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Thursday, November 8, 2018

Big Little Things.

It's no secret that I talk about gratitude a lot. I truly believe a little bit thankfulness can completely change your attitude. 

This year, I've really been focusing on being thankful for the little things. And not just being thankful for them, but really calling them out and talking about them. Reason being, we complain about the little things. And that's okay! But my thought is if you're gonna complain about the bad little things, you better be ready to give the good little things just as much brain space and airtime. 

If you're gonna complain about a few red lights in a row, you best be ready to talk about how good your luck is when you get a few green ones in a row. If you're gonna say, UGH ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME about how long your order is taking in the drive-thru, you better be ranting and raving about how dang good those fries tasted. You see what I'm saying? 

Anyway, point of the story is this year, I've been trying to be thankful for the little things, to notice them, to talk about them out loud. And by doing that, they really do become big things. This week, I'm thankful for: 

Sunrises and sunsets. || I read a quote one time that said something like, "If the stars only came out once every hundred years, imagine how people would stop and marvel." And that's exactly how I feel about sunrises and sunsets. They happen every single day, so it can be easy to take for granted the fact that there is literally an explosion of beauty happening in the sky. It can feel like such a little, normal thing. But when you stop and look...goodness GRACIOUS, there's literally an explosion of beauty happening in the sky! 

Sunrises and sunsets always make me pause and just breathe, they make everything else seem small, and they make me happy to be alive. They remind me that I got to live another day, and that's worth being thankful for. 

Coffee brewing in the morning (and also the afternoon, because, Daylight Savings). || Forever and ever gonna be thankful for coffee, but somehow I'm just more thankful for it in the fall. Waking up to the sound of it brewing in the morning, making my house smell like coffee just makes me happy. 

Fridays. || Fridays have always been my day off, and I looooove them. They've always been my favorite day. When I was 21 it was the day spent by the pool and spending way too long getting ready and texting everyone to decide where we were going out that night. Now, it's like "YES a day to run errands and read books LET'S GOOOO." Both have been fun, but I'll take the errands and lazy days now, please thank you. 

Pajamas. || For the majority of my life, I've slept in big t-shirts and gym shorts. No more, my friends. Lately, I have become a pajama person. And all I have to say about it is, get yo'self to TJ Maxx, buy some cheap pjs, and let the coziness commence. Having a bad day? Put pajamas on when you get home. Cook dinner in your pjs. It's a game changer. 

Living somewhere I can take Jack for a walk every day. || I don't ever want to take for granted that we live in a beautiful and safe neighborhood. Almost every single day, we go for a walk and it's the best for both of us. Nothing clears my head like fresh air. Getting outside never fails to make even the biggest problems seem a lot smaller. 

What are you thankful for this week? 
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Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Letters to Jack: Your Third Fall.

Life with you is so slow and so fast. How are you almost three, how has that time passed so quickly? But how have you only been around for such a short time? How has time gone so slow that I feel like I've had you for always? How is it already your third fall? How is it only your third fall? 

This fall has been so full. First of all, you say all of the things! You learned what a pumpkin was, and after a trip to the pumpkin patch where you picked out "Jack's pumpkin," you deem every pumpkin you see "Jack's pumpkin." You painted a pumpkin this year and were a huge fan of that. 

It's crazy to look back and see how far you've come since last fall. How much you've changed, how many new things you can say and do. It's so much fun. 
You said a big  H E C K  N O  to every Halloween costume we tried this year, but that's okay. You had fun anyway. I taught you the words "trick-or-treat" by standing in the kitchen and dropping candy in your bucket every time you said it. You only said it a few times while actually trick-or-treating, but every single day since you've brought me candy and said, "Jack's trick-or-treat, pleaseeeeee!" It is precious and it melts me and you've eaten entirely too much chocolate. I guess I kind of set myself up for that one.

I hope that the love of fall I'm trying to teach you is something you keep your whole life. I hope when the weather starts cooling down and the air turns chilly in the mornings, it makes you happy to be alive, always. I hope you always laugh your way through pumpkin patches and eat way too much Halloween candy. I hope the words "Trick-or-treat!" always bring a smile to your face. 

I hope that when you look back at pictures of this fall, even if you might not remember it, that you feel overwhelming love. Because you are so overwhelmingly loved. 

It's the most wonderful season, and you make it so much more so. 

I love you. 


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Monday, November 5, 2018

November Coffee Date.

I always write, "If we were having coffee right now..." But, I am having coffee right now. And, I'm assuming that if you're sitting at your computer reading this, there's a 50/50 chance you are also having coffee right now. So basically, we really are having coffee together. Isn't the internet just so weird and also wonderful?

So, while we're having coffee, I'll tell you...

...The time change never fails to COMPLETELY  throw me off. Like, how is it possible that one tiny hour can change so much?! Yesterday it felt like it was time to go to bed by 4:30. And I did go to bed at 8:30, which felt like the middle of the night. I'll be confused about what time it is for a solid two weeks. Anybody else?

...That after declaring victory over that dang stomach flu, I got food poisoning this weekend. AKA, I cannot catch a break. I have thrown up more in the last month than any normal person should. I've decided that because of this, I will not be participating in any sickness in 2019. Thank you for understanding. 

...I'd update you on Poshmark. I'm still LOVING it. It's so much fun going hunting for good deals and trying to sell those. I've also started turning to Poshmark when I need to buy something, and I've got the best stuff off of there. For example, I love Lulu's, but I love Lulu's even more when I can get it well over half-off just because someone else wore it a few times before me, ya feel?

...That I made this bourbon walnut crusted brie on Halloween and it was DELICIOUS. My friend Kait sent me the recipe and I knew I had to make it. I took it to my friend's Halloween party and it was a hit. If you like brie, you neeeeeed to make it. I'm for real already looking for an excuse to make it again. 

...That I am BEYOND excited at the news that Looking For Alaska is going to be made into a mini-series. John Green is my favorite, his books are incredible, and I cannot wait to see this one come to life on Hulu. 

Your turn! What's going on with you? 

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Thursday, November 1, 2018

Spending November: A To-Do List For Adventuring Through The Month.

HAPPY NOVEMBER YOU BEAUTIFUL HUMANS! Howwwww is it November, I don't know. But here we are!  

I love November. And whether you're team ALL THINGS CHRISTMAS AT MIDNIGHT or team MIDNIGHT ON THANKSGIVING AS THE GOOD LORD INTENDED, I think we can all agree November has a special kind of magic. 

Of course, I've got some suggestions for how you should spend your magical November. 

1. Try your hand at NaNoWriMo. If you're a writer of any kind, google this! 

2. Write thankful cards. Everyone loves getting mail. Get into the spirit of the season and send some "I'm thankful for you" notes. It'll make someone's day. 

3. Drink hot apple cider. 'Tis the season! 

4. Get your pumpkin fix. Christmas is coming with its peppermint. Eat allll the pumpkin things while you can!

5. Make those Christmas lists. It's early but do you want to be stressed out over Christmas shopping? No, you do not.

6. VOTE. For the love of goodness. 

7. Have a bonfire. There's seriously something magical about fires in November. Cozy up and make some s'mores! 

8. Get a pumpkin peanut brittle candle from Bath & Body Works. It's the best smelling candle I've had this season! 

9. Make an Autumn in New York radio station. It's magical. Perfect working or cleaning with the windows open music. Also perfect background music for a dinner party. 

10. Invite someone over for dinner. If you are like me, maybe you get a little anxious about having new people over for dinner. Or the thought of cleaning and cooking and entertaining someone exhausts you. I get it. But, last night, I had dinner over at one of my best friends' houses where she made us pumpkin chili for the 3rd Halloween in a row. This Halloween, Jack and her little babe played while we ate. Do you know how I met her? Had her over for dinner when she moved in the neighborhood. I was anxious about it, I was not looking forward to it, but I truly cannot imagine life without her. So hey - have someone over for dinner. 

11. Make pumpkin chili. Speaking of the above, I know it sounds like a weird combo, but it's freaking delicious. 

12. Take some time to reflect on the year. It's almost over! What have you learned? What do you want to do different your next go around? What are you thankful for?

13. Start drinking sleepytime tea to wind down for the night. There's something so cozy about curling up with a warm mug, and it's GOOD to force your brain to slow down before going to bed. 

14. Have a Thanksgiving test-run. Making something new for Thanksgiving this year? Practice it for dinner one night. 1) Less chance of ruining it on actual Thanksgiving and 2) You get to eat a delicious appetizer or meal or dessert TWICE. Winning. 

15. Go find some pretty fall foliage. Take all the pictures for me! 

16. Donate to a food drive or a shelter that offers Thanksgiving food to families in need. Whether you can spare some money or just some extra food, share the wealth this year. You won't miss it, and it will mean the world to someone. 
17. Do something outside your comfort zone. Maybe this is trying a new food or going to a movie alone or planning some big adventure. Whatever it is, it's good to leave your comfort zone every now and then. 

18. Have Friendsgiving. This can be as extravagant as an actual Thanksgiving feast or as casual as ordering takeout and eating it in your pajamas with your best friend. Just celebrate those friendships you have to be thankful for!
19. Make a Black Friday list. 

20. Surprise someone. With flowers, with their favorite candy, with a dinner out. Surprises are fun.
21. Have a good, old-fashioned game night. These are always so much fun! 

22. Celebrate Thanksgiving! Here's a gentle reminder that wherever you're celebrating, and whoever you're celebrating with, it's perfect. And here's a less-gentle reminder to not get so caught up in the pinterest-perfect Thanksgiving or wishing you had thanksgiving somewhere else that you miss out on the beautiful day that's in front of you. 

23. Go Black Friday shopping! Whether you're hardcore and map out your whole night, or your like me and just go to Target for fun, HAVE A BLAST! Listen to Christmas music, drink peppermint mochas, enjoy! 

24. Make a note - mental or physical or whatever you have to do - to savor the season. Less stressing, more savoring. 

25. Make the perfect Christmas music playlist. 'TIS THE SEASON LET'S GOOOOO.

26. Take more walks. Breathe in some of that magical air!   
27. Make sure you're taking care of yourself. Whatever that looks like. Yoga or meal prep or naps or saying no. It's a busy season, but you need to be at the top of whatever to-do list you've got. 

How will you be spending your November?

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Wednesday, October 31, 2018

What October Taught Me.

That I have a strong desire for being able to peacefully disagree. || It's been bothering me so much lately how we, as humans, can't seem to just disagree and move on. We have to be right, and if we're right, then the other person must be wrong, and that's that. And if that's that, we neeeeed to argue about it.

Now, I'm not talking about basic good and evil. Some things are inherently wrong. Racism, for instance. If you're a racist, we're never gonna peacefully disagree and we are gonna argue about it. But if you hate something I'm a huge fan of, or vice versa, we should be able to just disagree and go about our lives. If you think I'm spending my free time doing something stupid, or if I think you're crazy for what you spend your money on, or if we're voting differently, let's hear each other out and then say, "Cool! Let's move on!" It is good to have people in your life who are different than you. It stretches you as a human. 

Long lesson short: Try harder to understand those who view things differently than you. Not everything needs to be so polarizing and not everything needs to be an argument. 

Fall weather makes everything better. || We got a little chilly spell here in Florida, and the second I was mobile again after the stomach flu, I opened alllll the windows and instantly felt better. This last week has been a very stressful one, and taking a few minutes to step outside and breathe in some cool air has helped tremendously. It's a little bit of magic. 

Long lesson short: Get outside and enjoy the fall weather. 

To not be afraid to buy from MLMs. || Just gonna level with you here: I (subconsciously?) have believed the stigma of MLMs. I personally have nothing against them, they're filed under "good for her, not for me." But, it's one of those things where a few bad apples can ruin it for the good ones. In this case, the bad apples being the girls you haven't spoken to since high school sliding into your dms saying "You've been on my mind! Can I help you lose weight?" No Karen, no you may not. So much yuck to make a buck, amiright?

Anyway, I've bought from a few MLMs in the past, but only from people I'm real-life close enough to that I could just straight up say, "hi, I hate this, never bring it up again, okaythankyoubye" if I needed to. But I finally got so fed up with my skin breaking out from makeup that I wanted to try non-toxic stuff. Googling told me Beautycounter was the best non-toxic brand, but...ding ding! It's an MLM. I suspended my ick feelings about MLMs, ordered from a stranger on instagram...and I love it. I don't know that I'll ever wear any other makeup because my skin is doing so well on this stuff.

Long lesson short: Shame on me for being judgy. Stop that. 

That I'm never going to be fully happy if I'm not writing. || Why, why, whyyyyyy are the things that make us happy the first to go when we're busy and overwhelmed? I know for a fact I've written something similar here before, but apparently, I'm not in the business of taking my own advice. 

For the last two months, other than blog posts, I've written  n o t h i n g. Nada. Zip. Zilch. I've been having a stressful go at it, and things I deem unnecessary fly off the to-do list to make room for everything else. Sometimes, we go through survival phases, and we have to do what we have to do. But YOUR GIRL NEEDS TO WRITE. I've been squeezing in ten minutes writing here and there the last few days, long to-do lists and all, and it has made a world of difference. 

Long lesson short: Do the things that make you feel happy, no matter how busy you are. 

HAPPY HALLOWEEN! What did October teach you?

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Tuesday, October 30, 2018

My Favorite Things I've Discovered in October.

How in the whole wide world is October coming to a close?! Aside from a nasty little visit from the stomach flu, October was a pretty magical month, and I discovered some new favorite things: 

The Beachwaver. || I have wanted to try the beachwaver forever and was so excited to finally get the chance to! It. Is. Amazing. If you don't know what it is, it's basically a curling iron that does all the work for you. You clip the end of your hair in at the end of the curling iron, then press one of the arrow buttons telling it which direction you want your curl to go, then presto! Even, bouncy waves. It's magical and I'm obsessed.

Expensive, yes. Worth it, also yes. The waves in the picture above took me roughly seven minutes to do. Highly recommend. 

Downy Unstoppables scent boosters || I can only use unscented, free & clear laundry detergent because anything else breaks my skin out and makes me super itchy. But I decided to risk it and try these, and I'm a fan! Now all our clothes smell amazing. 

Webster's Pages composition planner || If you are like me, you love planners, but have never found a planner that quite fits what you need. I end up rotating several notebooks of to-do lists and ideas at a time. If that's you, YOU NEED THIS. It is a magical little contraption that holds four notebooks. So basically, you get to make your own planner. I have mine set up like: Daily to-do list book, goal book, blog book, running list book. ALL IN ONE. My mom gave me this and I have no idea how I've gone my whole life without it.

Brandless. || I've heard about this so many times and seen lots of bloggers I know post about it, and I finally got around to trying it this month. I'm a fan! The concept is that you're not paying for a brand or fancy packaging, so everything on the website is three dollars. Definitely look at the size when you order, because some things are cheaper than $3 at the store, but there's a lot of things on there that are great deals. Some favorites: The pretzel thins, almond butter, and vegetable broth packs. If you use my referral link you'll get $6 off your first order! 

What did you discover this month?

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Friday, October 26, 2018

Deep Breaths, You're Doing Great.

"Deep breaths, you're doing great!" 

I've been going on walks with Jack every morning because the weather has been straight up magical. Yesterday, we passed a woman walking with a tiny little one year old, one who was just learning to walk. He was holding on to the wagon she was pulling, taking the slowest, smallest steps, and falling down a LOT. 

"Yay! Deep breaths, you're doing great!" 

She cheered him on, and even though there was no way he knew what she was saying, no way to know what a deep breath was or how he should take one, she kept saying it. It was sweet and comforting, and he kept getting back up. And he kept trying again. 

Deep breaths, you're doing great. 

I know that you're trying. You're trying to eat healthier, you're trying to get sober, you're trying to be a good mom. You're trying to get a raise, you're trying to chase a dream, you're trying to be better. 

I know you're trying because I know I'm trying.

Deep breaths, you're doing great. 

I also know that you're failing. You ate the whole basket of bread, you drank too much wine, you yelled at your kid. You dropped the ball at work, you put that big dream on the back burner, you accidentally haven't even thought about exercising in two months. 

I know you're failing because I'm failing. 

Deep breaths, you're doing great. 

Failing is just part of the gig as a human. But you're trying! And just like there's no way that sweet little bub could learn to walk without first going through the wobbly, fall down a lot stage, there's no way you can get to the other side of your goal without going through a similar stage. Falling down, getting back up, wobbling a little bit, trying again. 

But I hope, every time you fail, your voice is kind to yourself. Just like you would never see that little guy trying to learn to walk and yell at him in disgust, demanding perfection, I hope you don't do that to yourself. I hope the next time you hit a setback, your voice is the same as his mom's voice was, proud and encouraging.

Deep breaths. 

You're doing great. 
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