Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Birds

In an effort to add a little more color and beauty into the world, every week on Pinterest I pick one of my favorite things and create a a new board to house all the images I find. On Tuesdays I make a blog post devoted to the theme.

Birds

Birds are fascinating creature and I've only just recently... almost... gotten practically... completely over my my fear of them. They are so beautiful too, I love looking at these pictures of the amazing colors they display. There is so much to learn about birds so check out the Cornell Lab of Ornithology All About Birds website so you can start your bird-watching adventures today!

Follow my Birds board on Pinterest.

Have a Terrific Tuesday!

-XOXO-


Sunday, November 16, 2014

Current Projects - Bunny Slippers

Bunny Slippers

These comfy slippers are for sale in my Etsy store. They make a great gift for a friend or a family member. You might even want a pair for yourself!! They will keep your feet warm, are adorable and are made to order. Just imagine wearing these slippers while you are relaxing by a fire in the cold winter months.

Listing includes one pair of slippers in any color (select from the drop down menu) made using 100% acrylic yarn, for durability and comfort. They feature floppy ears with bows a cute bunny face and a fluffy tail.

Select your size (5-10, sorry no half sizes) from the drop down menu when you order.

Let me know which accent color you prefer in the comment box. I will choose a complimenting color if none is specified. If you would like these slippers in any other color combination please let me know through conversation. 

This pattern was purchased from: https://www.etsy.com/shop/TwoGirlsPatterns



Saturday, November 15, 2014

25 Compliments That Aren't About Appearance

It's easy to slip into a habit of always complimenting someone based on the way they look. Your eyes overpower your brain when it comes to noticing things about other people. Make sure the people close to you know that you value them for more than their outer appearance because people are complex and the majority of what makes them special to you comes from the things you can't see.


Here are a few ideas for complimenting someone without commenting on the way they look.
  1. You’re unique.
  2. I like your voice.
  3. You’re helpful.
  4. I think your ideas/beliefs matter.
  5. I’m so happy to know you.
  6. I like listening to what you have to say.
  7. You’re a kind and warm hearted person.
  8. It’s nice seeing such kindness.
  9. I like how down to earth you are.
  10. You have a beautiful soul.
  11. You inspire me to become a better person.
  12. Our conversations make me happy.
  13. It's good to see how passionate you are about ____.
  14. You’re so understanding.
  15. You matter a lot to me.
  16. You’re important.
  17. You’re intelligent.
  18. Your passion is contagious.
  19. Your confidence is refreshing.
  20. You restore my faith in humanity.
  21. You’re very creative.
  22. You’re so talented at ____.
  23. I don’t get tired of you the way I get tired of other people.
  24. You have great taste in ___.
  25. I wish more people were like you.

-XOXO-


What's you favorite non-appearance based compliment?

Friday, November 14, 2014

Healthy Energy Drinks

It's an all too true reality of life, noon comes and goes and takes with it your productivity and attention span. That's when we reach for those liquid cures in hopes of actually getting some work done before the sun goes down. Be it your fifth cup of coffee, a fizzy sugary soda pop or the magic energy potion in the shiny metal can.

So I got to thinking, is there a way to get passed that afternoon sleepy slump without the sugar/caffeine? Well try these substitutes and see for yourself.


The Fire and Rain - 3-4 8oz glasses throughout the day

  • filtered water
  • 1 slice lemon
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper

Sleep is the best thing you can do for you body in terms of keeping it functioning at optimum levels. But, let's face it between work, family and friends and keeping up with hobbies, getting 7-8 hours every night is next to impossible. Staying hydrated is the next best thing and this drink will help you in this endeavor. It's just water with a squeezed lemon slice and a pinch of cayenne pepper. The lemon adds flavor and is alkaline, which helps your body maintain a healthy pH level. The cayenne pepper helps raise energy levels naturally and provides protection for your heart by helping to maintain proper cardiovascular movement throughout the body.

The Elixir Vitae - as needed, during the day, not before bed

  • hot water
  • 1 1/2 - 2 tsp honey (to taste)
  • 1 inch of fresh ginger root
  • 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp tumeric

Cut off two thin slices of ginger and place in your cup or mug. Use a garlic press to juice the remaining ginger into your mug. Add spices, fill your mug with hot water and stir.

This delicious drink is the closest thing to a non-caffeine/refined sugar pick me up. Ginger speeds up metabolism and increases circulation. It also aids in the digestive process which can help stave off the post lunch coma that contributes to the afternoon slump. Turmeric, a cousin of ginger, also helps speed things up in the body, including energy levels. And Cardamom has long been valued medicinally for its ability to increase circulation and improve energy. Honey is mother nature's equivalent of an energy shot and is one of the best kinds of sugars for your body.

The Preemptive Measure  - 1 glass in the morning

  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1/4 cup raw almonds or 2 tbsp almond butter
  • 1 scoop of high quality whey protein powder (low sugar content)
  • 2 washed kale leaves
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 tbsp ground flax seeds
  • 1 cup milk of choice

A deficit of protein in your die is often the reason for fatigue. A morning protein shake is a really easy and delicious way to make sure that you're starting the day off well fueled. Pair this with a piece of whole grain toast and you have everything you need to give you a solid energy foundation for the day.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Friendship, Adventure and Wishes in Bend, OR

My friend Jules and I just returned from a long-weekend trip to Bend, OR.


Bend is going on my list of favorite places. It reminds me so much of Boulder, CO where I grew up, I felt very homesick while visiting. It's ecology is considered high desert so I took comfort in the dry mountain air and the familiar flora. The surrounding mountains and buttes give ample opportunity to explore the great outdoors and the fresh mountain springs provide excellent conditions for brewing beer.

Photo Credit - Julianna Large

Here are a few things I learned throughout our visit:
  1. If the wine selection is limited to "the red one" and "the white one," it's not gonna be very good. 
  2. Beer can only be improved upon when brewed with pumpkin and served in a caramel sugar-rimmed glass.
  3. Ten 3-ounce samples of beer for $10 may sound like a good deal, but it's still 30 ounces, no matter how you look at it.
  4. A hot beverage and a game of shuffleboard, even when you don't know the rules, is the perfect way to spend your night when the wind and freezing air keep you indoors.
  5. Always check the map before heading out on a hike. It's surprisingly easy to get lost on 100% of trails tested, even the one that only has one trail.
  6. There is no problem that can't be fixed by a long soak in a hot pool. We all just want to be soup.
  7. Wishes can come true if you just ask.
  8. If you try to be cultured and take the round-about art tour, you should probably just pass. Get a cup of coffee, talk about life and love, read National Geographic and crochet a pair of bunny slippers instead.
  9. Take time to enjoy yourself. Go with the flow, balance some rocks, don't plan every minute and hope that adventure finds you.
  10. And lastly, sometimes your soulmate might actually be your friend. There are thoughts you can only share with friends, there are things you can only do with friends and there are times that the only people you can count on are your friends. 
Photo Credit - Julianna Large / the rock the camera sat on

This Thankful Thursday, I am thankful for Jules. We're new friends, and I'm a shy person, so it was really nice to have the opportunity to get to know her better in a one-on-one setting. 40-year friendships don't just materialize, you have to invest in them. So Jules, here's to a long and healthy friendship!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

8 Limbs of Yoga - The Basics

The Yoga Sutra is a fundamental guide for living with a cultivated body, mind, and spiritual awareness, written in India between 200 B.C and 200 A.D. by physician, Pantajali. This ancient text outlines the eightfold path, called ashtanga, which literally means “eight limbs” (ashta=eight, anga=limb)

These eight steps act as guidelines toward living a meaningful and purposeful life. They serve as a prescription for moral and ethical conduct and self-discipline; they direct attention toward one’s health; and they help us to acknowledge the spiritual aspects of our nature.

Source: Ayuh Yoga

Eventually, I will go into more detail about what each of these limbs means. In the meantime here is the lowdown on the 8 limbs at their most basic analysis.

1. Yama - Self-restraints (how we morally interact with each other)
  • Ahimsa: Nonviolence
  • Satya: Truthfulness
  • Asteya: Nontheft
  • Brahmacharya: Nonlust
  • Aparigraha: No greed 

2. Niyama - Self-restraints (how we morally interact with ourselves)
  • Saucha: Cleanliness
  • Santosa: Contentment
  • Tapas: Sustained practice
  • Svadhyaya: Self study
  • Isvara pranidhana: Dedication
3. Asana - Practice of yoga postures and movements, control of body

4. Pranayama - Practice of breathing exercises and techniques, control of breath and life force

5. Pratyahara - Practice of bringing the awareness to reside deep within oneself, control of senses

6. Dharana - Concentration and steadying of the mind free of external (noises) or internal (useless thoughts) distractions.

7. Dhyana - Meditation

8. Samadhi - Bliss, aka: enlightenment.

These eight steps of yoga interact and intertwine with one another, like branches on a tree, and guide along the pathway to attain of physical, ethical, emotional, and psycho-spiritual health. Yoga allows the natural state of total health and integration in each of us to become a reality.

-XOXO-


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Yellow


In an effort to add a little more color and beauty into the world, every week on Pinterest I pick one of my favorite things and create a a new board to house all the images I find. On Tuesdays I make a blog post devoted to the theme.

Yellow

Yellow is related to the left or logic side of the brain. It stimulates our mental faculties, creates mental agility and perception, and inspires original thought and inquisitiveness. Yellow is uplifting and illuminating, offering hope, happiness, cheerfulness and fun.


Follow my Yellow board on Pinterest.

Have a terrific Tuesday!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Floral Granny Square Blanket

I used to nanny for my cousins' baby girl. We used to have so much fun together and I know those memories will always be special to me. Sadly they just moved away. Before they left I gave Harper a first birthday gift, this floral granny square blanket.


I used Lion Brand Baby's First yarn in Honey Bee, Cotton Ball, Twinkle Toes, Fairy Tale, Beanstalk and Sea Sprite and an N hook. The free chart and pattern are below.


Using Yarn A make a magic loop.
Round 1 - Chain 3 (counts as 1 dc), 11 dc into loop, ss into the top of the beginning ch-3 to join. [12 dc] Fasten off.
Round 2 - Join Yan B in any dc. *ch 3, 5 dc into next dc, chain 3, ss into each of the next 2 dc; repeat from * twice more ch 3, 5 dc into next dc, ch 3, slip stitch into next dc [4 5-dc groups, 8 ch-3] Fasten off.
Round 3 - Join Yarn C in the center dc of any 5-dc group, ch 3 (counts as dc), 4 dc into the same dc, ch 3, skip 2 dc and ch-3, dc into the space between 2 dc of round 1 (below 2 ss of Round 2), ch 3, skip ch-3 and 2 dc, *5 dc into the next dc, ch 3, skip 2 dc and ch-3, dc into the space between 2 dc of Round 1 (below 2 ss of Round 2), ch 3, skip ch-3 and 2 dc; repeat from * twice more, ss to the top of the beginning ch-3 to join. [4 5-dc groups, 4 dc, 8 ch-3 spaces] Fasten off.
Round 4 - Working into the back loops only, join Yarn D in the first dc of any 5-dc group, *skip the next dc, 7 dc into the next dc, skip the next dc, ss into the next dc, skip ch-3, 7 dc into the next dc, skip ch-3, ss into the next dc; repeat from * 3 more times. Fasten off.
Round 5 - Working into the back loops only, join Yarn E in the 4th dc of any corner 7-dc group, ch 3 (counts as one dc), 4 dc into same dc, *dc into next 2 dc, ch 3, dc into 3rd dc of the next 7-dc group, dc into next 2 dc, ch 3, dc into 2nd double crochet of the next corner 7-dc groups, dc into next dc, 5 dc into next dc; repeat from * twice more, dc into next 2-dc, ch 3, dc into next 2 dc, ch 3, dc into 2nd dc of the next 7-dc group, dc into next dc, ss to top of ch-3 to join. Fasten off.

Make as many granny squares as your project requires (I made 20). I also did a Round 6 in Yarn E making single crochets all the way around with 5 in the corner to really square it up. I attached the square by single crocheting through the back loop only.



Sunday, November 9, 2014

100 LEGAL Sources for Free Books Online



The Classics


Browse works by Mark Twain, Joseph Conrad and other famous authors here.
  1. Classic Bookshelf: This site has put classic novels online, from Charles Dickens to Charlotte Bronte.
  2. The Online Books Page: The University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia hosts this book search and database.
  3. Project Gutenberg: This famous site has over 27,000 free books online.
  4. Page by Page Books: Find books by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and H.G. Wells, as well as speeches from George W. Bush on this site.
  5. Classic Book Library: Genres here include historical fiction, history, science fiction, mystery, romance and children’s literature, but they’re all classics.
  6. Classic Reader: Here you can read Shakespeare, young adult fiction and more.
  7. Read Print: From George Orwell to Alexandre Dumas to George Eliot to Charles Darwin, this online library is stocked with the best classics.
  8. Planet eBook: Download free classic literature titles here, from Dostoevsky to D.H. Lawrence to Joseph Conrad.
  9. Bibliomania: This site has more than 2,000 classic texts, plus study guides and reference books.
  10. Online Library of Literature: Find full and unabridged texts of classic literature, including the Bronte sisters, Mark Twain and more.
  11. Bartleby: Bartleby has much more than just the classics, but its collection of anthologies and other important novels made it famous.
  12. Fiction.us: Fiction.us has a huge selection of novels, including works by Lewis Carroll, Willa Cather, Sherwood Anderson, Flaubert, George Eliot, F. Scott Fitzgerald and others.
  13. Free Classic Literature: Find British authors like Shakespeare and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, plus other authors like Jules Verne, Mark Twain, and more.


Textbooks

If you don’t absolutely need to pay for your textbooks, save yourself a few hundred dollars by reviewing these sites.
  1. Textbook Revolution: Find biology, business, engineering, mathematics and world history textbooks here.
  2. Wikibooks: From cookbooks (handy for those enrolled in online bachelor’s degree programs for culinary arts!) to the computing department, find instructional and educational materials here.
  3. Online Medical Textbooks: Find books about plastic surgery, anatomy and more here.
  4. Online Science and Math Textbooks: Access biochemistry, chemistry, aeronautics, medical manuals and other textbooks here.
  5. MIT Open Courseware Supplemental Resources: Find free videos, textbooks and more on the subjects of mechanical engineering, mathematics, chemistry and more.
  6. Flat World Knowledge: This innovative site has created an open college textbooks platform that will launch in January 2009.
  7. Free Business Textbooks: Find free books to go along with accounting, economics and other business classes.
  8. Light and Matter: Here you can access open source physics textbooks.
  9. eMedicine: This project from WebMD is continuously updated and has articles and references on surgery, pediatrics and more.


Math and Science

Turn to this list to find books about math, science, engineering and technology.
  1. FullBooks.com: This site has “thousands of full-text free books,” including a large amount of scientific essays and books.
  2. Free online textbooks, lecture notes, tutorials and videos on mathematics: NYU links to several free resources for math students, even those outside of New York!
  3. Online Mathematics Texts: Here you can find online textbooks like Elementary Linear Algebra and Complex Variables.
  4. Science and Engineering Books for free download: These books range in topics from nanotechnology to compressible flow.
  5. FreeScience.info: Find over 1800 math, engineering and science books here.
  6. Free Tech Books: Computer programmers and computer science enthusiasts can find helpful books here.

Children’s Books

Even children’s books are now available online. Find illustrated books, chapter books and more.
  1. byGosh: Find free illustrated children’s books and stories here.
  2. Munseys: Munseys has nearly 2,000 children’s titles, plus books about religion, biographies and more.
  3. International Children’s Digital Library: Find award-winning books and search by categories like age group, make believe books, true books or picture books.
  4. Lookybook: Access children’s picture books here.



Philosophy and Religion

For books about philosophy and religion, check out these websites.
  1. Bored.com: Bored.com has music ebooks, cooking ebooks, and over 150 philosophy titles and over 1,000 religion titles.
  2. Ideology.us: Here you’ll find works by Rene Descartes, Sigmund Freud, Karl Marx, David Hume and others.
  3. Free Books on Yoga, Religion and Philosophy: Recent uploads to this site include Practical Lessons in Yoga andPhilosophy of Dreams.
  4. Religion eBooks: Read books about the Bible, Christian books, and more. This is especially useful for those pursuing online bachelor’s degrees in Christian Studies.

Plays

From Shakespeare to George Bernard Shaw to more contemporary playwrights, visit these sites.
  1. ReadBookOnline.net: Here you can read plays by Chekhov, Thomas Hardy, Ben Jonson, Shakespeare, Edgar Allan Poe and others.
  2. Plays: Read PygmalionUncle Vanya or The Playboy of the Western World here.
  3. The Complete Works of William Shakespeare: MIT inMassachusetts has made available all of Shakespeare’s comedies, tragedies, and histories.
  4. Plays Online: This site catalogs “all the plays [they] know about that are available in full text versions online for free.”
  5. ProPlay: This site has children’s plays, comedies, dramas and musicals.


Modern Fiction, Fantasy and Romance

These websites boast collections of graphic novels, romance novels, fantasy books and more.
  1. Public Bookshelf: Find romance novels, mysteries and more.
  2. The Internet Book Database of Fiction: This forum features fantasy and graphic novels, anime, J.K. Rowling and more.
  3. Free Online Novels: Here you can find Christian novels, fantasy and graphic novels, adventure books, horror books and more.
  4. Foxglove: This British site has free novels, satire and short stories.
  5. Baen Free Library: Find books by Scott Gier, Keith Laumer and others.
  6. The Road to Romance: This website has books by Patricia Cornwell and other romance novelists.
  7. Get Free Ebooks: This site’s largest collection includes fiction books.
  8. John T. Cullen: Read short stories from John T. Cullen here.
  9. SF and Fantasy Books Online: Books here include Arabian NightsAesop’s Fables and more.
  10. Free Novels Online and Free Online Cyber-Books: This list contains mostly fantasy books.


Foreign Language

For books in a foreign language like French, Spanish and even Romanian, look here.
  1. Project Laurens Jz Coster: Find Dutch literature here.
  2. ATHENA Textes Francais: Search by author’s name, French books, or books written by other authors but translated into French.
  3. Liber Liber: Download Italian books here. Browse by author, title, or subject.
  4. Biblioteca romaneasca: Find Romanian books on this site.
  5. Bibliolteca Virtual Miguel de Cervantes: Look up authors to find a catalog of their available works on this Spanish site.
  6. KEIMENA: This page is entirely in Greek, but if you’re looking for modern Greek literature, this is the place to access books online.
  7. Proyecto Cervantes: Texas A&M’s Proyecto Cervantes has cataloged Cervantes’ work online.
  8. Corpus Scriptorum Latinorum: Access many Latin texts here.
  9. Project Runeberg: Find Scandinavian literature online here.
  10. Italian Women Writers: This site provides information about Italian women authors and features full-text titles too.
  11. Biblioteca Valenciana: Register to use this database of Catalan and Valencian books.
  12. Ketab Farsi: Access literature and publications in Farsi from this site.
  13. Afghanistan Digital Library: Powered by NYU, the Afghanistan Digital Library has works published between 1870 and 1930.
  14. CELT: CELT stands for “the Corpus of Electronic Texts” features important historical literature and documents.
  15. Projekt Gutenberg-DE: This easy-to-use database of German language texts lets you search by genres and author.


History and Culture

Refresh your memory of world history, the classics and U.S. history here.
  1. LibriVox: LibriVox has a good selection of historical fiction.
  2. The Perseus Project: Tufts’ Perseus Digital Library features titles from Ancient Rome and Greece, published in English and original languages.
  3. Access Genealogy: Find literature about Native American history, the Scotch-Irish immigration in the 19th and 20th centuries, and more.
  4. Free History Books: This collection features U.S. history books, including works by Paul Jennings, Sarah Morgan Dawson, Josiah Quincy and others.
  5. Most Popular History Books: Free titles include Seven Days and Seven Nights by Alexander Szegedy and Autobiography of a Female Slave by Martha G. Browne.

Rare Books

Look for rare books online here.
  1. Questia: Questia has 5,000 books available for free, including rare books and classics.
  2. JR’s Rare Books and Commentary: Check this site for PDF versions of some rare books.


Arts and Entertainment

This list features books about celebrities, movies, fashion and more.
  1. Books-On-Line: This large collection includes movie scripts, newer works, cookbooks and more.
  2. Chest of Books: This site has a wide range of free books, including gardening and cooking books, home improvement books, craft and hobby books, art books and more.
  3. Free e-Books: Find titles related to beauty and fashion, games, health, drama and more.
  4. 2020ok: Categories here include art, graphic design, performing arts, ethnic and national, careers, business and a lot more.
  5. Free Art Books: Find artist books and art books in PDF format here.
  6. Free Web design books: OnlineComputerBooks.com directs you to free web design books.
  7. Free Music Books: Find sheet music, lyrics and books about music here.
  8. Free Fashion Books: Costume and fashion books are linked to the Google Books page.

Mystery

Here you can find mystery books from Sherlock Holmes to more contemporary authors.
  1. MysteryNet: Read free short mystery stories on this site.
  2. TopMystery.com: Read books by Edgar Allan Poe, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, GK Chesterton and other mystery writers here.
  3. Mystery Books: Read books by Sue Grafton and others.


Poetry

These poetry sites have works by Emily Dickinson, Edgar Allan Poe and others.
  1. The Literature Network: This site features forums, a copy of The King James Bible, and over 3,000 short stories and poems.
  2. Poetry: This list includes “The Raven,” “O Captain! My Captain!” and “The Ballad of Bonnie and Clyde.”
  3. Poem Hunter: Find free poems, lyrics and quotations on this site.
  4. Famous Poetry Online: Read limericks, love poetry, and poems by Robert Browning, Emily Dickinson, John Donne, Lord Byron and others.
  5. Google Poetry: Google Books has a large selection of poetry, from The Canterbury Tales to Beowulf to Walt Whitman.
  6. QuotesandPoem.com: Read poems by Maya Angelou, William Blake, Sylvia Plath and more.
  7. CompleteClassics.com: Rudyard Kipling, Allen Ginsberg and Alfred Lord Tennyson are all featured here.
  8. PinkPoem.com: On this site, you can download free poetry ebooks.

Miscellaneous

For even more free book sites, check out this list.
  1. Banned Books: Here you can follow links of banned books to their full text online.
  2. World eBook Library: This monstrous collection includes classics, encyclopedias, children’s books and a lot more.
  3. DailyLit: DailyLit has everything from Moby Dick to the more recent phenomenon, Skinny Bitch.
  4. A Celebration of Women Writers: The University of Pennsylvania’s page for women writers includes Newbery winners.
  5. Free Online Novels: These novels are fully online and range from romance to religious fiction to historical fiction.
  6. ManyBooks.net: Download mysteries and other books for your iPhone or eBook reader here.
  7. Authorama: Books here are pulled from Google Books and more. You’ll find history books, novels and more.
  8. Prize-winning books online: Use this directory to connect to full-text copies of Newbery winners, Nobel Prize winners and Pulitzer winners.


Now get to reading, because you have a lot of work to do.

-XOXO-


Saturday, November 8, 2014

45 Things I Learned From the Gilmore girls

I just finished re-watching my all time favorite television show, Gilmore girls. If you've been living under a rock, you might not know that Netflix added it to their library of television series. It took me about a month to watch all 7 series, take from that what you will. I kept a list of lessons I learned as I was watching. Enjoy as you let the wisdom wash over you because Gilmore girls is more than just a TV show, it's a lifestyle.



  1. You can't always help who you love.
  2. All bad girls wear red nail polish.
  3. Childbirth is like doing the splits on a case of dynamite.
  4. There's no such thing as too much coffee
  5. Bagels are like glue in your intestines. Ew.
  6. Candy bars are chocolate covered death with a caramel surprise.
  7. “Oi” is one of the funniest words in the world. Oi with the poodles already.
  8. Wallowing is an important first step after a breakup.
  9. Brazzelfrat and snicklefritz are seriously underused words.
  10. The plural of “cul-de-sac” is “culs-de-sac.”
  11. Snow is magical.
  12. Every relationship is just a big honking leap of faith.
  13. Being attracted to pie doesn't mean you should date pie.
  14. Ethics are highly subjective and completely overrated.
  15. A banana eating contest isn’t always about eating a banana.
  16.  It’s much better to have a haunted leg than a cold.
  17. If you’re frustrated with someone, just push them in a lake.
  18. Once your heart is involved, it all comes out in moron.
  19. Rich people have hilarious sock drawers.
  20. Mondays are bad, but they come around eventually.
  21. Ladies don’t even look at puddles.
  22. All anyone wants is to find a nice person to hang out with 'til we drop dead. It's not too much to ask!
  23. Smart girls are mean.
  24. Always make friends with the girls who have the emergency pop-tarts.
  25. Answer the pepperoni.
  26. You can’t watch “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” without massive amounts of candy.
  27. Cooper Boom is a phrase used to speed people up.
  28. Ladies don’t do anything for themselves.
  29. Kids always have jam on their hands, even if there isn’t any jam in the house.
  30. It’s good to have choices when deciding what to do with your life.
  31. Booze is grown-up milk and cookies.
  32. Almost anything can be “dirty.”
  33. Always carry a book.
  34. It's impossible to not become your mother.
  35. Important decisions should be made with pro/con lists.
  36. Stay away from windows when drinking.
  37. The difference between cows and humans is hay.
  38. Fries are the devil’s starchy fingers.
  39. A “kropog” is a unit of distance not volume.
  40. All grown-up women own a Hello Kitty waffle iron.
  41. Waffle is a good modeling name if you’re from Belguim.
  42. College is good for the skin.
  43. When you’re dating someone, never dress weather appropriate.
  44. If you think your eye is swelling, maybe your face is shrinking.
  45. Mexican food makes good hangover food.

-XOXO-



What are your favorite Gilmore girl lessons?

Friday, November 7, 2014

Blueberry Muffins!

I've been baking a long time and have made plenty of mistakes. When I first started baking I thought 1 1/4 cup meant a single 1/4 cup rather than 1 AND 1/4 cup. Those cookies were... fine... Once I mistook the ingredients "an egg" to say "8 eggs." I was also tripling the recipe to make enough for an event and it wasn't until I cracked the 9th shell that I realized how insane it was the I needed 2 dozen eggs. But these blueberry muffins are fool proof. They are scrumptious and simple to make and they have blueberries in them so they're healthy right?




Preheat oven to 385 degrees. In a large bowl mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and nutmeg. Set aside. In another large bowl whisk together sugar, oil, cap-ful of vanilla, egg, and yogurt. Add the dry ingredients and stir to a count of ten.





Add blueberries, reserving 1/2 cup, to mixture and stir 3 times.



Add mixture to well-buttered muffin pans by 1/3 cupful. Sprinkle remaining berries on top and press down lightly. Sprinkle Turbinado (or brown) sugar over top.





Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center of muffin comes out clean.Allow to cool completely before removal.





Serve immediately with butter.



Warm up later in the toaster oven.



Ingredients

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • A heavy pinch of salt
  • A dash of nutmeg
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 generous cup plain, unflavored yogurt (more if you want)
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries
  • A capful vanilla extract
  • Softened butter for greasing muffin tins
  • Turbinado sugar

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 385 degrees
  2. In a large bowl mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and nutmeg. Set aside.
  3. In another large bowl whisk together sugar, oil, cap-ful of vanilla, egg, and yogurt. 
  4. Add the dry ingredients and stir to a count of ten.
  5. Add blueberries, reserving 1/2 cup, to mixture and stir 3 times.
  6. Add mixture to well-buttered muffin pans by 1/3 cupful.
  7. Sprinkle remaining berries on top and press down lightly.
  8. Sprinkle Turbinado (or brown) sugar over top.
  9. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center of muffin comes out clean.
  10. Allow to cool completely before removal.

-XOXO-


Thursday, November 6, 2014

30 Day Self Improvement Challenge

Swapping your closet can be exhausting, but going from summer to fall is one of the best times of the year. You get to do away with your flimsy, sticky tube tops that offer no support or protection and snuggle into cozy sweaters and things that make you feel warm and safe. And as an added bonus you never know what you'll find from last year: a 20, your favorite lip gloss, an unopened lollipop, or a list of goals you made last fall.


My plan with this list was to discover characteristics within myself that I wanted to improve, work on these individually for 30 days (according to science, it takes 30 consecutive days to form a habit) each and discover an improved version of myself in about months. The reality was that I lost the list in my move to Portland and forgot all about my self-improvement goals. But it's never too late to start again so now I'm sharing my list with you.

 “Instead of complaining that the rose bush is full of thorns, be happy the thorn bush has roses.” ~Buddhist Proverb

We all complain. Even if you argue that you are the happiest person in the world, you still complain sometimes. Sometimes we complain without even realizing it, but rarely is it ever helpful. Instead of complaining I will...
  • change the way I think about situations by seeing the positive instead of the negative.
  • practice yoga in order to become more mindful.
  • train myself to be less judgmental.
  • keep a list of things I am grateful for.
  • avoid fueling other people who are on the complain train by changing the subject or asking them to stop.
  • accept the situation or change the situation.
  • do more of what makes me happy and fulfilled and less of what makes me complain.
  • take care of myself so I am better equipped to handle difficult situations.



“Three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind.”
~ Henry James

Kindness is one of the simplest thing to give to another person, but it's easy to get wrapped up in ourselves and forget about it. Or maybe we don't know how to be kind:

  • Express gratitude to the people around you for things they do.
  • Replace judgement with understanding.
  • Replace un-constructive criticism with encouragement and constructive criticism.
  • Just be there for someone - listen, hug, sit with them.
  • Offer to help someone practically with a household chore, when they're moving, or when they're carrying something heavy.
  • Remember the little things: little notes, letting someone merge into your lane while driving, holding the door for someone, helping someone with directions if they seem lost, a surprise gift.
  • Be kinder towards yourself.

 “No one has ever become poor by giving.” 
~ Anne Frank

It's easy to get wrapped up in the day to day life but it's important to remember the less fortunate. I cannot volunteer every day for 21 days but my goal is to volunteer with an organization I feel passionate about once a week and for the remaining days be mindful of the important people in my life and think about how I can be there for them.


 "Know the true value of time; snatch, seize, and enjoy every moment of it. No idleness, no laziness, no procrastination: never put off till tomorrow what you can do today."
~ Philip Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon: you have a deadline but instead are squandering your precious time on social media and cat videos. Break the cycle and get s**t done:
  • Organize your tasks into smaller steps that are more easily managed.
  • Change your environment to be more productive.
  • Create a detailed timeline with deadlines for each task to be completed by.
  • Eliminate the temptation of your favorite procrastination.
  • Surround yourself with inspiring people who take action.
  • Inform others of your goals, they are bound to ask about your progress when they see you.
  • Get advice from those who have already achieved their goals.
  • Revisit your goals to be sure they are still what you want.
  • Don't make it complicated, there is no perfect time to do something.
  • Just do it - strategizing, planning and hypothesizing should not become your newest form of procrastination.


“Acceptance is such an important commodity, some have called it the first law of personal growth.”
~ Peter McWilliams

In dealing with situation and other people's actions, we have 3 options: cut them out of our life, be frustrated or accept and embrace it. The only empowering option is acceptance. Why?

  • Life is too short for frustration.
  • You are forced to find the good. 
  • It creates realistic expectations for the future.
  • You likely do things that are just as frustrating.
  • It strengthens your relationships.


"As you move outside of your comfort zone, what was once the unknown and frightening becomes your new normal."
~ Robin S. Sharma

Your comfort zone may make you feel snug and safe but the boundaries leave little room for personal growth. Over time this once protective blanket may feel more like a straight jacket trapping you with boredom and fear. Stretch your zone a little and invite a little excitement and adventure in.

  • Make a fool out of yourself without fear of what others think.
  • Try something new, the worst that can happen is you fail.
  • Take a minute to discover some of the subtle fears that plague you every day and face them.
  • Become comfortable taking risks (not to be confused with being reckless). Your comfort zone is predictable to stretch it you have to do the unexpected.
  • Find comfort in the unknown.

-XOXO-


What's on your list?

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

9 Awesome Fitness and Nutrition Apps

I am obsessed with my iPhone. I have my phone with me at all times to check in on my Etsy shop, to keep up with my friends on social media platforms (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook) and to research new project ideas on Pinterest. Come to think about it... this might not be healthy... I probably need help... Well I'll worry about that later.

I am always looking for new apps to help me with the simplest of tasks. With that said, my iPhone has become my most reliable workout buddy. Here are some of my favorite apps for gym and home workouts.


Free Fitness


  • Bit Timer is a great app for strength training intervals. You can set the work time, rest time and the number of intervals you wish to repeat. Play your get pumped music in the background and the app will alert you when it's time to start and end.
  • Gymboss allows you to create a timer with intervals and rounds. It also has preset programs and a basic stop watch.
  • Nike Training Club comes with various workouts and workout programs at the beginner, intermediate or advanced level. Use it for cardio, strength or a combo and set goals for toning, leaning out, getting strong or targeting certain areas. You can preset the amount of time and play your own music in the background.
  • Map My Run means you no longer have to estimate how far you've run, this app uses GPS to actually track them. You can change your activity to bike, run, walk and even hike. You can also create pre-made routes to make sure you're covering the proper distance to meet your goals. Plus you can post your runs to Facebook and Twitter and use the Map My Run community to keep you motivated!
  • Fitness Pro is a great app for fitness junkies and newbies alike. It's a great guide to new exercises and proper use of gym equipment. It's not very useful at home but great for the gym.

Paid Fitness


  • Map My Run also has an MVP paid option which gives you coaching so I'm listing it a second time.
  • 10k Pro is a couch to 10k program that has preset goals for 30 days. You begin each day and follow the instructions for a certain amount of time. These instructions are spoken to you as you go along so there's no need to keep an eye on the time. Fitnesity also has apps with a similar formate for situps, squats, arms, pushups, abs, pullups, cardio etc.
  • Yoga Studio offers classes for all levels and in varying lengths of time. You can specify the ambient sound and leanr about 250 different poses.


Free Nutrition


  • Lose It! is a food journal app to track how many calories are going in and how many are going out.
  • Fooducate helps you out when shopping for food. Use the scanner to scan the barcode of a product and the app assigns a grade based on health.

Give these apps a try and let me know what you think in the comments below.

-XOXO-