FINISH THAT PROJECT

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I'll be the first to admit that I constantly have at least 5 projects I'm trying to complete each day (some over a year old, ugh embarrassing.) What's worse, I have around 20 more I want to take on tomorrow. Why this ludacricity? It's always exciting to dive into something new, but then when we hit a bump, it's easy to get frustrated, take a break, and move on to the next project. This, however, leaves us feeling disorganized, unsettled, and discouraged.

I've made it a personal goal this spring to finish all of the incomplete projects I have strewn around the house.  Each day I try to do at least one step to get me closer to that finished product. Even if it isn't perfect, it'll feel great to complete a task and shorten that to do list.

LAST COLD SPELL

I'm going to go ahead and jinx us by saying I think this might be the last cold spell this spring (can I will it to happen???) I'm just itching for some warm weather, sun on the face, lunch on the porch, flowers in the yard *dreamy sigh*... but we might as well make the most of it while it's here. Bring out those fluffy blankets, fuzzy socks, & hot cider one last time. You know you're gonna miss them once that southern heat n' humidity really set in.  

SIMPLIFY // BYE BYE

So, we cleared out our closets and made way for a simpler, more refined wardrobe (read: simpler, more refined life.) Now we must figure out where to disperse all of those rejects.

QUICK & PAINLESS //

Divide them into three categories.

1. GOOD AS NEW. Barely worn, good quality, is there still a tag on there?!

  • You can make a little $$$ by selling these on Ebay, get the app for your phone and you can list items in a snap. 
  • Ask friends and family if they've been secretly coveting them.
  • No time to spare? Move them into the Meh pile

2. MEH. Worn but still in ship shape. (hint: these are not the Dingies.)

  • Do a solid and drop them at the nearest Goodwill or Salvation Army.* You can make a list of everything you donate and get a little return when you do your taxes ;)

3. EWW.

  • If they're old and nasty, toss 'em. done.

 

*RHCP knows what I'm talkin' bout.

SIMPLIFY // WARDROBE

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Remember when I posted about buying less, choosing well? If you've already adopted that shopping style, awesome! Chances are you still have some "vintage" pieces in your closet that are cherished yet neglected. You try them on every couple months, grumble about how they don't fit right, toss them in the corner, and move on, only to repeat the whole process again. (hellloh!) This is a sign that you need to reevaluate your wardrobe and scale things down.

"Ugh, Syrah, that'll take forever!" Not really...and it'll feel soooo good once you're done. 

How to do it

FAVE COLORS. Take a look at what colors dominate your closet, most likely there's three or four with an overwhelming presence. Mine are black, white, gray, and tan. Hey, it might be boring, but it's definitely me. Then there are splashes of ballet pinks, muted blues, and olive greens to help jazz it up. Find your spectrum. Then go through the rest of the rejects and decide whether they are worth keeping and trying to pair with the core classics you truly love.

MULTIPLES. Do you own three black longsleeve maxi dresses?  Keep the one that really makes you shine and toss the other two, lest your closet look like Morticias. Apply to the rest.

DINGIES. Unless it is your favorite, snug sweatshirt that you adore lounging around in on the weekends, say goodbye. Part ways with all those mediocre sale finds that are covered in fuzz/snags/holes/bleach spots/whatever (you're an adult or Pete's sake.) 

SHOES. Apply all three processes above to your shoe rack (because yes, they do indeed complete the look) and BAM, your done!

Now you should be surrounded by a beautifully slimmed-down collection of core pieces that will be easier, quicker, and more fun to put together for outfits that will naturally be more "you."

Now, what to do with this pile of recently ousted stuff... find out tomorrow.

 

 

 

 

HYGGE SIG // TREAT YO-SELF

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Since this blog is all about living a hygge lifestyle, we should chat about how to hygge sig: to hygge yourself. Basically, it is making your life even more enjoyable by surrounding yourself with the things and experiences you love most. I've made a (hefty) list below of my faves. In the next few months I'm going to incorporate as much of these as I can of these into my day-to-day life. What's on your list?

freckles, fall leaves, hot cider, old chandeliers, calligraphy, snowflakes, luminaries, big paws, tuscan red wine, white candles, whiskers, down comforters, wooden tables, bubble baths, eucalyptus oil, watercolor, sheepskins, woodland sunsets, morning dew, rushing creeks, black-capped chickadees, peonies, sunbeams, ocean waves, fresh coconut water, dainty jewelry, wildflowers, flowy maxis, toes in the grass, french baskets, crickets + lightning bugs, campfires, stars between clouds.

INSTAFAVES 03.06.14

Around the home + coolest tattoo ever. @kinfolk  "great light at @nat_schwer's place" @lipstickwithsomesunshine "My review of @diptyque Eau Duelle is up on the blog today, I'm in love!!!#diptyque #bblogger #bbloggers #bblogging #eauduelle #fbloggers" @anadegenaar "good morning! meal planing here..." @jasminedowling "And the lucky winner of the @moxhamstore & @jasminedowling giveaway is the beautiful @rachellkhoo Make sure to email me so I can send it on its way  A huge thank you to all who entered and spread the love x x" @dr_woo_ssc "Compass vibe for Valerie"

Around the home + coolest tattoo ever.

@kinfolk  "great light at @nat_schwer's place"

@lipstickwithsomesunshine "My review of @diptyque Eau Duelle is up on the blog today, I'm in love!!!#diptyque #bblogger #bbloggers #bblogging #eauduelle #fbloggers"

@anadegenaar "good morning! meal planing here..."

@jasminedowling "And the lucky winner of the @moxhamstore & @jasminedowling giveaway is the beautiful @rachellkhoo Make sure to email me so I can send it on its way  A huge thank you to all who entered and spread the love x x"

@dr_woo_ssc "Compass vibe for Valerie"

GROW // SEEDLINGS IN EGGSHELLS

Depending on where you live, it might be time to start prepping for your summer garden. The last few days here have been b-e-a-utiful so I was ready to get outside and ponder about what to grow this year.

I'm trying a new method this spring... seeding in eggshells! I saw this on pinterest and loved the convenience, natural fertilizing (shells,) and it's pretty darn cute too. I seeded a variety of tomatoes, peppers, and some purple artichokes and giant leeks. More to come once I get another crate, omelet anyone?

DO IT //

Fill shells with a a loose potting soil or peat. 

Sow those seeds, I like 2 per shell.

Keep the soil damp by spritzing with water twice a day and covering with plastic wrap.

Place in the sun by a window or, if you got the gear, under a grow light.

Pluck the weakest sprout once they get started - always "weed" out the competition ;)

Break up the shell a bit on the bottom before planting to let those lovely roots through.

BONUS //

The 2 1/2 dozen egg crates work great if your planting more than a few seeds.

A heating pad under the crate will help them germinate quicker if you really want to get things going.

 

How does your garden grow?

BETTER YOUR BODY, BETTER YOUR BRAIN

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It's Olympics season again, and even though many of the athletes are bundled up for the frigid temps, there are plenty of spandexed, sculpted, rock-hard bods that make you think, "I need to get my bum to the gym, stat!"

While a tight, toned physique is definitely rad, we forget about the other, I'll say more important, perks of a good workout. 

1. It makes you happier. Serotonin + Dopamine = a natural high that lasts for hours. Oh happy day!

2. It keeps you looking young. How? More exercise means less stress, less stress means less signs of aging. Period.

3. It makes you smarter. Exercise causes new stem cells to grow, refreshing the brain so you can learn more, faster. The more coordination you use (dance, tennis, etc.) the more you're challenging your brain, therefor more growth. This kind of work out is more my cup of tea anyways, sweet!

Motivated yet? Get hotter, smarter, happier. Boom! Even Socrates knew this 2,400 years ago...

Many people’s minds are so invaded by forgetfulness, despondency, irritability and insanity because of their poor physical condition that their knowledge is actually driven out of them.
— Socrates

COMMIT TO YOUR BUCKET LIST

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We're well into our new year now, which got me thinking, how am I doing so far? What's on that list that I need to get crossed off?

REALISTICALLY

Skill I'd like to master // Calligraphy & Surfing

Book I'd like to read // Civil Disobedience by Thoreau

Instrument I'd like to play // Piano (as in being able to play more than Colors of the Wind and My Heart Will Go On *blush*)

Adventure I'd like to take // Climb Kilimanjaro 

Bad habit I'd like to kick // OCD picking.

Language I'd like to learn // French & Italian (separately, not Fritalian... which is pretty much what comes out now.)

HEALTHY DREAMING

Power player I'd like to have lunch with // Richard Branson - dudes balanced and a genius.

Magazine I'd like to be on the cover of // Hm, scratch the magazine, my own book.

Award I'd like to win // Is there a "Bettering People's Lives" award?

Celeb I'd like to meet // Ferran Adrià, does he speak english?

 

What's on your list?

VALENTINE'S // KEEP IT SIMPLE

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Got big plans tomorrow? Fabulous! If not, don't sweat it. What is Valentine's Day celebrating anyways? It's not the brassy balloons, the mediocre chocolate boxes, or last minutes roses from the grocery store. Valentine's Day is about celebrating and appreciating each other. Take a moment to sit down and write a thoughtful note about what you really adore about him or her, how they have changed your life, why you can't imagine a world without them. Share it with them over a quiet, simple meal and lit candle. Nights like these are the ones to remember. ♥

instafaves 01.23.14

Feeling all wintery this week with black and white. 

@buvettenyc "#buvette #buvettenyc #brunch #westvillage #newyork"

@paperfashion "If you need me, I'll be wandering through the most beautiful evening in Central Park..."

@hepaysmybills "Class one: holy hand cramp Batman"

@martibuckley* "this girl.  her."

@tnwhiskeyco "Employees of Nelson's Green Brier Distillery, circa 1888. Charles Nelson - front row, far right. William Nelson - front row, second from right.#nelsonsgreenbrierdistillery #tbt #throwbackthursday"

*that's me!

happy spending

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New year, new budgeting, new spending. I've always been the thrifty shopper who discovers great finds for even better deals: Target, Ross, Ebay, Walmart, Thrift store, Hobby Lobby, you name it. I've scored some rockin' heels, oh-so-freakin'-cozy cashmere pants, beautiful mirrors, date-night dresses that would cost a fortune off the rack. But in between all of these great finds, there have been the too-good-to-pass-up impulse purchases that were more about the deal than the love. These items slowly add up, collecting dust and ultimately clutter-up my home and life with things I don't need or adore. Plus, I'm left still wanting the coveted item from the beginning. 

So I am now trying to buy less but choose well, shop with a critical and forward-looking eye. So far I have been very, VERY pleased with my *rock solid* purchases. Sometimes it means having to swallow a slightly higher price tag, but in the end it's much better quality and will end up lasting forever. Plus, quality items also go on sale, it's a win-win. Shop frugal, not cheap.

This also means appreciating what you own more. See the beauty in your everyday, ordinary "stuff." Want less so you can appreciate more. Value living simpler, with the more authentic, more loved, more worn and the beautifully flawed.

cook // salt water

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How do you (theoretically) cook green vegetables without loosing their vibrant color?

  1. Make sure you have a big pot with plenty of boiling water that will hold its temp.
  2. Salt the hell out of that water to raise the temp even more so they cook faster.
  3. Once cooked, immediately place in an ice bath to keep them from over cooking. 

Simple enough, we've all done it a million times. I'm down with steps 1 & 3, but what about 2? How much salt exatly? I usually throw in a hefty pinch. Then maybe another. Then question the second pinch because I probably like things a little too salty as it is (sorry future blood pressure.)

Why do we even add it anyways?

a. flavor

b. raise the temp

c. soften hard water

d. all of the above

To those of you who chose d, you are correct!

a. flavor // uh-yeah, salt makes everything better.

b. raise the temp // It's true but not really enough to make a difference in my book. It turns out that you have to add 1/2 lb of salt to a 4 cups of water just to raise the boiling point by 3°F. The BIG box of Morton Kosher Salt is 3 lbs (if you don't already cook with it,  we must convert you.) That's only 6 batches of veggies per box.

c. soften the water // This is my LKF (little known fact) I really want to share today. We add salt (especially here in Birmingham) to soften the water. WHY? The harder your water is the more calcium it has in it. Calcium is the evil culprit that morphs those gorgeous greens into that putrid 70's green, ugh. How?

  • Chlorophyll "greenness" is held in by magnesium
  • Calcium in the water trades seats with magnesium-holding-chlorophyll in the veggie leaving you with a bland veggie and green water.

Where does Birmingham water fall on that list?  

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Water Hardness (grains calcium/gallon)

Soft            0 - 3.5

Moderate   3.5 - 7

Hard          7 - 10.5

Very Hard  10.5 + 


Hard-Very Hard. So if you add 1 teaspoon of salt per cup of water, your good to go!

Stay tuned for an alternate method to preserve the color and flavor of you veggies...


+ map via Aces