Tag Archives: hiking

5 Ways to Find Delight This Weekend

Do you know that feeling you get when you FIND DELIGHT? That feeling when you marvel at the wonder and beauty and mystery of the world around you? That feeling you get when daily responsibilities and tasks and worries and annoyances fade away, and you realize the real magnitude and beauty of life.

You know the feeling we mean when you find it, right? But you might be struggling with where to look! Here are five activities to help you this weekend:

 

Astronomy

No matter who you are, looking into space and the night’s sky can fill you with a sense of awe and wonder. Thinking about the planets and stars and comets and black holes and dust clouds floating in space is a great way to FIND DELIGHT. Looking into space is looking into infinity, and that can lend your entire perspective a sense of the big picture. All of your worries begin to feel small, and all of your problems can seem to fade away. It’s healthy for your spirit to view the stars once in a while. This might be through the best telescopeobserver equipment, or by visiting your local planetarium.

 

Climb Up A Mountain

Sometimes you need to FIND DELIGHT by tackling a goal in the most literal way possible. What’s that you ask? Well, seeing a big mountain and climbing it. The raw effort of climbing a mountain or hill, be it an afternoon hike or a 10 day trek led by a guide, is a wonderful way to cultivate joy. Upon your success, you will find delight in the achievement but also through an excellent view.

 

Meditation Retreat

Heading on a meditation retreat can give you the space necessary to connect to your own mind. Often we are so filled with thoughts about our lives, our day to day responsibilities and our families that we can become quite stressed. Our minds are literally so full that there’s no room to FIND DELIGHT! The simple act of meditating can help you feel refreshed, positive and ready to approach life in search of delight once again. If a full retreat isn’t in the cards for you this weekend. Consider downloading an app and committing to a meditation practice.

 

Childhood

Children have a way of FINDING DELIGHT in the every day, don’t you think? This is why connecting to your inner youth can be so important. For this, you need to get silly. Consider starting a massive painting project where you create on impulse. Head to an indoor climbing frame or trampoline studio for adults (yes, they do exist!) You could watch movies that you cherished as a child, or live vicariously through your own children, making a fantastic weekend that celebrates the things they delight in. If you want to find delight through the creativity, innocence and beauty of childhood, spend some time tapping into your kid-self this weekend. You’ll thank yourself for the effort.

 

Head To A Floating Lab

Floating isolation tanks have become all the rage lately, and for good reason. Suspended in a tank filled with salt water, the pool is heated to body temperature and the salt suspends you above the top. The Epsom salt is good for your skin, so this makes for a good soak. However, when suspended in one of these tanks in complete darkness, you can be sure to experience something very interesting. As you float there, you’ll realize that you cannot feel your body in the least. You will feel weightless and without senses, leaving you only with your thoughts. The DELIGHT must be FOUND within. Repeated floats can even gift you a long-term sense of patience and empathy, similar to what is experienced by those who have followed Yoga for a long time.

 

How do you plan on FINDING DELIGHT this weekend? Share below! xoxo
*This post contains affiliate links.*
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Travel Inspiration: Rural England

*This post may contain affiliate links.*

When you think of England, what do you imagine?

Do you imagine the busy, bustling, metropolitan streets of London?

Or do you imagine beautiful lush green hills and glorious countryside?

Where you fall on the above largely depends on your exposure to England as a whole. While I’ve explored a bit of England in my younger years, I’ve only ever been in London as an adult. There’s no doubt that London has its upsides, and is a worthy travel destination in and of itself, but today I thought we’d focus on the other side of the spectrum. 

Away from the bustle of London lies some of the most beautiful countryside in the world. Rural England is a wonder that has inspired thousands of writers, artists, and poets. And it is still proving inspirational. Lately, I’ve been seeing lots of blog posts and YouTube videos from my favorite UK content creators about their excursions into the countryside. And you know what? Rural England is now pretty high on my Travel Bucket List! Below are a few options I’ve researched that I want to check out. Come along, let’s begin our computer screen vacay…

The Peak District

The Peak District is, as the name suggests, a mountain range. The “Peaks” (as they are locally known) are a collection of hills, mountains, and rugged terrain in the county of Derbyshire, in the East Midlands.

The Peaks are a true natural wonder, and are mostly unspoiled thanks to their protected status. I could walk, hike, cycle, go boating, or just explore the adorably quaint villages and towns that are dotted through the area. Tourism is common here, so I wouldn’t be out of place, and I’d never run out of glorious views to delight over. 

The Home Counties

The Home Counties are a collection of counties that lie just outside of London, so I could easily fly into the capital and then take a road trip to the countryside. The counties included in the “Home Counties” description include Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Hertfordshire, and Kent. (Say those out loud and you’ll sound like Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady, lol!)

It seems I won’t struggle for things to do in the countryside. As well as delightful local events and displays, the Home Counties are also home to some of the most beloved royal palaces that would be well worth a day-trip in my opinion: Windsor Castle, Hever Castle, and Oxford Castle (pictured above) are all found in the Home Counties. And I’m nothing if not very interested in the British Monarchy. 

The Jurassic Coast

Finally, if I fancied seeing rural England by the seaside, then the Jurassic Coast surely won’t disappoint. The “Jurassic” description comes from the many ancient fossils that have been discovered in the area; who knows, I might even stumble across a specimen or two for myself! (When I was little I wanted to be an archaeologist for a time so this is right up my street.)

The Jurassic Coast is shared by the counties of Devon and Dorset, so there’s plenty to see and do when not exploring the stunning coastline. As well as the cities of Bournemouth and Weymouth, I could also head into the nearby Cranborne Chase Area of Natural Beauty and delight in exploring the verdant terrain.

Have you ever ventured outside of London to explore rural England and all it has to offer? Which of the three areas above has you itching to plan a trip? I’d love to hear! I’m ready to pack my bags. 🙂 

P.S. Fancy some more wanderlust? Check out another computer screen vacation.

8 Necessities For Long Hiking Trips

*This post may contain affiliate links.*

No matter how much you love hiking, there’s no denying it demands a lot of your body and mind. Still, I really love hiking. However, I’ve been in some sticky situations over the years. So I thought it might be fun to use these past experiences and share my tips about what to bring along on your future hikes – J.I.C. (just in case!) Take it from me, if you’re planning a long-duration hike, your preparation has to be on point.

You need to carefully examine the supplies you are taking with you to ensure you truly have everything you need for a long hike. If you’re hiking for an entire day — or longer — your supply needs are very different to the supplies you need for a quick jaunt. By preparing ahead of time, you can focus on enjoying yourself, safe in the knowledge your trusty backpack contains everything you could possibly want.

So, what should be in that trusty backpack of yours?

#1 – Medication

If you’re going to be hiking for a day or more, you need to consider your medication needs. If you take prescribed medication, then that needs to find a place in your backpack– use a small pillbox if you don’t want to bring along your entire supply.

You’re also going to need a supply of over-the-counter medicines, especially if your hike will take you awau from civilization. Standard pain medication and antacids are a necessity, as is high-SPF sunblock.

You may also want to consider taking along some water purification tablets. There’s always a risk that you’ll get lost when hiking for a long period of time; in such a scenario, you’re going to need to drink water, and water purification tablets are a light and inexpensive way to make sure you’re drinking clean water.

#2 – Foot supplies

Anyone who has ever been hiking will know that foot sweat (ew!) is a real concern. It’s not a particularly pleasant concern to discuss, but it’s an issue many hikers face, so yep — we’re gonna go there.

You should take along a foot balm, preferably something cooling, to help soothe your feet after a long time walking. You may also want to take an anti-chafing powder, especially if your hiking boots are not the best fit. A spare pair of compression socks is vital, too; you’ll likely need a change of socks for any long-duration hike, so shop today to nab a backup pair. I’m a very recent adopter of the compression sock life and I can tell you from experience, they are a GAME.CHANGER.

Finally, it’s always helpful to take blister treatments along with you on a hike. I’ve been super susceptible to blisters my whole life so this is always front of my mind. While compression socks and good hiking boots can lessen the chances of blisters, they are still possible, and nothing will make you feel miserable faster than experiencing a jolt of pain with every step. Blister Band-Aids and medical tape are an essential in my hiking bag. 

#3 – A flashlight

Even if you’re hiking in the height of summer and plan to be back well before dark, a flashlight in your bag won’t hurt. If something goes wrong, a flashlight will make all the difference, allowing you to keep moving through the night rather than being stuck sitting while you wait for dawn.

The best choice for a hiking flashlight is a wind-up one. These might be somewhat irritating to use but they are safer than batteries, which can run out. If you’re thinking you could just take spare batteries along in your rucksack, a) um, heavy, and b) batteries can cause fires when stored together at close quarters. It’s far safer to opt for a wind-up version, and spend a little time winding it up with a decent charge prior to departure.

#4 – A knife or multi-tool

A small knife or a multi-tool, like a Swiss Army Knife, is an essential component of your long hike planning. You can use this for cutting food you have bought, preparing firewood, and a variety of other tasks you may need to perform in an emergency situation. Knives are light and can be slipped into a spare pocket of your rucksack, so there’s no reason not to take them.

#5 – A compass

Even if you tend to hike with apps and GPS rather than maps, a compass is another essential emergency item you’re not going to want to be without. Take the time to learn how to use the compass, then tuck it away in a pocket of your rucksack. Hopefully you’ll never need to use it, but if a situation does arise, you’ll be glad you’ve got it on hand.

#6 – A waterproof map

A compass alone can be beneficial when you’re out on a trail for a long period, but to really make the most of it, you’re going to need a map to work with it. Ideally, you want your map to be waterproof– you can either buy a pre-waterproofed map of the area you’re visiting, or laminate a standard map for yourself.

It’s wise to take a map for a wider area than you’re planning to hike. If you get lost, you could get off course, so you might wander into wider areas. A map that shows both the area you’re intending to hike to and an extra ten miles in each direction is ideal.

#7 – Protein food

It’s unlikely you’d set off on a hike without food, but it’s important to find protein-rich food to help sustain energy during a hike. While I always crave salty chips, high-protein food can keep delivering the nutrients you need and help to satiate hunger. There are plenty of super packable protein bars on the market, or you could opt for something homemade by following these protein snack recipes.

#8 – A quickly-assembled tent

Even if you’re not planning on camping, you might want to take a tent along with you. As most of this list has made clear, hiking is unpredictable, and much of your backpack needs to be dedicated to supplies that can keep you safe and comfortable if something goes wrong. A simple, quickly-assembled tent is the best way to ensure your safety and prepare you for any eventuality. Ya know, J.I.C. 

Do you enjoy hiking? What are YOUR must-pack necessities? I’d love to hear! xoxo

P.S. Prefer to read about hiking? I have a 4 part book club series exploring Wild by Cheryl Strayed!

3 Ways to Pack Your Tom Bihn Synapse 19

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As you may have guessed from previous posts (like this one and this one), I’m low-key obsessed with my Tom Bihn backpack. I could regale you for hours with info about all it’s features. It is just so. dang. packable. But the proof, as they say, is in the pudding…

So, instead of tell you about all the versatile pockets and roomy compartments, I’m gonna walk you through a few of my favorite ways to pack the Tom Bihn Synapse 19.

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The Pockets:

1. Main Compartment

2. Shallow Center Pocket

3. Deep Center Pocket 

4. Left Pocket

5. Right Pocket

6. Bottom Compartment

For 1 Bag Air Travel:

1. You’ll be amazed at how many clothes will fit in the Tom Bihn Synapse 19 with the help of a packing cube (or two). The double-sided packing cubes are genius if you want to keep your clothes organized (think: tops on one side / bottoms on the other OR day clothes on one side / loungewear on the other) or separate dirty and clean.

Your laptop or tablet will fit comfortably in this compartment as well.

2. This is the perfect space for all the small bits you may need readily available while up in the air. Tuck in your earbuds, your favorite lip balm, and a snack.

3. Slide your toiletry bag down in this front pocket and you’ll have no qualms about pulling it out when you go through TSA. This one from Tom Bihn has clear sides and was designed as a 3-1-1 toiletries bag for air travel. There’s plenty of room inside for all your essentials.

4. This side pocket has a space for your writing implements so you might want to tuck in a little notebook as well. It’s also a great place to stow a small flashlight, your sunglasses, and a collapsible bag.

5. Think of this as your electronics pocket! There’s plenty of room for a camera and there’s an additional pocket along the lining that’s perfectly sized for a phone. Clip a clear organizer pouch to the O-ring inside and fill it with your various chargers. No need to frantically search for cables that have made their way to the bottom of your bag!

6. Finally, the bottom compartment will hold a pair of sandals or flat shoes, a pashmina to keep you cozy when the plane gets cold, and a collapsible poncho if you’re headed to a rainy climate.

For Working On-the-Go:

1. As this is the largest compartment, this is where your bulkiest items will go. If you’re working on-the-go this probably means your laptop as well as any notebooks, folders, and books you may need.

2. Slip in a pair of earbuds that will cancel out any annoying noises you may encounter. You could also keep a stockpile of business cards tucked in a fancy holder.

3. Amazingly enough, this pocket was designed by the folks at Tom Bihn as the perfect place to hold a water bottle. This is great for keeping weight distribution even and totally cuts down on spills. You could go with a classic or class it up.

4. Store your pens, memory cards, and a wireless mouse in this convenient side pocket.

5. The other side is perfect for all your chargers. Again – one of the clear organizer pouches would be perfect for corralling them all. And don’t forget to throw in a snack bar or two! It’s hard to work when  you’re hungry!

6. Finally, the bottom compartment is a convenient location for your wallet. And it’s wide enough that it will accommodate a billfold style design. Don’t need that much space for your wallet? This is a great place to store an umbrella, as well!

For Having Outdoor Adventures:

1. Whether you’re hiking, biking, or just urban exploring; you’ll want to have a few essentials in your Tom Bihn Synapse 19! The main compartment is a great place to store an extra layer of clothing, in case it gets cold, and any equipment you may need to bring along. (Think: camera or video gear, tools, DRONES!)

2. Safety first! Don’t forget to bring a small first aid kit. Buy one or make your own out of an Altoid can. Making your own allows you to really customize the contents for your particular adventure.

3. Again, the Deep Center Pocket is the perfect place for your water bottle. Toss in a bandana, too. They have SO MANY uses. (Here are 25.)

4. This is a great place to keep sunscreen and bug spray close at hand. You might also want to toss in a multi-tool or your eating utensils. Spork? Chopsticks? 3-piece cutlery? Your choice.

5. If you’re venturing away from civilization, it may behoove you to reserve this pocket for “I can pee anywhere!” materials. Think: tissues, wet-wipes, anti-bac, etc. Of course, these could come in handy for other purposes, too!

6. Finally, pack a lunch! This bottom compartment will ensure your sandwich won’t get squished amidst all your other equipment and it’s spacious enough to accommodate an adventurer’s appetite! The menu, of course, is up to you.

Where would you take your Tom Bihn backpack? Do you have a favorite travel accessory you recommend to anyone who will listen? Tell me about it below! 

P.S. A Tom Bihn-accompanied trip — Festivals Acadiens in Lafayette, LA

Tom Bihn Synapse 19 and Synapse 25 IN THE WILD!

Review Tom Bihn Backpacks

On the hunt for a new bag, my fiancee Chet chose to turn to the company Tom Bihn. Specializing in travel bags, laptop bags, and backpacks; tons of folks on the internet were singing the praises of Tom Bihn’s creations and so we wanted to see what all the fuss was about. Pretty much as soon as Chet’s Synapse 25 backpack arrived I wanted my own. He showed me the multitude of packing configurations available within it’s clever pockets and how much this one backpack could actually hold…and well,  cue the heart eye emojis!

Luckily, Chet could sense my need. Valentine’s weekend I was headed to Bowling Green, KY but my very own Tom Bihn backpack showed up as an early gift just before my departure date! (That boy’s a catch, I’ll tell ya!) I gasped when I opened the box because the pattern was so perfect. My bag is the Synapse 19 backpack. This bag is designed the same way as the 25 (with the same clever pocket layout) but is 19 liters as opposed to 25 so it feels much better on my smaller frame.

Tom Bihn’s website heralds these bags as “a supremely organized backpack” and I tend to agree. The Synapse 19, specifically, is said to be a backpack well suited for hiking, travel, or commuting. Just the things I need a backpack for!

We’ve put these bags to the test, most recently at the FIU Nature Preserve (where we shot the pictures you’ll find within this post), and I’d love to tell you my thoughts…

tom bihn close up

Looks and Specs: 

The Synapse 19 is a 19 liter volume bag and measures 16″ x 11.4″ x 7.9″. Mine features the Black Dyneema external pattern with a Wasabi interior.

The Synapse 25 is a 25 liter volume and measures 20″ x 13.4″ x 9″. Chet’s colors are Navy/Wasabi.

Both bags feature a sleek design thanks to their curvilinear exterior. Unlike some backpacks, these pockets are built into the shape of the bag so there’s no pouches cluttering up the outside of the bag. The bags feature one main, back compartment for big items with an interior, elastic-topped pouch that’s great for securing a laptop or books. Then there are two front pockets, the top of which is deep enough to hold a 1 liter water bottle or bladder. This pocket is specially designed to hold your water in place right at the center of the back which really helps with balancing the weight of your pack. Two side pockets flank the pack and these come equipped with slots to hold pens, cell phone, sunglasses, and O-rings to clip on carabiners or keys.

The bags are made with ultra-lightweight, ultratough nylon so they’re durable without feeling or looking bulky. As mentioned, I LOVE the pattern of mine. I’m always down for a bit of monochrome and the pop of bright green when I unzip is just the right level of pizzazz. I also feel like the design aids in the bag’s versatility. It works out on the trail but I can take it on city adventures without looking out of place. We’ve both remarked that it’s nice to have a backpack that doesn’t scream I’M A BACKPACKER!

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Comfort and Wear-ability: 

The back panel is padded with a 1/4″ of foam covered in a breathable mesh. That last point is a must when you live in South Florida. Nothing like taking your backpack off and finding a lovely layer of sweat patch has been left behind in it’s wake! The mesh definitely helps with this predicament!

The adjustable straps are also nicely padded. Overall, this is a really comfortable bag! While I’ve not done any super strenuous hiking with it (YET!), I did make it through a cutting-it-close, Home Alone style layover in the Atlanta airport without feeling like I was carrying a bag at all.

Both bags have removable waist and sternum straps. They’ve been taken off (except for Chet’s sternum strap…which is a great place to clip a go-pro) in these photos as we didn’t think they’d be necessary for a day-hike. But I liked having them when I was hauling more weight on a longer trip as you can totally feel the difference in weight distribution. I can’t feel any weight in my shoulders when I’m all clipped in!

For size reference: I am about 5′ 2″ and Chet is about 6′ 1″.

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tom bihn on the trail 1

tom bihn in the forest

So what will it hold?

As a day-pack — For the day trip you see featured in this post (FIU Nature Preserve and surrounding parks/gardens + campus exploration/Starbucks) I had a book, my large wallet, tissues, hand sanitizer, and a collapsible tote in the big pocket. A full 1 liter water bottle and snacks in the front pockets. My blogging camera, pens, cell phone, and chap stick in the side pockets. And an umbrella in the bottom pocket. Because this is Florida and you just never know!

As a work bag — Chet takes his Synapse 25 to work every day. His campus is huge and with walking from far-off parking garages, an office and classrooms in different buildings, and foraging trips to on-campus coffee shops; a backpack is a much friendlier-for-the-back way to tote your crap than a briefcase, IMHO. He carries with him: a full-size tablet, notebooks, large pencil case, cell phone, first aid kit, various cameras and electronic equipment, water bottle, and snacks.

As a travel bag — This one is the kicker! I was AMAZED at how much stuff I was able to pack in for a 3 day/2 night air travel trip. I brought plenty of clothes, including; a pair of jeans, a huge sweater, 3 shirts, and PJ’s (featuring a really heavy pair of fleece pj pants because I was worried about traveling to actual winter climates). I even had room for a pair of sneakers in the bottom pocket! (For reference I wear a size 6 shoe.) Not to mention all my toiletries, make-up, jewelry, snacks, and misc. entertainment (chargers, headphones, book, etc.) I used these mesh pouches to keep things even MORE organized. The smaller ones held my jewelry and odds and ends. The bigger ones held my shirts (1 tank top, 1 dressy t-shirt, 1 pj shirt) and my underwear. These are great because you can clip them on to any of the bags 8 internal O-rings and you know they’ll stay right where you need ’em. I don’t own any packing cubes but I imagine with the help of a couple I could pack in even MORE clothes.

WANT MORE TOM BIHN CONTENT? Check out THIS POST and THIS ONE

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Who should get one?

Anyone who walks a lot, whether on adventures or at work. Anyone who enjoys ultra-light packing or just a super organized day trip. Anyone who loves a good hike. Anyone who wants to sail through their commute, or airport security, or a nearby trail.

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What do you think? Would you get one? Do you think you could pack for 3 days (or more!) in a 19L backpack? Are you a hiker, student, or traveler on the hunt for a new pack? I would HIGHLY recommend checking out the Tom Bihn website and having a browse!

Happy Trails and Travels!!! 

P.S. Want to receive an extra dose of delight in your inbox? SUBSCRIBE! You’ll receive occasional emails chock-full of all sorts of goodies. Thanks so much!

 

mid-week round-up

home wreath

How’s your week going so far??? The weather here has been so pleasant lately but eerily windy! Perfect conditions for putting up some Halloween decorations around the apartment. On Sunday, it finally felt cool enough to pack up a blanket and a picnic and spend the afternoon at the park across the street from us. The weather wasn’t the only thing on point at the park. The people watching was amazing! All the shelters were occupied with large birthday parties; complete with decorations, music, and bounce houses. Miami-folk take their celebrations seriously! Anywho, enjoy the rest of your week and here are a few things worth reading…

Watching “Friends” re-runs will make you feel like a dinosaur.

Former Stanford dean on how to raise an adult.

Free associate from the word “gluten” these days and you’ll probably come up with poison.”

In case you’re after a racy read.

Creative costume ideas for the upcoming holiday.

Serial fans take note–we need to talk about Don!

Further proof that the easiest way to save money on food is to learn how to cook…

…and when you do, who knows, maybe you can turn your skills into a side hustle!

Wouldn’t this necklace look so charming paired with a dark turtleneck and flares?

The scientific way to cut a cake.

Any hand-lettering pros out there? This DIY is for you.

12 Appalachian Trail section hikes.

P.S. Thank you to everyone who took my 2015 Reader Survey! Y’all are the best!!! xoxo

Going on walkabout.

In 1977, lady-adventurer Robyn Davidson set out on a 1,700 mile journey across the Australian desert from Alice Springs to the Indian Ocean. She was accompanied only by 4 camels, her dog, and the occasional aid of indigenous Australians. Photographs of her journey, taken by Rick Smolan, would later appear in a 1978 issue of National Geographic, when her story would take flight and become of considerable interest, especially to women. This story was adapted into a film starring Mia Wasikowska and Adam Driver. Take a look…

The movie is available for streaming on Netflix, so definitely check it out if you get the chance. As you may know, I think the adventures and travels of women are of utmost importance for us to consider, examine, and enjoy.

Below, are some of the original photos, taken by Smolan, of Davidson’s journey. National Geographic was always a favorite of mine to flick through as a kid. We had a pretty hefty collection of back-issues at my house as well as an even older collection at my grandparents. I would KILL to get my hands on an original copy of this issue. (I’ll certainly be keeping my eyes out at the Peddler’s Mall this summer…never know what diamonds in the rough can be found there.)

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davidson3What a badass, right? P.S. Her dog’s name was Diggity which I’m obviously obsessed with.

For more–

Check out Davidson’s book “Tracks: A Woman’s Solo Trek Across 1700 Miles of Australian Outback” HERE.

Check out a compilation of Smolan’s original photographs of the journey in “From Alice to Ocean: Alone Across the Outback” HERE.

And watch Smolan talk about his experiences in Australia with Davidson HERE.

What’s your favorite adventure story? Is it real or fiction? Would you consider a friend embarking on a journey across Australia a hero or an idiot? 

(All photos by Rick Smolan for National Geographic.)

mid-week round-up

rainy branches

How’s it going this week? On Monday I got to tune in to a livestream of the National Forensics Association awards ceremony, and I had a blast doing psycho things like applaud my computer screen and occasionally burst into tears. Congratulations to the 2015 national champions — Western Kentucky University! Also, it was great chatting with past teammates online while we watched. I am always so moved by how much we all still care about this activity. Hope everyone has a good rest of the week, and if you were at NFA I hope you get some rest! Now enjoy the links…

Some surprising additions to thrift store finds.

Cookbook in the classroom.

I totally want this linen apron. (So Japanese!)

Sports fan spirit animal.

Children of Vietnam soldiers still left behind.

I need to invest in a 1/2 gallon mason jar.

DIY Totoro!

A heart-wrenching podcast about a one-sided relationship.

Spend your finite funds on fun not stuff.

30 new entries for my Bucket List.

This bag would be perfect for any number of Summer adventures.

God bless my sister for finding a GIF of this reality tv moment.

mid-week round-up

fieldsandhay

The last few days have been pretty sad, news-wise, don’t you think? If you’re one of those people who spends tons of time on-line looking at blogs, news sites and social media posts (GUILTY!), it can all get a bit over-whelming. While I do think staying up-to-date on the happenings of the world is of super importance, there is something to be said for balance–especially when all the news you’re consuming over the course of a week strikes such a raw cord. So, check out these links below (which are mostly fun escapes with a few more timely, serious accounts thrown in) and then take time today to do something unplugged. Take a walk in your neighborhood or a local park. Do a relaxing yoga flow. Go to the dollar store, pick up a coloring book and some crayons and do some mindless art. Stay healthy, y’all! Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Wedding photographer‘s fees explained.

Thoughts on fatherhood from the Instagram dads who went viral.

Play outside!

3-ingredient peanut butter cookies.

I’m sick of reading about Lana Del Rey but…

Old garage + salvaged materials = gorgeous studio apartment.

On the Pacific Crest Trail.

This movie looks intense in the best way.

Writers and their cats.

A cute interview with my former teammate.

If you’re not feeling up to anymore serious news right now, stop here, or come back later when you’re in a better head-space. I’ll completely understand. : ) If you ARE feeling up to it, please continue…

Heart-breaking statement from Zelda Williams on the passing of her father, Robin Williams. (He will be greatly missed by so many. I found it so touching to see how strongly he affected those in the Forensics community. As character-poppers and joke-tellers ourselves, he was a magnificent source of inspiration. Mental illness is real, y’all. We MUST do a better job talking about it to erase the stigma and offer helping hands to those suffering.)

Horrific first-person account of the after-math in Ferguson, Missouri. (What sat with me most in Ashley’s article was a random police officer’s words to her. As she was walking through the streets of Ferguson, headed to the candle light vigil for Mike Brown, to show support for, like herself, a mother of an African-American child, a cop told her, “You’ll be shot if you go up there.” Subtext: There are black people up there and you are white. Here, is where I had to stop reading as all the times those words have been spoken to me came flooding back. All the times, as a white woman, someone tried to “warn” me of the presence of black people with the super secret code words…”but you’ll get shot!” And THIS is why the racial profiling, undue fear, and murder of innocents continues to happen. And I’m angry. And perhaps this will get it’s own post on another day because for now, I need to go take MY media break and let the sunshine in so I can send it to yet another mother who lost a son too soon and another mother trying desperately to make sense of the world we’re creating for hers.)

I think each and every one of you are amazing!!! Thank you for stopping by–now go create some sunshine in your day! ❤