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Lately Around Here: Winter + Art

Lately Around here

We’re in a deep freeze here lately in the northeast–It’s been cold, cold, cold here for weeks.  I’m a pretty up beat person, but this crazy weather can wear anyone down!    We did have a tease on Sunday though–40 degrees and it felt like a Spring day, but now we’re back to the frigid teens.  Boo hoo.

In the midst of winter, I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer. -Albert Camus

Well played, Albert.  This too, shall pass and the warmth of summer will be back.

Winter

With the cold winter comes some beautiful views too.  I mean, really?  Sometimes I feel like Snow White in my own enchanted forest when I look out the back window and see this:

Deer

This isn’t a great picture, but I feel like this duo-selfie captured the moment perfectly–me and my Valentine went out for a romantic dinner together on the 14th.  We had such a great time checking out the Biergarten for a pre-dinner drink and then heading to Moonstruck for an amazing feast.  Swoon.

My Valentine

On the art front, this is another girl coming to life.  I love watching the process progress through pictures, it gives me a different perspective on the whole thing.

Beginnings
Beginnings progress

And here’s a peek inside my tweaking process with the color of the prints.  Since I have my own fine art printer, I needed to figure out the process so I can create a print I’m proud of.  I also wanted to make sure I was consistent, too, because there are so many different ways to create a print.

Along my journey, I’ve realized I just have to figure out the combination that I like best.  Have the printer control the color?  Have Photoshop control color?  There are a lot of combinations that can change how the print looks and it took me awhile to figure out which to use.  And even though the whole color management process can make me ca-razy with all of the adjustments, I’ve learned a ton along the way and I’m happy for my pages + pages of mistakes.

Tweaking colors

Here’s the final result of my tweaking.  I gave this sweet girl away for my Valentine’s giveaway.  Congratulations Felicia!

Valentine's Giveaway

And, oh yeah–I’m also in the middle of planning my wedding.  Holy moley, it feels like it’s taking over my life right now!  And it is, but that’s ok.  I dodged a major invitation debacle this weekend (the time was printed wrong!)  so I feel like I got my one bad thing out of the way.  Smooth sailing from now on…

Invitation graveyard

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PS: Don’t ask for permission to take care of yourself

Lately Around Here: Winter + Art2018-03-29T20:23:12-04:00

Link Love + Orchids

Lately Around here

I’m chomping at the bit to feel the full warmth of Spring, but man!  It is taking forever for it to arrive!  This weekend was a tease with that beautiful sun, and then…. the cold temperatures tricked us all.   Total weather fail.

But that didn’t stop C and I from going for a romantic drink at a spot that overlooks the ocean.  How lucky are we?  I live at the shore and see this view a lot, but I try not to take it for granted…

Me + C

On another note,  orchids.  You GUYS!  I was so floored with the colors of the orchid C gave me for Easter last week that I’ve been totally obsessing about it.  The varying degrees of pinks and purple make my heart race; I can’t stop staring at it.  The colors send me into overdrive every morning when I look at it.

THEN.  He came home Sunday with 2 more orchids, sending me into another a tailspin.  The obsession continues!  How cool are they?!

Tigerlily orchid

There’s something very soft about the colors –they’re very specific, yet blended together…

Yellow Orchid

So pretty–right?  Here’s my whole family of orchids:

Orchid Family

Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom. -Marcel Proust

That quote is so, so true.  It’s quite magical how not only people, but nature makes me feel like I’m blooming.  You too?

Link Love

Some of my favorite links around the web this week:

Link Love + Orchids2018-03-29T20:23:17-04:00

Link Love + A Hike

Lately Around here

I feel like a different person lately since the weather has started to warm up. You too? There are signs of Spring everywhere and it makes me so incredibly happy to see those colorful blooms peeking through. I felt like winter would never end and alas, I think it finally has.

This weekend C and I went for an awesome hike in Hartshorne Woods. It was like we were in a different world–parts of the trail brought us deep into the brush and all we heard were birds chirping away. It was so relaxing and rejuvenating, even when the woodpecker went to town. It reminded me that I need to get out in nature more— connecting with the trees and the birds and the earth beneath my feet makes me feel so grounded. It just revives my heart and lulls me into a calm space. Here are some pictures from the day…

sign + us

Evidence that Spring has sprung!

Me + buds

How cute are those hearts?  I loved seeing that on the trail.

Hearts + trail

Want to join me on the hike?  Here’s about 20 seconds worth:

Link Love

Some of my favorite links around the web this week:

I just finished reading this book–it was truly one of the best books I’ve read in a while!  The Language of Flowers.

Need some motivation for your creativity?  The answer may be to simplify:  Here’s How The World’s Most Brilliant People Scheduled Their Days.

What would happen if you only said yes when you really want to?

I’m always fascinated with food hacks.  Who knew those lines on the solo cup meant something?!

Have you ever wanted to travel around the world on a yacht?  I have!  And now we can.

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Link Love + A Hike2018-03-29T20:23:18-04:00

How can I get healthy? 5 simple steps to get the ball rolling

Fruit BowlDoesn’t Winter seem to bring out the slothiness in everyone? I find it so hard not to overload on comfort foods and burrow in; I end up skipping my workouts and the maddening cycle takes hold. I have to remind myself that part of that feeling is just natural–after all, we’re meant to slow down and hibernate in the Winter.  It’s a part of nature,  but tell that to those extra 5 pounds.  These are some of my (not so proud) stellar shortcuts:

  • “If I just skip breakfast, I will be able to fit into those pants”
  • “I’m too tired for the gym after work”
  • “I’ll start eating better next week”
  • “Dessert isn’t going to kill me!”

Sound familiar? 

So when Spring rolls around, the sirens go off and I start thinking about wearing a bathing suit (yikes!)  I DO know that in order to get healthy, (a new version of healthy that I really relate to and connect with) I have to be willing to do things I may have not done before, both mentally and physically.  It makes me think of that old phrase: do the same thing, get the same results.

Here are my tried and true ways to get back on the bandwagon and kick that lazy butt into gear.  They may help you too:

  1. Drink Water.  Whenever I’m kicking it back into gear to get in shape, I  just start drinking lots and lots of water.  Copious amounts.  Not only does it help hydrate my body, but it makes me feel full.  Less snacking + more water = amazing skin + a detoxed bod.
  2. Set a goal.  If there’s no target, it’s hard to hit it.  I try to set something that’s realistic like going to the gym at least 3 times a week and cutting down on the sugar.  Keep it real–I’m not dreaming about running a marathon in a month when I haven’t been running at all.  The idea is to set yourself up for success.
  3. Think from the end. Getting in shape means doing a number on my mind as much as my body.  I know I take more action from my thoughts and feelings about getting healthy when I can imagine where I want to get to.  It’s like setting a compass and letting it guide me.  I know if I work backwards from my goal, it takes the anxiety and mystery out of the whole process.
  4. Ask for help.  There is no need to go it alone (or reinvent the wheel) so I ask a friend, colleague or family member to be a support during this change.  Joining an online community like sparkpeople can be a great help too.  When someone is holding me accountable  it’s a great motivation.  Even better, I try to recruit them to take the journey with me!  There’s nothing better than a partner in crime.
  5. Keep the main thing the main thing.   I take some time each day to think about why I want to become healthier.  I meditate, but you can do something as simple as journal or have a check in with your buddy about your goals.  Even if it’s something as simple as looking stellar for a class reunion, understanding the reason for all of the effort is a great motivator when I want to ease up on the pedal and start coasting.

These are just some ideas I wanted to pass along that usually help me get started back on the road to health.  Also, here’s a free Spring Detox Guide to help jumpstart the process.  How do you get motivated when you fall off the track?  What are your tricks?  Tell me about it in the comments below.

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How can I get healthy? 5 simple steps to get the ball rolling2018-03-29T20:23:29-04:00

What Is A Neti Pot And Why You Will Love It


Have you ever seen a neti pot?  It’s all the rage in a lot of health circles.  Even Oprah and Dr. Oz agree that it’s the bomb.  I know, it looks like some sort of torturous device, but I swear this thing is pretty awesome.

I first learned about it in nutrition school, I got a neti pot as part of one of the learning modalities.  I was intrigued and horrified all at once–put this thing where?  With water and what in it?  But I kept an open mind and I’m glad I did–not to sound too melodramatic, but it changed my life.

The Neti Pot is a device used for irrigating the nasal passages.  Basically it gives the insides of your nose a shower.  Why would you want to do that?  Well especially around allergy season, it can help prevent allergens from setting up camp in your nose and wreaking havoc.

The nose is like a filter for the air you’re breathing.  Sometimes you just have to clean the filter of all the dust and pollutants.  Do you get sinus headaches?  It can help with that too.

Every winter I used to get a sinus infection.  I’m not sure if it was the dry air coupled with germs from other people’s colds or what, but it happened without fail around January or February.  So whenever I feel a tingle in my nose (that burning sensation?  like you’re going to sneeze but it never happens?) I do the neti dance.

Here’s what I do:

1) Put a little salt in the pot (from the packages it comes with)

2) Fill the pot with room temperature filtered water and give it a good swish around. (I avoid the tap because of the extra minerals that cause burning in my nostrils.)

3) I place the tip of the pot in one nostril and look down.  When my head is down, I turn my head in the direction of the nostril I am using.  I let the water trickle up my nose and come out the other nostril. (you have to breathe out of your mouth during this process)

4) Blow your nose to get rid of extra boogies and repeat with the other side.

Voila! You just gave the inside of your nose a shower!

Sometimes it feels like it’s burning and that can mean either too much salt in the pot or the angle the pot is at is irritating more than helping (sometimes the real inner part of your nose can be ultra sensitive).  I had to play around with different angles before I understood how my nose was shaped inside. Most of the time it just flows in and out and gives a nice little cleanse.

Using a neti pot is especially helpful during the Spring when the allergens kick in and I’m sneezing a lot.  1 daily rinse (takes a total of a minute) can prevent gooey eyes and a runny nose.  I usually do 1 pot total, 1/2 for each side–It’s a no-brainer!

Have you ever used a neti pot?  What has been your experience? Tell me about it in the comments below.

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What Is A Neti Pot And Why You Will Love It2018-03-29T20:23:29-04:00

How To Make Happiness A Habit

 

Happiness is no different than any other habit--you must practice to get better at it! Learn some tips on how to incorporate more happiness in your life. Make happiness a habit!

Spring is a time of renewal and I feel like it’s time to renew my fun quotient.  This past weekend at Easter brunch my nieces were hysterically laughing most of the day.  They were having so much fun. Not at anything in particular, they changed activities quite often, but they were just plain enjoying themselves.

I think they’re geniuses.  They can have fun no matter where they are or who they are with–they take life as it comes and roll with it. I wondered to myself, why do we forget the fun and become that serious adult?  I think I do a pretty good job of having fun in my life, but it’s easy to get bogged down with adult responsibilities.

Here are some things I noticed about those lovely, laughing girls that can help anyone bring the happiness habit back to their life:

1) Be insatiably curious.  My nieces are always asking questions–why? who? how? what? when can we do that?  They want every little last detail because their beautiful brains are still blossoming.  Details expand us with ideas and opportunities.  Details encourage us to dig in and to look deeper.  Details are the fabric of everything that’s happening.  Look at the details more.

2) Find the joy in everything.  Have to go to the dentist? You get a free toothbrush! Got the stomach flu? You’ll lose a pound or two! If you look hard enough, you can find the good in everything; all you need is a change in perspective.  It’s like a cool habit you can practice at first, then soon it becomes second nature.

3) Don’t be afraid to look silly when trying new things.  When you’re trying something new, there’s always a little fear in it.  Fear can be a good motivator, just don’t let it hold you back. I know it’s not fun to fall on your face and have others laugh at you.  But guess what?  You’re much closer to succeeding at what you are trying than the people that aren’t.  Trying things out that may make you happy can catapult you to a new level of thinking.

4) Be in the moment.  Something else I noticed about those silly girls is that they rolled with everything throughout the day.  When there was music on, they started singing and dancing.  When I was making pancakes on the griddle, they asked if they could take a turn with the batter (which they turned into a funny design). They bounced from room to room checking out the scene, just living blissfully in the moment.

I was so grateful to be around them this weekend–they got me out of my winter funk and reminded me that there’s so much to be happy about.

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How To Make Happiness A Habit2018-03-29T20:23:29-04:00
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