Friday, November 11, 2016

Recommended for Election week

Hello again, friends.  We've made it to Friday.  We'll probably make it to next Friday, too.  It's going to be okay.

To be honest, this week threw me for much more of a loop than I expected.  I didn't think Trump would become America's next president, I didn't anticipate an uprising in hateful actions, and I didn't expect so much hurt and anger and sadness to be swirling around in the atmosphere here (you can read more of my thoughts here).  Chances are, you might be in need of some lighthearted, beautiful, and comforting things like I am.

Take care of yourself.  In fact, take extra care of yourself.  And let me know how you're doing.

If you've been feeling stressed lately, check out this gif that can help with anxiety.

I've heard lots about the benefits of meditation, but it's not always easy to integrate the practice into my life (because, it is, after all, life).  Here's a simple idea for making meditation happen.

Why you should keep going

Thanks to Yes and Yes for a list of ways to stop caring about what other people thing and this awesome reminder:
"Know that people’s judgment is 95% about them and 5% about you."

 The happiest fox and hound friendship!

These moms in Seattle have figured out what I think is a huge lesson in motherhood: shared community is crucial to having the best support possible!  I wish this kind of environment would be the reality for all moms, and I hope I'll be able to be a part of something like this when it's my turn. 

These colored botanical tattoos are lovely (and inspiring...).

A beautiful Swedish chapel has been turned into a home

I am loving this pretty and simple Christmas ornament display.  I don't think Caleb and I will be able to have a tree this year (we'll be out of town for much of December, so it doesn't make much sense to have a tree), but maybe we could try something like this to decorate our home for the holidays.

Did you see these stunning photos on Portuguese Man O' Wars? My cousin told me National Geographic posted them on their Snapchat, and that's why I decided to give Snapchat another chance.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

A hopeful perspective for 2016 America

image : CNN
Today has been an emotional and shocking day for myself and most of the people around me.  I have the privilege of having many friends in many circles, and I wanted to shed some light on little known perspectives that I believe will be helpful for both Trump and Hillary supporters.  I shared this message on my personal Facebook page, and I wanted to make sure I make it public here, too.


Hey friends, I wanted to share a bit, please read.

The election results have been incredibly divisive today. If you haven't yet seen it, you should know that the majority of minorities (racial, sexual, etc.) (aka a ton of your fellow Americans) are hurt and afraid of a Trump administration. They are hurt and afraid because they believe that not only is our next president is sexist, racist, homophobic, xenophobic, and uncaring about our environment's well being, but that the half of America that voted for him is, too.

It is an unfortunate lie that a vote for Trump is a vote for hate, one that I know the media constantly portrayed (one example being the picture I used above from CNN's website). In fact, from what I've seen, most/many folks who voted for Trump didn't really like their choice, but they felt he had the best chance to bring change to the country or because they strongly stood for one point of his platform rather than everything he stands for. For example, many evangelical Christians who voted for Trump did so only because they think abortion is morally wrong. Plenty voted for him only because they thought it was a safer vote than Hillary, war-wise (no one wants another Vietnam). Some voted for him because they thought he'd be the best chance for a better American economy thanks to his business background and distance from the general politics arena. I'm sure many voted for him just because they're loyal to the Republican party.

To Trump haters: Don't allow yourself to believe that because Trump won so many votes that half of America is a hateful group of bigots; that's just not true. Sure, many of them are (there are jerks in every section of America), but that is not what a Trump win means.

To Hillary haters: Show the other half what your motives truly are through your actions. BE a better, kinder, more beautiful society. Be caring, be kind, and be gracious, especially during this highly emotional season for so many Americans.

To everyone: Respectfully listen to one another. We're all in this together, and we all ultimately want a better country. Discussion and respectful debates are the first steps to help us get there.

One silver lining I’ve been able to find is that I believe this will be a tipping point for our society, especially in Atlanta where I live. As we see the government shifting, may we realize that, really, it’s up to US to make America beautiful and great. It’s not the President’s responsibility to set the tone for our country, it’s ours. And how good is it that love and progress and equality are louder and more powerful than their opposites?

In that light, I think there can be great good that comes from this, on a more local, personal level, and that is one thing I can be excited about.

Like Hillary said in her concession speech, we owe Trump a chance to do a good job. I’m glad that he seems to be taking this so seriously and his line “The forgotten men and women will be forgotten no longer” is something I will hold him to. So many Americans voted for him because they believe he will bring us good change. I AM nervous, but I'm also choosing to be brave and hopeful.

Finally, I know the fear refreshes every election cycle, but this is the first time I’ve been in the thick of things and with many friends who are so upset. I wish this wasn’t so divisive, I wish people weren't hurting so much, and I know we'll make it through. Feel free to comment or message me privately to further the conversation, and I hope your heart turns toward the good things in your life today. I'm going to be visiting a park with Mako later this afternoon myself.

Recommended further reading/listening:
Bite-sized stories from readers of The Hustle on who they voted for and why (Read this to start the trend of listening to others with differing opinions.)

Friday, October 28, 2016

Recommended for October

I haven't pushed out a lot of these posts lately, mainly because I haven't been exploring that many new recipes, and I always want to leave you with someone tangible instead of just links to read in your spare time.  In lieu of new foods to try, I'll probably be sharing some songs I enjoy instead.  The main thing, though, is that I have been coming across a lot of interesting information, beautiful work, and exciting discoveries I've wanted to share.  Without further ado, here's another edition of Recommended!

^ First, this is a new song for me.  I have this on my Sky playlist where I keep my light and positive songs, and I love the whimsy in the melody and the sweet vocals.  Do you like it?

Did you know you're not supposed to refrigerate tomatoes and that orange juice isn't really that good for you?  Check out these new food facts.

Instagram has made a new, amazing change!

Speaking of social media, did you see that Vine is shutting down??

I had the pleasure of listening to this beautiful piece read aloud this morning on a podcast from The Liturgists (which I also recommend), and I encourage you to read it through when you have a chance. It's about the beauty, strength, and dignity of a woman's body throughout her life, in the context of a Christian environment, which, as many of us know, isn't always known for responding well to the feminine.  I shared further on a Facebook post, and I wanted to share here, too:

The idea of women being less has been a strange, unfortunate struggle I've been working through for many years. It's not constant for me, I'm not routinely put down due to my sex by any means, and many of the offenses I do receive are results of miscommunication, cultural, or personality differences. I consider my story to be moderate, but I know that my moderate story isn't the story of all women. There are many who have lived through overt and predatory assault and also subtle and insidious lies about their worth as women. There are many, many ways we as a culture, a society, And We As A Church need to change the story. I don't have all the answers, in fact, I'd really like to hear what you think about all this, but I do think this piece could be a starting point of changing our perspectives.

I follow Kimi Werner's aquatic adventures on Instagram, and last week she taught me that the chemicals in our sunscreens are harming ocean life!  Even though beach weather is on it's way out of the Northern Hemisphere, I wanted to pass along her recommendation of Avasol's sunscreens, which are good for you AND the planet.

This piece of encouragement

What a happy, amazing, and adorable story!

These thermal nails are amazing.  When I asked, the artist responded saying she "layered the colors and then used polish remover and a Qtip to take away" the layers.  I could never have that patience!

Having a healthy or unhealthy gut will affect your brain.  Our bodies can be so bizarre, and I guess it's time for me to start having yogurt for breakfast again.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Minimalist rustic

I realized last week that if I could find a beautiful way to marry minimalism with a rustic aesthetic, I might find my perfect happy space.  I had no idea how to blend these two very different ideals, but some inspiration came to my inbox just today!  Check out these beautiful rooms on Bloglovin that combine both of my interior design goals (plants included).

If you know of any other places where I can find similar minimalism + rustic combos, let me know!  Maybe one day I'll be able to add some of my own pictures to the internet!

P.s. Would you say rustic minimalism?  Or does minimalist rustic make sense?
You might also be interested in this collage of minimalist planter ideas or this Atlanta treehouse available on Airbnb (now up to $350/night, though!).

Monday, September 5, 2016

The importance of reading

Why we need to read and how to get started

I've never thought about it much until recently, but reading makes a huge difference in a person.  In how they think, carry themselves, and engage with the world.  I've realized that it's almost easy to distinguish between people who read and people who don't without asking them explicitly.

My Personal Leadership professor, Dr. Myers, strongly encouraged us to read.  It's the easiest, most accessible way to expand yourself and challenge yourself.  Books are deep resources there for the taking, they're even free to borrow from the library.  Why not stretch and enrich yourself?

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

My favorite posts I've written

One of the challenges I had in my 101 challenge list was to keep a running collection of favorite blog posts I've written.  I'm not sure why I wanted to do this back when I wrote my challenge list, but I'm glad I did.  I had a fun time roving through my published posts, remember the stories I wrote, and reliving the passion when I had these great topics to write about.  It's been a good retrospective, and it's shown me a bit more of where I've been and of how I'd like to use my space in the future.

Here's my list of favorites, and I hope to add to this list later on!

Friday, July 29, 2016

Recommended from July (whith whisky chocolate chip cookies)

I've been keeping track of links to share like I used to, but for a while, I'll be running a big Recommended post each month instead of each week.  Hopefully three weeks absence will make the heart grow fonder when a new Recommended post rolls out!

via Bon App├ętit

First, a recipe!  I highly recommend these chocolate chip cookies made with whiskey and rye.  A friend of mine made them, and they blew me away!  These are in my top 3 favorite cookies I've ever tasted, no lie.  I haven't made them myself yet, but I hope that when I do, they turn out just as good!

An amazing story of a man harnessing the seas in an entirely new way to provide for the future.

A funny bit for your weekend: Kittens vs Thugs

I love this idea for chore dates!  Maybe it's just my get-things-done nature, but I really do think this would be fun.

Great encouragements on being a Girl Boss collected by Joanna from Cup of Jo -- This quote is my favorites:
“I always did something I was a little not ready to do. I think that’s how you grow. When there’s that moment of ‘Wow, I’m not really sure I can do this,’ and you push through those moments, that’s when you have a breakthrough.” — Marissa Mayer

I love this series from Cup of Jo about parenting around the world.  You may have seen it, it's pretty popular, but it's always worth another look, in my opinion.

Tips on how to make your clothes last longer (and save $$).

Shut the front door.  There's an otter preserve in California where you can swim with otters!  Here's a video.  Time to move to the West Coast!

Did you know that King Tut's sword was made with the metal from a meteorite??

The adorable frustrations that come with being a baby panda zoo keeper

Hope you have a great weekend!  See you again in August!