February is flying by! Not only because it’s a short month – between house projects, travel for work and everything else going on…I literally can’t keep up. I’ve been sick basically the last 2-3 weeks. I rarely get sick, and I managed to get the flu followed by another virus a couple of weeks later. It’s kind of brutal, and it put into perspective how important my health is. I need to find time to unwind and focus on getting better. Health should always come first.
In other news, my travel bug is kicking in. I found myself reminiscing about my trip to Peru a couple of years ago, and how disconnecting from the world for 7 days hiking the Inca trail was the best thing I ever experienced. When it’s just you and nature, you have nothing to do but to listen to your own thoughts and connect with yourself. The picture above is one of many from that amazing trip.
Since I don’t have the luxury of flying off to Peru anytime soon (though I do have a short trip to San Diego coming up this week!), I look to the internet for inspiration, motivation, ways to be better manage stress & be more mindful. Here’s what I’ve been reading lately:
I’m always on the lookout for apps that make my life easier – who isn’t?! I’m not one to download every new hot app, but I will if it provides value (I’m still used to having zero space on my phone – thankfully, I retired my 16GB iPhone 6 for the 7 plus a few months ago…hallelujah.) It’s been a while since I did a roundup of my my favorite apps, so I felt like it was time! Below are the apps I’m loving currently.
One thing I’ve discovered now that we’re decorating the house is that everything takes time & effort. EVERYTHING. From door knobs to bedding to furniture to lighting..the list goes on. We’re taking things slowly – believe me, we have to fight the urge to just buy whatever and get it all over with. However, in the long-term, I think we’ll appreciate that we took the time to decorate & purchased pieces we really love.
Since I’ve been researching various home decor items (across all categories), I thought I’d be cool to share my findings in a new “Home Spotlight” series. I’ll cover off on a new category we’re shopping for/researching each month, and hopefully it will save you some time when it’s your turn! This month’s spotlight is modern table lamps. Shop the ones we have in our bedrooms & office below, in addition to others I had my eye on!
As stated in my Instagram bio – I have a sugar addiction. It’s a real thing…and I’m not denying it. I’ve managed to get it under control by only indulging once in a while, but if it were up to me I’d treat myself to a dessert after lunch & dinner (and maybe in between). I look forward to dessert more than dinner. My trip to a restaurant usually goes something like “I’ll have a salad with grilled chicken, thanks…hmmm and tell me more about your carrot cake”. #thestruggleisreal.
I’ve tried not eating sweets after meals, but I end up caving and binge eating eventually. It’s just not effective. It wasn’t until I discovered “dessert tea” that I found the solution to my sugar problems.
We’ve all been there – a few weeks into January and our motivation to exercise is slowly fizzling out. For those of us in colder climates, it’s even harder to stay on track. Cuddling up on the couch on a cold day is so much easier to do than hauling over to the gym to get your workout in. I’ve been working out regularly for the last 5 years or so, and I still find it hard to stick to my fitness routine! Over the years, I’ve realized that there are a few things that keep me motivated. Hopefully, they work for you too.
I’m all about unconventional Valentine’s Day dates…but I’m obvi always up for a nice dinner. I love food, what can I say (& spending time with Leo…sometimes). Though Leo and I have frequent dinner dates, I still look forward to our Valentine’s Day plans. There is something special about the time and thoughtfulness put into a night celebrating your relationship.
Another thing special about Valentine’s Day? How fast the restaurants book up. You don’t want to be scrambling last minute trying to find your spot – trust me, I’ve been there, and it’s less than ideal. For all my Chicagoans, I’ve pulled together a list of my favorite cozy & romantic restaurants in the city, all of which would be perfect Valentine’s Day dinner destinations.
We’ll be spending Valentine’s Day early this year due to work travel, but I’ll let you guys know where we end up! PS – here are gift ideas for him too.
I know, I know, it’s not Monday…but since most of us had the day off yesterday, it kind of counts as a Monday, right? Regardless, I could use some mindfulness tips any day of the week. I spent the weekend taking care of things around the house (including taking down the Xmas tree – which was long overdue). Despite having to take care of the usual chores & errands, we squeezed in some much needed time with friends this weekend. It was such a relief to not talk about all the stressors in our lives and just unwind (Scofflaw on Saturday night was exactly the ambiance we needed).
I started the new year off with a handful of challenging resolutions, all of which I’m slowly trying to work through. I will admit, I need all the motivation I can get. Please tell me I’m not the only one on the struggle bus! Below are a few posts around the web that have kept me motivated & inspired me on the rough, bitterly cold, days (is the feature photo making more sense now? Warm weather, please come back).
I have a love/hate relationship with Ikea. I absolutely love some of their stuff (we actually got our master bathroom vanity from there), but usually the lack of detail/craftsmanship gives away the fact that it’s an Ikea piece. Not that there is anything wrong with that – however, there is something to be said about having a unique piece that is either a one of a kind vintage find or customized. Customizing Ikea pieces can be done, but it usually involves a lot of time that most of us (myself included) are not willing to put in.
This leads me to a little secret I’m about to share with you all…you don’t have to put that much time into making Ikea stuff your own. There are sites out there that exist solely to help you customize Ikea furniture. Yes, this is for real. SPECIFICALLY for Ikea. I’ve rounded up my favorite three “Ikea Hack” sites below (along with an abundance of inspiring photos, of course).
When you’ve been on the hunt for home products for months, a new collaboration like this will literally make your day (I’m pretty sure it made my week). Dwell magazine just officially launched a modern line at Target, and it’s everything you could imagine & more. I’m loving every single piece from this collection. Beautiful, modern furniture at Target price points. Am I dreaming? AND…wait for it…they’re refreshing the line in the Spring & Summer.
I’m finally back after a long hiatus! December was a hectic month with the holidays, home construction, family visiting and a last minute New Years trip to LA. I’ve never been happier to be home…I’m starting to feel settled for the first time since August.
I hope you all had a great start to the New Year. We spent last week in LA, exploring the town, eating delicious food and enjoying the sunshine with friends (if you follow me in Instagram, you know all about my adventures!). I can’t wait to share the highlights with you – LA guide coming up! I’m still soaking in the fact that it’s 2017 – this year flew by. This photo was taken almost a year ago…craziness.
As with every new year, I try to reflect on how I can be a better person…whether that means taking better care of myself physically & mentally, being a better friend, daughter, sister, girlfriend. I’m not always one for resolutions, but I do think self-reflection is important and the beginning of the year feels like the appropriate time to do it (& obviously other times throughout the year as well!)
After doing some reflecting, I put together a short (but challenging) list of goals for 2017.