Five Favorites

Just because it’s a dreary January day and we could all use some fun stuff. These are five simple, happy things I’m loving right now.

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A co-worker recently introduced me to Flow Magazine, which led me to this book by its editors. The idea is that it’s a book to be savored. Think of it like this: All the crazy media we get shoved down our throats all day is like the dry burger you grab at the drive-through at 2 pm on a Tuesday. This book is like the chef-prepared meal you linger over in a vineyard garden on a warm Saturday afternoon. It celebrates creativity, it’s full of inspiration, and it’s just really pretty.
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Between the bitter cold outside and the blasting heat inside, my skin is looking a little alligator-y. Which is why I love these masks. They’re super hydrating and feel amazing on my face, but they also smell like a bouquet. They’re also fun to put on and scare your dogs. Oddly, Anthropologie doesn’t include that in their promotional material for them.
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By the time the holidays were over my house had started to permanently smell like apple cider at a Christmas tree farm. My holiday candle fetish may have gotten out of hand. But now I want my house to smell clean and fresh, but also cozy and warm. Enter this candle, which smells like a spring garden at dusk. I’m obsessed.
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I first saw Parker’s paintings at an art event in Charlotte last summer and fell hard fast. The NC artist bases each painting series around a piece of scripture, and I just think they’re so beautiful. I’d been stalking her for months on Instagram and finally purchased my first piece (above). It’s from her Heaven Meeting Earth series based on the glory of heaven dwelling among us. I love it.
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Winter Grain Bowls
I know this is really annoying-millennial of me, but I love some grain bowls. And right now, my favorite things to put in them are farro, roasted butternut squash, balsamic Brussels sprouts, beets, feta, crumbled walnuts, and greek yogurt. I make it all on a Sunday afternoon, and then spoon it in together for meals throughout the week. Easy peasy.

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I think Bob Goff is pretty great. Love Does is one of my favorite books. And I loved this talk he recently gave in Atlanta.

Most recently, I came across his Instagram. In general, Instagram is a place where I spend too much time feeling envious of things like perfect families and Louis Vuitton bags. Goff’s quotes and photos are a breath of fresh, inspiring air. Do yourself a favor and follow him.

Bedroom Before & After

Excuse me while I turn this into an interior design blog for a few days. I’ve been making some switches in the old casa lately and I’m pretty pleased with my handiwork if I do say so myself. So, I thought I’d share because in my next life I want to be an interior designer, but for now I just obsessively buy decor magazines.

First up, my bedroom. This is a “before” photo of my room. It’s actually from like six years ago when Cottage Style magazine featured it in an issue. (I pulled it off Pinterest. Hence the P in the corner.)

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I loved my bedroom, but I wanted some changes. The bed was too small for both me and two dogs. And the same two dogs destroyed the room’s white carpet. (Are you seeing a trend in who rules my life?)

I also wanted to update the colors. I opted for more muted tones, trying to create the most soothing environment I could in a room full of canine snoring. This is the result:

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So, some info. I brought the curtains all the way up to the ceiling, which makes the room feel taller. I painted the walls Sherwin William’s Sea Salt, which is less jarring in this space than bright white. I put in hardwood floors… because dogs. I switched out the knobs on the bedside tables to a hammered gold knob from Zara Home (Zara Home is my favorite store ever—the curtains and grey and white pillow are also from there).

That’s basically it. Personally, I love it. The room feels open and fresh. And I stretched out my legs and didn’t kick one dog last night. Success.

 

 

Hibernating

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For Christmas, I gave myself a king-sized bed. (Or, I guess I just bought a bed in December, but it feels much more self-care-y to say I gave it to myself.) Anyway, why, you may ask, would one person need a king-sized bed:

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Now, after much moving around, assembling, and purchasing of soft blankets the bed is being installed this weekend. Just in time for hibernation season. It’s supposed to be 14 degrees in Charlotte tomorrow morning and I have about 8 billion writing projects to finish up. So, I plan to spend the weekend with my laptop under blankets—with the occasional venture out for very important things like hot chocolate.

Happy Friday!

2018

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We all know, of course, that January 1 is a somewhat subjective marker in life timelines. But this year, I needed a marker.

The end of December felt like the last few miles driving on a nondescript interstate before you reach your exit. I was ready for a fresh stretch of road. And sure, Monday morning didn’t look any different than Sunday night. But it felt different. 2018 is still new and full of possibility. There are no uncomfortable conversations yet in 2018. No late nights—or early mornings—worrying. No tears yet.

On New Year’s Eve we went around the table, sharing our resolutions. Undoubtably fueled by my cold glass of champagne, I announced that I’m going to read 52 books, run a marathon, and write another book.

I love this part of the new year—really believing all of this is possible.

I’ve been reading a lot of a self-help-ish kind of books and articles lately, and one thing has stuck out as being mentioned in almost all of them: Our thoughts are often self-fulfilling prophecies. In other words, if I believe that 2018 is a year of opportunity, a year for growth and learning, a year that will bring happiness and joy, a year for which I should be grateful and excited, a year in which I’ll read 52 books, run a marathon, and write another book, then there’s a good chance that’s exactly what 2018 will be.

So, that’s what I believe. I believe this will be my favorite year yet.

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So far my holiday gifts include gift certificates to a wine store, a cheese store, and Chick-Fil-A. Seems like a very merry Christmas indeed. It’s cool if I strictly wear elastic waistband pants for all of 2018, right?