ON PURPOSE...

Do you ever have those moments, or periods, where you question to your core what exactly it is you're here to do? I do. Over, and over, and over again. Probably...most likely, because I haven't quite found my niche yet. At 29, I am sooo close, finally.

I've grown up with this giant cloud of grandiose dreams in my head that have constantly grown, collided, morphed, and finally fused into a more refined, focused, mature, deeper goal. One that doesn't include that putrid desire for recognition, in any form.

I want to help people live simpler, more fulfilling lives. I want to help them slow down and enjoy what is right in front of them. It is amazing how many have forgotten how to. There are tons of ways to achieve that. My plan, start small and keep building. 

How'd I reach this point? Not easily. I had to forget about:

  • Labels. Most of us are defined by what we do not who we are. This can muddle our path to happiness by putting others ideals and expectations in front of our own. Why do we need to be defined? Aren't we always evolving? Shouldn't we constantly be open to new possibilities?
  • Worth. This kind of ties in with the whole labels things, with that comes a false sense of worth. One that can undervalue meaningful dreams we want to pursue. If you are working towards something you are passionate about, it's a worthy cause. Period.
  • Competition. Is someone else already doing what I want to do? That can be intimidating, they've already gotten a head start. So what...let that inspire and empower you to really push for your dream, to do it better, or maybe a little differently. On the other hand, competition is "healthy", but cooperation is rewarding. Team up and you will be twice as effective.

And clearly answer:

What do I want out of life? Exactly.

What do I have to share with the world? Don't be shy.

How do I want to help change it? Limitless answers to this one.

Can I make a difference? Absolutely.

 

 

FINISH THAT PROJECT

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I'll be the first to admit that I constantly have at least 5 projects I'm trying to complete each day (some over a year old, ugh embarrassing.) What's worse, I have around 20 more I want to take on tomorrow. Why this ludacricity? It's always exciting to dive into something new, but then when we hit a bump, it's easy to get frustrated, take a break, and move on to the next project. This, however, leaves us feeling disorganized, unsettled, and discouraged.

I've made it a personal goal this spring to finish all of the incomplete projects I have strewn around the house.  Each day I try to do at least one step to get me closer to that finished product. Even if it isn't perfect, it'll feel great to complete a task and shorten that to do list.

LAST COLD SPELL

I'm going to go ahead and jinx us by saying I think this might be the last cold spell this spring (can I will it to happen???) I'm just itching for some warm weather, sun on the face, lunch on the porch, flowers in the yard *dreamy sigh*... but we might as well make the most of it while it's here. Bring out those fluffy blankets, fuzzy socks, & hot cider one last time. You know you're gonna miss them once that southern heat n' humidity really set in.  

SIMPLIFY // BYE BYE

So, we cleared out our closets and made way for a simpler, more refined wardrobe (read: simpler, more refined life.) Now we must figure out where to disperse all of those rejects.

QUICK & PAINLESS //

Divide them into three categories.

1. GOOD AS NEW. Barely worn, good quality, is there still a tag on there?!

  • You can make a little $$$ by selling these on Ebay, get the app for your phone and you can list items in a snap. 
  • Ask friends and family if they've been secretly coveting them.
  • No time to spare? Move them into the Meh pile

2. MEH. Worn but still in ship shape. (hint: these are not the Dingies.)

  • Do a solid and drop them at the nearest Goodwill or Salvation Army.* You can make a list of everything you donate and get a little return when you do your taxes ;)

3. EWW.

  • If they're old and nasty, toss 'em. done.

 

*RHCP knows what I'm talkin' bout.

SIMPLIFY // WARDROBE

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Remember when I posted about buying less, choosing well? If you've already adopted that shopping style, awesome! Chances are you still have some "vintage" pieces in your closet that are cherished yet neglected. You try them on every couple months, grumble about how they don't fit right, toss them in the corner, and move on, only to repeat the whole process again. (hellloh!) This is a sign that you need to reevaluate your wardrobe and scale things down.

"Ugh, Syrah, that'll take forever!" Not really...and it'll feel soooo good once you're done. 

How to do it

FAVE COLORS. Take a look at what colors dominate your closet, most likely there's three or four with an overwhelming presence. Mine are black, white, gray, and tan. Hey, it might be boring, but it's definitely me. Then there are splashes of ballet pinks, muted blues, and olive greens to help jazz it up. Find your spectrum. Then go through the rest of the rejects and decide whether they are worth keeping and trying to pair with the core classics you truly love.

MULTIPLES. Do you own three black longsleeve maxi dresses?  Keep the one that really makes you shine and toss the other two, lest your closet look like Morticias. Apply to the rest.

DINGIES. Unless it is your favorite, snug sweatshirt that you adore lounging around in on the weekends, say goodbye. Part ways with all those mediocre sale finds that are covered in fuzz/snags/holes/bleach spots/whatever (you're an adult or Pete's sake.) 

SHOES. Apply all three processes above to your shoe rack (because yes, they do indeed complete the look) and BAM, your done!

Now you should be surrounded by a beautifully slimmed-down collection of core pieces that will be easier, quicker, and more fun to put together for outfits that will naturally be more "you."

Now, what to do with this pile of recently ousted stuff... find out tomorrow.

 

 

 

 

HYGGE SIG // TREAT YO-SELF

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Since this blog is all about living a hygge lifestyle, we should chat about how to hygge sig: to hygge yourself. Basically, it is making your life even more enjoyable by surrounding yourself with the things and experiences you love most. I've made a (hefty) list below of my faves. In the next few months I'm going to incorporate as much of these as I can of these into my day-to-day life. What's on your list?

freckles, fall leaves, hot cider, old chandeliers, calligraphy, snowflakes, luminaries, big paws, tuscan red wine, white candles, whiskers, down comforters, wooden tables, bubble baths, eucalyptus oil, watercolor, sheepskins, woodland sunsets, morning dew, rushing creeks, black-capped chickadees, peonies, sunbeams, ocean waves, fresh coconut water, dainty jewelry, wildflowers, flowy maxis, toes in the grass, french baskets, crickets + lightning bugs, campfires, stars between clouds...

INSTAFAVES 03.06.14

Around the home + coolest tattoo ever. @kinfolk  "great light at @nat_schwer's place" @lipstickwithsomesunshine "My review of @diptyque Eau Duelle is up on the blog today, I'm in love!!!#diptyque #bblogger #bbloggers #bblogging #eauduelle #fbloggers" @anadegenaar "good morning! meal planing here..." @jasminedowling "And the lucky winner of the @moxhamstore & @jasminedowling giveaway is the beautiful @rachellkhoo Make sure to email me so I can send it on its way  A huge thank you to all who entered and spread the love x x" @dr_woo_ssc "Compass vibe for Valerie"

Around the home + coolest tattoo ever.

@kinfolk  "great light at @nat_schwer's place"

@lipstickwithsomesunshine "My review of @diptyque Eau Duelle is up on the blog today, I'm in love!!!#diptyque #bblogger #bbloggers #bblogging #eauduelle #fbloggers"

@anadegenaar "good morning! meal planing here..."

@jasminedowling "And the lucky winner of the @moxhamstore & @jasminedowling giveaway is the beautiful @rachellkhoo Make sure to email me so I can send it on its way  A huge thank you to all who entered and spread the love x x"

@dr_woo_ssc "Compass vibe for Valerie"

GROW // SEEDLINGS IN EGGSHELLS

Depending on where you live, it might be time to start prepping for your summer garden. The last few days here have been b-e-a-utiful so I was ready to get outside and ponder about what to grow this year.

I'm trying a new method this spring... seeding in eggshells! I saw this on pinterest and loved the convenience, natural fertilizing (shells,) and it's pretty darn cute too. I seeded a variety of tomatoes, peppers, and some purple artichokes and giant leeks. More to come once I get another crate, omelet anyone?

DO IT //

Fill shells with a a loose potting soil or peat. 

Sow those seeds, I like 2 per shell.

Keep the soil damp by spritzing with water twice a day and covering with plastic wrap.

Place in the sun by a window or, if you got the gear, under a grow light.

Pluck the weakest sprout once they get started - always "weed" out the competition ;)

Break up the shell a bit on the bottom before planting to let those lovely roots through.

BONUS //

The 2 1/2 dozen egg crates work great if your planting more than a few seeds.

A heating pad under the crate will help them germinate quicker if you really want to get things going.

 

How does your garden grow?

COMMIT TO YOUR BUCKET LIST

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We're well into our new year now, which got me thinking, how am I doing so far? What's on that list that I need to get crossed off?

REALISTICALLY

Skill I'd like to master // Calligraphy & Surfing

Book I'd like to read // Civil Disobedience by Thoreau

Instrument I'd like to play // Piano (as in being able to play more than Colors of the Wind and My Heart Will Go On *blush*)

Adventure I'd like to take // Climb Kilimanjaro 

Bad habit I'd like to kick // OCD picking.

Language I'd like to learn // French & Italian (separately, not Fritalian... which is pretty much what comes out now.)

HEALTHY DREAMING

Power player I'd like to have lunch with // Richard Branson - dudes balanced and a genius.

Magazine I'd like to be on the cover of // Hm, scratch the magazine, my own book.

Award I'd like to win // Is there a "Bettering People's Lives" award?

Celeb I'd like to meet // Ferran Adrià, does he speak english?

 

What's on your list?

INSTAFAVES 01.23.14

Feeling all wintery this week with black and white. 

@buvettenyc "#buvette #buvettenyc #brunch #westvillage #newyork"

@paperfashion "If you need me, I'll be wandering through the most beautiful evening in Central Park..."

@hepaysmybills "Class one: holy hand cramp Batman"

@martibuckley* "this girl.  her."

@tnwhiskeyco "Employees of Nelson's Green Brier Distillery, circa 1888. Charles Nelson - front row, far right. William Nelson - front row, second from right.#nelsonsgreenbrierdistillery #tbt #throwbackthursday"

*that's me!

HAPPY SPENDING

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New year, new budgeting, new spending. I've always been the thrifty shopper who discovers great finds or even better deals: Target, Ross, Ebay, Walmart, Thrift store, Hobby Lobby, you name it. I've scored some rockin' heels, oh-so-freakin'-cozy cashmere pants, beautiful mirrors, date-night dresses that would cost a fortune off the rack. But in between all of these great finds, there have been the too-good-to-pass-up impulse purchases that were more about the deal than the love. These items slowly add up, collecting dust and ultimately clutter-up my home and life with things I don't need or adore. Plus, I'm left still wanting the coveted item from the beginning. 

So I am now trying to buy less but choose well, shop with a critical and forward-looking eye. So far I have been very, VERY pleased with my *rock solid* purchases. Sometimes it means having to swallow a slightly higher price tag, but in the end it's much better quality and will end up lasting forever. Plus, quality items also go on sale, it's a win-win. Shop frugal, not cheap.

This also means appreciating what you own more. See the beauty in your everyday, ordinary "stuff." Want less so you can appreciate more. Value living simpler, with the more authentic, more loved, more worn and the beautifully flawed.

BEST OF 2013

Album: The Heist – Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

Song: Bad Blood by Bastille

Concert: Widespread Panic, so fun.

Film: The Great Gatsby (Leo just rocks, always.)

Series: Game of Thrones

Purchase: Omega Juicer, OBSESSED (gift really, thank you Patrick!)

Restaurant: Lilette

Dish: Lobster Ravioli with Artichoke Purée and Shellfish Foam at Les Cocottes

Bar: L'Experimental Cocktail Club

Drink: "Mystery Fruit" Cocktail at Arnaud's French 75

Cookbook: The Fat Duck by Heston Blumenthal (the man is a genius.)

Team: AUBURN! war eagle!!!

Blog: Garance Dore 

App: Paper

Support: YOU.

UMAMI

Umami is a pretty new concept to us 'mericans. I'm keeping this list so I think to include it in more of my recipes. Do have an umami fave to add?

Tomato - the pulp contains on average 4x (but in some varieties up to 11x) the umami flavor of the flesh. Back when El Bulli was still open (*sigh*) Ferran Adrià served clusters of tomato seeds with their jelly intact, as the main element of a dish. Not just because they look cool, but their delicious too. Why not?

Parmesan

Mushrooms, especially shiitake

Potatoes - especially the Solanum Phureja variety from Columbia.

Anchovies

Sardines

Bonito Flakes

Dried Seaweed

Ketchup

Soy Sauce

Worcestershire

Shrimp Paste - common in Maylaysian cuisine

FLAVOR

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alcohol // spreads & evaporates immediately, carrying flavorful aromas into the nose

   alcohols, extracts

oil // intense, volatile flavor thats tasted first

   essences

juice, reduced juice // clean concentrated flavor (fresh or deep)

 broth, juice, jelly 

fat // rich and creamy lasting flavor

 cream, cheese, crémeux

“The number of flavours is infinite, for every soluable body has a particular flavour that is unlike any other.”
— Brillat-Savarin

 + image via Life on Sundays

HYGGE, WHAT'S THAT?

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Last year, I was casually flipping through one of my fave magazines, Dwell, when I came across an article on a beautifully simplistic,  washed-white home saturated in natural light (#dreamhome.) You know, the kind you find posted all over pinterest that leave you wondering, must I move to Copenhagen to snag one of these? The title of the article was Hygge (pronounced hoo-ga)  House, and it inspired something in me that I want to share with all of you.

Hygge is a danish word with a smörgåsbord* of meanings. Simply, it means cozy, warm, friendly, relaxed, & welcoming. An array of accoutrements can assist in making a hygge lig (hygge-like) atmosphere, including lit candles, an open fire, bulky knits, natural textures, good food and drink, old photos, etc.

There is no english equivalent, which instantly made me question our culture and fall in love with the word at the same time. It means embracing life, living in the moment, enjoying the simple things, appreciating beauty, savoring intimate conversations, building trust & emotional closeness, solidarity. 

It manifests itself differently for each person. For me, it's sitting around a table of great food and wine with close family and friends, sharing stories, experiences, and jokes from the time since we last got together.  It's also napping under the sun, sitting around a campfire in the fall, curling up in a down comforter as it pours outside...

I hope to share all of this through Hint of Hygge. Little thoughts, bites (coming soon**) and finds that can help us all enjoy a slower, more fulfilling lifestyle. 

What does hygge mean to you? What gives you those warm & fuzzies? 

*swedish word, I know, just couldn't resist

**Bites are still in development :D I'll document the process here and place them in the shop once the collection is complete!