over for an hour-long yoga session - it was awesome!) We had our record player in here for months, but recently moved it to the living room because this room stays really cold and we weren't using it. Most of our plants are in here as well, but we may move them because the cold hasn't been good for them either. That sunlight totally makes it worth being cold though! And behind those curtains is the door to our balcony, another fun feature of this place.

One of the things I also really like about this room is that most of the things in here were found on my travels, or were gifts from family and friends. I think it just adds to the positive energy of the space. I also love the rugs! This is our first apartment with hardwood floors, and we were ecstatic to be able to get some rugs! If you'd like to know where anything specific is from, ask away! I'll try to remember, or help you find something similar.


* A quick little background about this apartment building - when Shawn and I first moved to the area 4.5 years ago, every time we would walk past this building we would say, "One day, we're going to live in there!", but we always thought it was way beyond our financial means. Then, about two years ago, I became friends with someone who actually lived in the building. I got to see the inside of her unit and fell even more in love with the place. Lucky for us, when we were looking for a new place to move into, she reached out to her landlords and found out that there were two available units - and they were in our price range! (Actually, they were way less expensive to rent than we expected! Which makes us sad because we could have totally moved in here 4.5 years ago...) Annnnd now we live in our dream apartment! It's an old building and could definitely use a little revamping in parts, but the energy here is great and it fits all of our needs. The cats love it too because it's SO much more space than our last place. Oh, and we didn't paint anything. The last tenants had some great colors already so we told the landlord not to bother repainting. It's so nice being in an apartment that isn't all white!

Friday, January 13

Fun Finds Friday #135

  • National Geographic photographers talk about gratitude.
  • Illustrations that show what goes on inside an introvert's head.
  • What happens to restaurants after Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives?
  • This may be the cutest thing ever! Well, it's close to the top of the list.
  • I wanted to test out this method earlier this week when temperatures were at 10°F, but I spaced on it.
  • Do you think you'd learn anything from a month of mirror selfies?

Happy Friday!!!!

Thursday, January 12

Couch Cats

Happy 2017! I spent the first two weeks of the new year reflecting on (to quote from one of my favorite books...) life, the universe, and everything. I have all sorts of fun posts buzzing around in my brain for over the next few weeks, but sometimes it's nice to take a step back and just be. So, while I take time to accurately put my thoughts to paper (er, screen), I thought it'd be nice to share a few cat photos in the meantime.

I bought an iPhone 7 at the end of last year, and holy shit - the camera is amazing! I thought the camera on my LG was great, and hesitated to upgrade, but I'm so glad I did. My favorite feature? The portrait setting. It's like having an SLR right at my fingertips. So of course, I've been taking photos of the cats any chance I get! You'd think from looking at these that they were all taken on the same day, but the reality is that these guys just really love our couch, and that's where they spend 80% of their time, so that's the backdrop for all of these.

Now you're probably thinking, why hasn't she shared photos of the new apartment yet? It's been six months! Well, the truth is, the living room has been ready to show off for a while... but our couch was free and is in not-so-great shape aesthetically, so I bought some fabric to reupholster it... in October. Yeah, did I mention I'm a big time procrastinator? Once I get some new cushions on there, I'll be happy to show it off (along with the rest of the room)! But in the meantime, you can just look at Lloyd and Sylvester ;)

(That last one makes me smile like a big goofball - I love when I catch them cuddling!)

Also, I've had a few people ask about how Lloyd is faring, and I realized I hadn't given an update in a while. He is doing great! Seriously great. He hasn't had any problems with his mouth or teeth since the surgery (knock on wood), and the way he chomps down on food, both wet and dry, you'd never know he only has seven teeth! The little dude is in a great mood all the time; still rockin' the silly poses, and wanting cuddles more than ever. I've said it before, and I will say it again, thank you all SO MUCH for helping us out last year. I don't know if Lloyd realizes how many fans he has in the world, but we are certainly beyond grateful for all the love that surrounds him.a


© Pictures & Paragraphs. base template by Fearne. Spruced up by me.