Running Through My Mind

Here’s what’s running through my mind this Monday —

Yoga with Adriene. I love her “find what feels good” approach to yoga and her 30 day series TRUE, if nothing else, reminds me of the power of deep breaths. (But like, obvi, SO MUCH else.) The whole series (today is day 21 of 30) is on YouTube — I’ve been unrolling my mat every day and I don’t want it to end. I’m basically the living embodiment of those trendy sweatshirts that say things like “I just want to practice yoga & read books.” 

Speaking of reading books, I’m reading The Train to Crystal City: FDR’s Secret Prisoner Exchange Program and America’s Only Family Internment Camp During World War II. It is thought-provoking, expansive, and meticulously researched. Also – a great follow-up read to Jamie Ford’s Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet.

Have you ever bought clothes off of Amazon? I’ve had great success with shoe purchasing but not so great with accessories (jewelry, bags, etc.). However, after a recent closet clear out, I identified a few wardrobe holes I’d like to fill and figured why not give it a try! Happy to report everything fit just fine (reviews are your best friend for this!) and there were no unwanted surprises like poor quality or weird material. I’m especially in love with this raincoat, which is really great quality for the price tag, and this white shirt with fun bell sleeves!

A reminder to rise and SHINE:

Finally, Everything You Never Thought to Ask About Astronaut Food. Because once you read about burping in microgravity you’ll never quite look at space travel the same way again.

P.S. More on yoga. More on books. More on clothes. More inspiration. And more articles. In case any of these things are running through YOUR mind, too!!

Advertisements

10 Easy Ways to Personalize Your Wedding

Chet and I got hitched a year and a half ago, and I loved every moment. (You can read all our wedding posts HERE.) It’s a relief when wedding planning is over, but it’s fun to think about what nuggets of knowledge I might pass on to couples in the throes of it. Those Spring and Summer weddings will be here before we know it! I think the thing I loved most about our wedding is how personal it felt. And that’s what I would encourage you to consider if you’re working on yours — find as many ways as you can to infuse the day with what and who you love, your personality, and the way you would truly do things. After all, it’s no one’s day but you and your partner’s! Here are ten easy ways to do so…

Create a wedding website

To curtail the number of questions you’ll no doubt get asked by guests, consider setting up a wedding website. This is the first element, besides your invitations (if you have ’em!), where you can really highlight your personality as a couple. There are tons of platforms that allow you to create a completely free website. Here’s a look at ours.  We included information about our venue, times, and listed a few housing options for the weekend. But we also included some information about ourselves and our relationship. One friend of my family remarked that watching our ceremony felt that much more personal because she had gotten to know Chet and our story a bit better before the big day.

Get creative with ceremony setting

If you’re not married (hee!) to having the ceremony in a religious setting, get creative. Consider lots of options, not just the ones that have hosted weddings on their property before. It never hurts to ask! Consider getting hitched in your backyard, at a museum, a library, or your favorite park where you got engaged. Plenty of spaces hold special meaning besides churches.

Gather your favorite folk

They say you’re the average of the people you spend the most time with and it’s kinda fun to make your guest list a reflection of that. A healthy mix of family, friends, and mentors who have seen you grow up, fall in love, and shape you into the couple standing before them. Sure there are some folks you’ll have to invite but don’t let them overwhelm the list. Gather your favorites as a reflection of YOU.

Make moments to play

I was beyond grateful to have someone in our corner who passed along this nugget of knowledge to us. And doubly grateful that this person was not just a dear friend but also our wedding photographer! She whisked us away for a couples shoot before the ceremony that felt more like an adventure than a check mark on the day’s to-do list.

Buck tradition (if it’s not your thing)

Keep the traditions you like and buck the ones you don’t. Nothing personalizes your wedding like setting your OWN traditions. And hey, they might stick! We totally loved that my brother and sister-in-law walked down the aisle together and decided to do it too.

Have a friend officiate

What could be more special and memorable than having a beloved fried officiate your wedding? Their words will ring so much more true than someone’s you hardly know. And more importantly, they can offer more than stock advice because they’re more familiar with your story and their words can paint a more accurate picture of you to your guests. Just have them hop online and get ordained!

Choose meaningful readings

This was one of my favorite parts of wedding planning but I’ve had friends tell me it was their LEAST! It can be a bit daunting to find the right words…especially written by someone else. Consider a broad scope of favorites (poetry, essays, excerpts from novels, etc.) and then read new material specifically for the occasion. You might find one perfect reading that does the job or you might want to include a bevvy! Then enlist some of those favorite folk to perform with gusto!

Write your own vows

The easiest way to really put your own stamp on your wedding is to write your vows…or even your whole ceremony! Create the structure you want and write it in your own words. If it feels daunting, remember formality doesn’t have to be the name of the game. Your vows can be written in the form of a letter or a simple conversation.

Serve your favorite food

If you’re known for loving a certain kind of food or your partner is famous for always baking certain type of treat, why not include it? I’m a firm believer that food can be an important part of one’s story. And often times the food we actually like is far cheaper than what’s offered on a catering menu. (Says the girl whose husband lovingly made 2 giant pots of gumbo the morning of their wedding while she just worked on getting pretty, haha!) Have a cookout style feast with burgers and hot dogs if that’s your jam. Serve slices of pie instead of cake. Mix up your signature cocktails. You followed your heart, now reward your belly.

Show off your last name

Finally, a super cute idea if you’re stumped for favors is to find a way to show off your new, married last name. We gave out Chet’s family’s signature seasoning – Breaux’s Bayou Shakedown. Google to see if you can find any products that share your last name or get crafty with a DIY or customize some meaningful trinket. Your guests will hold your new name in their heart when they look back at the item (or use it!).

Are you planning a wedding? (Congratulations!) What ways are you planning to personalize the experience? Already married folk – What advice would you give someone just setting off on their wedding planning journey? 

P.S. All photos above were lovingly captured by my wonderful friend and wedding photographer – Carrie Guggenmos of Sur La Lune Photography. She’s the best in the biz!

mid-week round-up

What are you up to today? I’m looking forward to the leftover broccoli soup we have stowed away in the fridge, and taking FULL advantage of the fact that every season of E.R. is on Hulu. (Chet’s never seen it!) Oh those lazy, winter weeknights in. Have a great day, and here are some links I think you might enjoy…

Sharon Stone laughed for literally 10 seconds after being asked if she’s ever dealt with sexual harassment.

Thousands once spoke his language in the Amazon. Now he’s the only one.

What would you do if you thought you had 15 minutes to live?

The best apps to fuel your blogging business.

Weirdly want to buy a pair of pajama jeans. Has anyone ever tried them?

52 places to go in 2018.

The story behind Little Golden Books.

These would be nice to keep tucked under your kitchen sink.

How Old West theme parks lie about America’s pioneer past.

This productivity notepad set is super adorbz!

The lives nurses lived outside of hospitals during WWI.

The island where Washington State sends its sex offenders.

My Weekly Ritual: Mask Mondays (+why I think you should set & forget self-care)

Every Monday evening I hole up in my bathroom and do a face mask. It’s something to look forward to at the end of a long day of not wanting to be back at work. Mondays, am I right?

My current favorites are this honey facial mask from Bee Friendly and this mermaid mask from Leahlani. And my mom tucked this spirulina mask from The Granola Goat in my stocking this year and I’m excited to give it a try.

If there are things you like doing for yourself – whether it be painting your nails, taking bubble baths, zoning out while you roll around on your foam roller, WHATEVER – I encourage you try out this set it and forget it approach.

It’s really easy to love the idea of self-care but actually doing it…like on the regs…is a little more difficult. There’s never a time when you couldn’t be doing “something else.” So we set those moments for our self aside and relegate them to next weekend or when the to-do list gets done or we’re on vacation. But y’all. All told my Mask Mondays take me about 20 minutes. 20 minutes a week of a lil luxurious me-time. I can spare it. And so can you.

But you don’t have to waste the brain space figuring out when to take that 20 minutes each week. Pick a day, pick a time. Repeat. Every week.

…And then if you’re feeling really wild, maybe you can try a monthly ritual too. Think: trips to your gym where you don’t work out but instead hit up the hot tub and sauna. Getting a massage or a blow out. Hikes in a state park. Taking yourself out to eat or to a movie.

When I turned 28 I decided on the 28th of every month for the whole year I would buy myself a new magazine. Whatever looked interesting and appealing. It was such an amazing birthday gift to myself because I love magazines but I always talk myself out of them. Essentially I gifted myself with the reassurance that it was ok to spend money on something that brought me joy. And setting a date that was easy to remember meant I actually followed through.

If you want to up your self-care game and do more that brings you joy — set it and forget it, sistah!

Anyways, what self care rituals are you into lately? 

January Grocery Haul

As I mentioned in my How I’m Kickstarting 2018 post, I want to spend more time in the produce section than anywhere else in the grocery store. So, to hold myself accountable, I thought I’d share a recent grocery haul. (I also want to start experimenting with more daily life micro-blogging in 2018 and thought this might be a fun one for that!) Here’s what I got and why I consider these items staples…

Bananas – Versatile because you can pair them with so many things. I love to have one with almond butter for my breakfast but they’re also great on top of oats, quinoa, granola, yogurt, etc.
Nectarines – Hand fruit is always good to have … on hand …for a quick portable snack. Down here in South Florida even the trash apples (sorry red delicious!) are kinda pricey but I’ve found nectarines to be affordable year-round.
Avocados – Good healthy fats for your brain and skin.
Zucchinis – I’ve cut way back on grains since our Whole 30 experiment so I love spiralizing zucchinis to replace noodles in any dish.
Pesto – Great as a topping for those spiralized zucchinis (easy lunch!) and really yummy on potatoes, too.
Bell pepper – Add an extra color to your salads or chop into sticks for a raw vegetable side with lunch.
Red onion – Great salad element (they really take it to the next level!), especially when you throw in something sweet too – like raisins or chopped dates. All about that taste balance!
Lemon – For detoxifying lemon water.
Broccoli – Yummy to add to soups or steamed up as a side.
Green lentils – I like to add these in place of grains to bulk up soups and stews for a healthy, protein-packed winter meal.
Kale – For salads or steaming but never for smoothies because my blender just isn’t strong enough, lol.
Sweet potato – Packed with Vitamin A and Beta Carotene so it’s great for your eyeballs!
Gluten-free wraps – Throw some avocados and veggies in, wrap it up!
Kefir – High in probiotics so it’s good for the gut.
Almond milk – Add it to smoothies, use it in baking, pour it over granola.
Walnuts – For salads and snacking. They’re great for your brain because they pack that Omega 3 fatty acids punch!
Kombucha – Because I’m addicted.

What are your grocery staples lately? Any tips for spending more grocery-time in the produce department and away from the convenient lure of frozen, packaged foods? Let me know! 

18 Movies to Watch When You’re Hibernating

It’s that time of year, folks! The holidays are all wrapped up and now we commence the slog to spring. It’s cold outside, you’re cooped up, you can’t shake that sore throat. Truthfully, all you want to do is hibernate. And why not! If you’re getting plummeted with snow and ice this weekend or you’re nursing a cold or you just need a bit of HYGGE–I say Hibernation Station, baby!! You’ve got nothing to do, nowhere to go, so cuddle up and throw on a film. Here’s a list of movies I recommend for your hibernation. Happy watching!

1. Groundhog Day, 1993

Why you should watch it: If you find yourself hunkering down to weather a blizzard you can count yourself lucky. You wouldn’t want to be out and about, like Phil, and get stuck in a time warp, now would you? Plus, nothing will perk up your hibernation quite like getting Sonny and Cher’s “I Got You Babe” stuck in your head (the song Phil is doomed to hear every single morning as his alarm goes off).

TRAILER

2. Drinking Buddies, 2013

Why you should watch it: This movie is quintessential mumblecore and, since it mainly takes place in a brewery and at bars, pairs rather nicely with that 6-pack of craft beer you have stowed away. All of the characters feel painfully relatable and the entire film was IMPROVISED…which still kinda blows my mind.

TRAILER

3. The Proposal, 2009

Why you should watch it: If you’re more in the mood for a feel good, rom-com flick than you can’t go wrong with a little Ryan Reynolds. Is it just me or does he not just have a super comforting presence on screen? He just seems like one of the good ones. Like the marry your boss to keep her from getting deported to Canada kind of “good ones.”

TRAILER

4. Mona Lisa Smile, 2003

Why you should watch it: I mean all the lady-greats from the early 2000’s at one all-girls college…what’s not to love? Very much a rom-com masquerading as a girl-power flick but I still think it’s a lovely watch. Plus, all the 1950’s costumes will brighten your day!

TRAILER

5. Katy Perry: Part of Me, 2012

Why you should watch it: This documentary film offers a glimpse into what it’s like to be a hugely famous pop star. I’m not even really a Katy Perry fan and I still thought this movie was a delight. It’s basically like reading a really revealing People mag article but with more singing.

TRAILER

6. The Breakfast Club, 1985

Why you should watch it: I’ve watched this movie approximately 1 billion times and it still never gets old. Like with all of these selections, if you’ve seen something enough times you can nap through parts and still have a wonderful viewing experience. You might also find entertainment in saying your favorite lines along with the actors. (Or right before they say it if you’re watching with someone else and want to be extra obnoxious/prove how many times you’ve seen it.)

TRAILER

7. Kiss the Girls, 1997

Why you should watch it: If a thriller is more your speed for a night of cozying up under a pile of blankets, you need my girl Ashley Judd starring opposite Morgan Freeman in Kiss the Girls. A good enough plot to keep you on the edge of your seat but just enough 90’s flavor to keep you from getting TOO scared (just in case you’re home alone!).

TRAILER

8. A League of Their Own, 1992

Why you should watch it: Nothing makes me feel better like a good ol’ fashioned sports movie (my 3rd favorite film genre if I’m being honest). I’ve watched this one on plenty of lazy afternoons and it really has something for everyone. Baseball, WWII, love stories, feuding sisters, Rosie O’Donnel, MADONNA. Plus, super under-rated Tom Hanks role if you ask me.

TRAILER

9. Almost Famous, 2000

Why you should watch it: Set in 1973, it chronicles the coming of age of 15-year-old William, an unabashed music fan. When he lands an assignment from Rolling Stone magazine to interview the up-and-coming band Stillwater he embarks on an eye-opening journey led by the one and only Penny Lane (Kate Hudson). You’ll feel like you’re on tour with the band and, just like William, you won’t want it to end…trust me. 

TRAILER

10. Elizabeth, 1998

Why you should watch it: One time I was sick with strep AND recovering from a torn MCL and a friend of mine brought me a large fountain soda from Sonic and a copy of this movie from the Redbox. Both really hit the spot. (The copious amounts of prescription medication I was taking may have enhanced my viewing experience…so keep that in mind.)

TRAILER

11. Closer, 2004

Why you should watch it: If you’ve never seen this movie, your hibernation is the perfect time to do so! You don’t need the drama of the outside world when you can spend the evening with Julia, Natalie, Clive, Jude and their various love triangles.

TRAILER

 12. Pleasantville, 1998

Why you should watch it: Impressed by high school student David’s (Tobey Maguire) devotion to a 1950s family TV show, a mysterious television repairman provides him with a means to escape into the black-and-white program with his sister, Jennifer (Reese Witherspoon). The siblings take to the surreal landscape in very different ways. Even if you’re not that into fantastical movie plots, this one is too adorable to pass up.

TRAILER

 13. Elizabethtown, 2005

Why you should watch it: Because it’s adorable and it was filmed in Kentucky. DUH! Oh and the soundtrack will make you happy.

TRAILER 

14. Pearl Harbor, 2001

Why you should watch it: My first college roommate and I had little to nothing in common. But when she found out I had the box-set VHS of Pearl Harbor (aging myself) she said, “Pop it in!” We laughed, we cried, we didn’t have to make small talk!!! Sweeping dramas based on real historical events have a way of bringing people together, I guess. So if you’re holed up with someone you don’t know too well…maybe this could be your jam. If nothing else, it’s 3 hours long so you won’t have to talk to each other for a long-ass time.

TRAILER

15. Heathers, 1988

Why you should watch it: I LOVE Winona Ryder and her performance of an exasperated teen is just as pitch perfect as her performance of an exasperated mom in Stranger Things. But, spoiler alert, I also love Shannen Doherty (I’ve watched a LOT of Beverly Hills 90210 during various hibernations). She’s the OG mean girl. If you’ve never seen this movie do yourself a damn favor. It is hilarious.

TRAILER

16. Boiler Room, 2000

Why you should watch it: Honestly, I don’t know. I just really like Giovanni Ribisi (although not in love with the idea that he’s a scientologist). Ben Affleck and Vin Diesel are added bonuses. If you liked The Wolf of Wall Street this fast-paced crime drama is for you.

TRAILER

17. Pineapple Express, 2008

Why you should watch it: I can always count on Seth Rogen movies to pull me out of a funk and this one is especially hilarious. Is it ridiculous? Yes. But will you love it? Also yes.

TRAILER

18. Little Women, 1994

Why you should watch it: There’s a lot of winter and illness in this one so it’s very on theme. (And scarlet fever will no doubt put your sniffles in perspective.) Watching this movie just gives me a cozy feeling and there’s nothing I want more from a hibernation viewing.

TRAILER

What movies give YOU a cozy feeling? Do you have any favorite films you would add to this list? Share below! 

mid-week round-up

What are you up to this week? I’ve been focusing on healthy routines (morning, nighttime, and SLEEP). After the Golden Globes results, I’m really hoping we can make time to see I, Tonya this weekend. Have you seen it? Oh, and today is Day 9 of TRUE – a 30 Day Yoga Journey. Happy to say I’m still going strong and LOVING this challenge. Hope you have a relaxing week, and here are a few amusing and thought-provoking links from around the ol’ internet…

The perfect antidote to dreary winter days.

How does food affect your emotions?

Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks on the #MeToo campaign and “The Post.”

Why you only need 10 minutes for a better morning routine.

Perfect for prepping overnight oats.

Apple Watch finds a medical purpose.

Loving this new pair of specs from Warby Parker’s Spring collection.

A 20-minute fitness routine for even the busiest days.

Check out Abbi Jacobson’s new mid-century home.

Ann Patchett’s year of no shopping.

An ode to the home office.

In 2017, the world asked “how.”

P.S. From the Finding Delight Archives — Photo Diary: Everglades Adventure and Showing off my new home workspace! and Shopping my closet!

The Ins and Outs of the Osaka Owl Multifunctional Charging Backpack

If you’ve been around these parts long enough you’ll know I’m hopelessly devoted to my Tom Bihn backpack. But when the folks at Osaka Owl asked if I’d like to try out one of their backpacks, I couldn’t resist. Even if it meant stepping out on my Synapse 19! *gasp*

I chose to check out their Multifunctional Charging Backpack. I mean CHARGING? Hello! Plus, it has a sleek design and looked like it would be fun to pack.

Here’s their pitch on the ‘pack…

“The team at OSAKA OWL has designed a backpack that gives you peace of mind and a home for everything you need to take along with you. You no longer have to worry about someone stealing your belongings, your phone running out of juice, or forgetting where you put certain must-have items within your bag.”

Color me interested. I ordered one up and couldn’t wait to test it out. Here’s what I found…

Options for organizing but not very spacious. The thing I love most about my Tom Bihn are all the little nooks and crannies that allow for a super organized bag. The Osaka Owl backpack doesn’t disappoint in this department. There is a great laptop sleeve and other little pockets to help keep everything in it’s proper place. However, you definitely couldn’t attempt any 1-bag travel with this guy. With a laptop and a few notebooks you’re pretty much at capacity. At first glance (or first unzip), I quickly realized this wouldn’t suit my travel needs but would be absolutely perfect as a work bag.

Staying charged on the go. I’m not the MOST diligent when it comes to keeping my devices charged. So I love the option of getting a quick top-up while out and about. Inside the backpack is a cord that can plug into a power bank and there’s a tiny port on the outside for conveniently charging my phone. Too cool!

A rain jacket to keep electronics safe. Tucked in a pocket in the back of the bag is a waterproof rain cover that slips over the whole bag (kind of like a shower cap!). If I’m toting my laptop, cameras, or other tech gear – aka the most expensive stuff I own – an afternoon thunderstorm can be a scary thing. And huddled under an umbrella, you have to clutch your backpack to your front to keep it from getting soaked…which kind of defeats the purpose of a BACK pack. This small addition solves that!

All packed and ready to go! Here’s how I packed the bag for a recent work-from-coffee shop outing. There are a few spots I found especially helpful in application: 1) The loops for pens and pencils mean you’re not digging to the bottom of a bag for a writing implement. 2) The dual pockets at the bottom of the bag are perfectly sized for slipping in a water bottle and keeping it upright. 3) The larger AND smaller sleeve means there’s a place to keep my laptop AND tablet nestled in (and strapped down, too!).

No unwanted guests. Other than using anti-cut material, I was wondering how the bag would ward off someone stealing my belongings–as it promises. Once I strapped on the backpack it made a bit more sense. When wearing the bag, the zipper to the main compartment isn’t accessible. It’s near the back of the bag instead of at the front like most backpacks are. While this can be a little fiddly when it comes to packing and unpacking and quickly accessing your own stuff, if you’re commuting in an area where theft is a concern I think it’s well worth the fiddlies…if you feel me.

Comfy to carry. Finally the straps, handle, padding, and overall design of the bag make it a pleasure to wear! I’m so happy and lucky to add this bag to my collection and will definitely use it to carry all my working-on-the-go essentials!!

What do you think? Would you get one? Are you a student, commuter, or coffee shop hustler on the hunt for a new bag? I would HIGHLY recommend checking out the Osaka Owl website and having a browse! (Here’s the exact one I chose, if you’re interested.) 

Book Recommendation: Relish by Lucy Knisley

“Cookies are all about comfort. Sometimes something simple can comfort the most.”
– Lucy Knisley

Lucy Knisley’s book Relish: My Life in the Kitchen is such a treasure. Especially if you love graphic or foodie memoirs!

Lucy looks back at her life and realizes, thanks to a foodie father and a hippie-turned-chef mom, food has always played an integral role. She shares her memories, along with her experimental and ever-evolving palette, throughout the pages of the book. Each evoke laughter or a “been there, girl!”-feeling but more importantly–come with a corresponding recipe.

Any foodie, whether you’re culinary school trained or simply take comfort in a good chocolate chip cookie, will find something to love about this sweet memoir.

And speaking of cookies…

Lucy Knisley’s recipe for THE BEST CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

You’ll Need:

Flour – 2 cups
Baking soda – 1 tsp
Salt – 2 tsp
Butter (melted but not hot) – 1 cup
Chocolate chips – 12 oz
Sugar – 3/4 cup
Brown sugar – 3/4 cup (packed)
Eggs – 2
Vanilla – 1 Tbsp
Coconut flakes – 1 cup

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Mix brown sugar, butter, and sugar
  • Add vanilla and eggs, gradually while stirring
  • In a different bowl, mix flour, baking soda and salt.
  • Gradually combine dry and wet
  • Mix in coconut and chocolate
  • Drop onto an ungreased baking pan
  • Secret weapon: add a tiny pinch of salt to the top of each cookie
  • Bake for about 10 min. until perfect
  • Eat with milk

What are you waiting for? Bake up a batch of cookies and grab a copy of Lucy’s book today! I promise you won’t regret EITHER. xoxo

P.S. Looking for more book recommendations? Here are some more graphic novels/memoirs I love and here’s a round-up of books I loved in 2016

mid-week round-up

Happy Wednesday, friends! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday and brought in 2018 with a bang. As exciting as the holiday season has been (the presents! the food! the christmas movies! the decor!), I’m feeling ready to return to routines … AND start new ones. How ’bout you? Hope you all have a wonderful day, and now let’s get back to one of my FAVORITE routines…my mid-week round-up!!!

This is what it’s like to have your period in a refugee camp.

How blackboards transformed American education.

After reading this book I now want to binge watch this and this.

The 100-year capitalist experiment that keeps Appalachia poor, sick, and stuck on coal.

The mystery of who stole one of the world’s finest champagnes — and where it ended up.

Pilots reveal 16 nuances that keep your flight safe.

Related: Air Travel Tips & Tricks

Vinny was always my favorite.

50 questions to help you reflect, appreciate, and get excited for 2018.

The Habit Calendar features monthly themes to help you unlock your passions and form positive habits.

A judicial pact to cut court costs for the poor.

Where are all the nannies on Instagram?

Can surgical patients feel pain under anesthesia?

P.S. From the Finding Delight archives — Shirley and Ogling on Instagram and Irresistible Me Review.