How To Turn It All Around

Happy Monday everyone! This morning I came across this post from Alexandra Frazen. In it she talks about how “today isn’t over yet.” This post really spoke to me. It’s easy to get caught up. To make a misstep here and there and then want to throw it all away.  To wake up late and miss our morning workout so instead we vow to start tomorrow. To eat poptarts for breakfast and write off the rest of the day as a cheat day. To forget to schedule a blog post so we say we’ll post one tomorrow instead.

It is so easy to push things off, especially when we believe we’ve started off on the wrong foot. I’m guilty of this. Completely guilty. There have been so many times where I decide to pick up ice cream from the supermarket since I already had a “bad” lunch. Why not just make it a bad day? Or waiting to pursue my goals til next week, or month, or even year. Because if I wait I’ll have a fresh start. I’ll be better. I won’t start off with a slip-up.

But what Alexandra points out so clearly is that today is not over yet. Why start tomorrow what you can begin right now. You can so easily turn around your day and make it into something great. It doesn’t matter if it’s 9pm or 9am. Be the person you want to be right now. Make the change this instant. It’s okay if you watched 5 hours of Gilmore Girls instead of cleaning your apartment (ehem, not speaking from experience or anything). Because at this moment you can turn off that tv, pull out the Windex and get to work.

I need to keep this in mind when I want to procrastinate. When I feel like I want to start fresh tomorrow. Starting fresh doesn’t have to wait until tomorrow. It can begin right now.

Currently…

This week has flown by! I guess that’s what happens when you have 4 day work weeks. I’m excited for a relaxing weekend ahead. My roommate is celebrating her birthday with brunch tomorrow morning, I want to get a little shopping in, and perhaps complete a DIY project for my bedroom! We are supposed to get snow tonight and into tomorrow so hopefully it doesn’t impede any of my plans. Enjoy your weekend everyone!

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Currently I am…

dreaming of margaritas and fresh chips with guac. Can you tell I’m seriously wishing for warmer weather as well as the end of Sober January? Freutcake’s St. Germain margarita recipe is seriously my absolute favorite of all time. So so good!

listening to Leighton Meester’s Heartstrings. Yes, Blair Waldorf. She has an album out and it’s very pretty. The perfect music to enjoy during a luxurious bubble bath. Check out this live performance Leighton did at Pandora’s offices.

reading The Well. It’s the B Bar’s blog. The B Bar is an ebook resource for bloggers with helpful tips and advice on how to take your blog to another level. The Well also provides a ton of amazing (and free!) resources for bloggers. I’ve been eating up every post.

tackling the Song of Ice and Fire series. Last spring I binged watched all of the seasons of Game of Thrones and I am completely hooked. It is so addicting! For Christmas I received all of the books that are published so far and I just started reading the first one (A Game of Thrones) yesterday. It’s a big undertaking considering there are 5 books published so far and they are all close to 1,000 pages. But if the books are anything like the show I know I’ll love them.

eating the hummus tahina salad from Sweetgreen. Sweetgreen is easily my number 1 choice for an easy and healthy meal. I would probably go here every day for lunch if I could afford it. Lately I’ve been into their hummus tahina salad that has falafel, feta, red onion, pita chips, tomatoes, cucumbers and hummus. Yum yum!

San Francisco in 5 Days

Guess what? I am planning my first real vacation! Hallelujah! Seriously though this is the first real vacation I’ve taken in probably close to 3 years. I’ve done a few weekend trips here and there, but nothing involving flights, multiple nights in a hotel, or very extensive packing. That’s why I’m so excited but also a bit anxious about this vacation. It’s the first one I am planning completely on my own (with the help of my boyfriend of course). Greg and I decided we are going to take a trip to San Francisco around the middle to end of April. We are still very much in the planning process (we haven’t booked flights or hotels yet).

Since this is my first time planning my own vacation I want to have as much information as possible. I decided to reach out to a few friends who recently traveled to California and ask them how they planned their trip, how long they stayed and where, and what items must be on our itinerary. I guess this is my organization/perfectionist side coming out but I like to have all my information laid out before I make any big decisions. Everyone has been extremely helpful! I highly recommend asking for help or suggestions from friends and family before traveling to a new place. Below are some of the suggestions made to us by our friends.

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San Francisco in 5 Days (For First Time Travelers):

  • Lombard Street – the famously curvy street in San Fran. In the spring and summertime it is lined with flowers.
  • Golden Gate Bridge – the traditional must see. A few of my friends took a hike nearby to get a wonderful overview of the bridge while another good friend decided to bike across it. Many options to enjoy a San Francisco landmark.
  • Muir Woods – a national park full of huge, old growth redwood trees. We’ve been told by multiple people this is a great place to just take in the awe-inspiring power of nature.
  • Alcatraz – some might say this is a tourist trap, but hey we are going to be tourists! I’ve also heard the self-guided audio tour is really fascinating and full of cool historical facts (something this history major loves!).
  • Cable cars – apparently the lines can be insanely long but there is something fun and whimsical just seeing them pass by throughout the city.
  • Union Street – for some fabulous shopping (even if it is just window shopping).
  • Fisherman’s Wharf – a well-known San Francisco hotspot is home to Pier 39, a slew of restaurants, the wax museum, and Ghirardelli Square.

I am so looking forward to this trip. Although it takes some work (and money) to make this vacation happen, I truly think it is important to get away every now and then for your own mental health. Get out of the office, out of your comfort zone, and explore a brand new place. Take in the sights, people watch, and simply enjoy life as it is right here and now.

Any more suggestions of things to see and places to go would be appreciated! I will also have to do a follow up post once we actually take our trip!

Little Luxuries: S’mores

I had incredible 3-day weekend spent with good friends. My boyfriend came down for a visit which is always amazing. Also my best friend from college was in DC visiting her sister so I was able to hang out with the 2 of them as well. Brunch was eaten, movies were watched (American Sniper is an awe-inspiring film, must see!), pandas were photographed at the zoo, and a good time was had by all. I even made some headway on transferring my files from my old laptop to my Mac (on my 101 list!). I hope you all also had an enjoyable weekend.

Something that was not included in this weekend but would have fit in quite nicely is s’mores! S’mores seem to be making somewhat of a comeback. S’mores used to be those special treats you made as a kid when your family went camping or there was a firepit in the backyard. Occasionally my family would make s’mores in the fireplace or over the grill when we were little. Lately I’ve seen a resurgence in s’mores. More and more restaurants offer make your own s’mores (Cosi being one of them). I mentioned previously that Greg and I went to Max Brenner’s Chocolate Bar in Bethesda and made our own s’mores. Included with the s’more platter was peanut butter. Oh. My. Gosh. Why did I not think to add peanut butter to s’mores before? Seriously elevated the dessert to a whole new place.

Design Sponge posted a recipe for chai tea s’mores. The Kitchn has 12 different s’more variations including a salty caramel bacon variety! Terrain sells the above artisan s’more kit (they even had a peppermint version around the holidays!).  It certainly seems as though s’mores are becoming en vogue.

The entire process of s’mores makes them a special and inviting experience. Fire must be involved instantly making for a cozy atmosphere. Time and care need to be taken to create the perfectly roasted marshmallow. Creating the perfect ratio of ingredients is an art. Indulging in the treats is messy allowing for teasing and jokes all around.

If you can try to relive your childhood a bit and make some s’mores soon. I can guarantee you will not regret it.

Currently…

Well this was my second full week back at work after the holidays and guess what? I have off this coming Monday for Martin Luther King Jr. Day! Woot woot. I am planning to enjoy my long weekend by spending time with my boyfriend, seeing friends, and maybe checking off one or two things from my 101 list (outdoor ice skating anyone?). I hope you all have a lovely weekend!

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Currently I am…

searching for a tortoiseshell iphone case. J.Crew had one of these awhile back but I can’t seem to find it on their site anymore. I think a tortoiseshell case looks very sleek so I really want to find a stylish yet durable one. Any suggestions?

eating Kind bars. Why have I never tried these before?! I just bought a few on sale this week and they are my new favorite snack! Perfect pick-me-up for my 3pm slump.

lusting after this, this and this art print. Way too cute. Need to get started on my gallery wall ASAP.

listening to Ella Henderson’s album Chapter One. I loved her song Ghost for a long time now and I’ve been eagerly anticipating her US album release. Other stand out tracks besides Ghost are Pieces and Mirror Man. Give it a listen this weekend.

using the Way of Life app. Ever heard that it takes 21 days to form a habit? Well there are a few daily habits I want to pick up (like flossing and reading) and this app is perfect for keeping track of your progress. You can view your trends via bar or pie charts and make notes on why you didn’t reach your goals. Time to get serious about those new year resolutions!

Random Interests

I have plenty of random interests. I can spend a lot of my free time looking up information and doing research on a myriad of topics. I was a history major in college so of course I’m very interested in historical events and stories. But beyond the obvious my interests are wide and varied.

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  • Native American culture. I took a couple classes in college about Native Americans and their histories. Each fact and story I learned only expanded my complete awe and respect for the varying tribes and cultures of the Native American community. I am by no means an expert and I still have a lot to learn about the traditions, legacies, and tragedies the Native Americans have had to face. But I look forward to delving further into my understanding.

hawaii

  • Hawaii. Similarly to Native Americans, I also wrote a number of papers on the Kingdom of Hawaii while I was in college. I found the entire history of the country fascinating. And the events that lead to Hawaii becoming a state were interesting and shady at the same time. Native Hawaiian culture has a rich history. I particularly love the Hawaiian language. I love how unique it is because it only has 13 letters (one of which is a glottal stop, a letter not included in our own alphabet). The Hawaii in Flight exhibit at the Air and Space Museum is my favorite right now!

honey

  • Honeybees. I’ve mentioned this interest before in an older post. Bees and honey are truly fascinating to me. How bees interact as a hive (they are so interconnected some say the bee colony should actually be considered an organism itself). How honey is made. The current honeybee crisis. I could learn about bees all day long. One day I might even try raising my own hive!

space

  • The universe and space. The universe is. so. cool! I seriously can’t get enough. I love watching Neil DeGrasse Tyson videos on youtube. The Cosmos and Through the Wormhole are some of my favorite shows. Interstellar blew my mind. I wish I took more science classes in school just so I could learn more about spacetime and blackholes. I wish I was insanely smart so I could actually fully understand all the theories proposed by scientists about the universe. Space is amazing.

Surfing

  • Surfing. I really have no idea where this stemmed from, maybe from my interest in Hawaii? Maybe because the locations surfers spend a lot of their time are gorgeous? Maybe from my love the for Disney Channel Original Movie Rip Girls? I’m really not sure but I sure do love it! Watching the competitions online. Enjoying surfing documentaries and videos. It seems to put me at peace.

So anyone else have random interests that are a little out of the ordinary?

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Life is a Balancing Act

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Over the last few years I’ve come to believe that life is all about balancing. Trying to find balance between all the aspects of your life. Work, play, friends, relationships, family, projects, health. You don’t want to devote yourself so much to your job that you have no time to pursue your hobbies. You don’t want to be so wrapped up in your significant other that you forget about your friends. You don’t want to be so focused on your children that you neglect to take time for yourself. You need to find the balance.

The catch-22 with this scenario is I think it’s nearly impossible to have balance with all aspects of your life at the same time. This is a very rare feat. To feel completely satisfied with your career. To spend quality time with your friends. To feel connected with your partner. To have enough free time for your favorite hobby. To feel healthy and whole inside your body. To be all those things at once is uncommon and precious.

I think of finding balance in life like a pendulum swinging back and forth. For just an instant the pendulum is right in the middle; everything in balance. But quickly the pendulum starts to swing to one side. Maybe it’s because you are unhappy with your job. Your focus is directed toward the stress you feel about your career and the pendulum is swinging to the far left. After some time (maybe short, maybe long) the pendulum starts to swing back toward the middle. Things at work have started to get better. Things are feeling more in balance. You hit the middle of the pendulum again before it starts swinging back to the right. This time you are so engrossed with your new boyfriend your friends have fallen to the wayside. You are extremely happy with your new beau, but things are still out of balance. Friends call with no answer. Weeks go by. The pendulum is at the far right. This goes on for awhile before swinging back to center.

And so is life.

If it is so hard to find balance, if balance is so fleeting, why even strive for it? I think the answer to this is because the more we strive to find balance in our lives, the less the pendulum swings. When your goal is to find balance the less the pendulum swings drastically to the left or right. Perhaps the pendulum only deviates from the middle only slightly. With care, dedication, and mindfulness, I think we can find balance in our lives more often and feel less askew when the balance is off.

How do you go about finding balance in your life? Do you agree that complete balances seems fleeting?