Friday, October 31, 2014

Five on Friday!

Happy Birthday to one of my favorite people, and college roomie, Caroline!  In honor of her birthday here's an awesome #FlashbackFriday photo from our college days.  Clearly we dressed as the Seven Deadly Sins.  I believe I was supposed to be wrath.

Wednesday night we went to a Haunted Halloween tour at Highland Brewery.  It has probably been 10 years since I've been to a haunted house or anything like that.  I recommend it!

I am pretty proud of myself for voting early this year!  Go vote y'all!  

Look at this dog.  
No words.


Happy Halloween!  Linking up with these fine people:


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

What Yoga Has Taught Me

I don't believe I have written much about yoga here before. I am not currently teaching, which I have found has left me with more time and mental space for my own practice. Since my introduction to yoga, circa 2010, I have been fairly sporadic in my practice. I'll admit, consistency is something I have always struggled with and I have recently been working hard on improving that. 
Wish me luck!

If you are a yogi you know that absurd struggle a lot of us have with our practice. It's like pushing a child to eat vegetables:  it may not be as tasty as ice cream but dang you'll feel good afterwards. Actually, that metaphor is quite realistic in my life. I am often deciding between ice cream or yoga. 

Yoga has a long, beautiful history which you should look up on Wikipedia. 
What I will tell you is that before yoga came into my life I had anxiety, zero upper body strength and minimal self-awareness.  I have always been flexible, but if you aren't I would encourage to try yoga! Not being flexible is almost a benefit because once you are in a pose, you will FEEL it. 

Alas, I digress. The point here is to illustrate some things I have learned.  I hope this doesn't come off as preachy, that is really not my intention.  I struggle with staying positive and calm all the time, hence the necessity of yoga! So, something things I have learned:

Choosing to dislike something is useless.  
There are plenty of yoga poses I greatly dislike.  Each time one comes up in class, it pisses me off.  This is useless and I'm working on it.  This goes for plenty of other scenarios, too.  Having those solid barriers against fairly harmless things is silly.

Breath is a powerful tool.  
I still suffer from anxiety, but I now have the tools to help myself.  It has taken me years to figure this out.  Yoga has been proven to help with all kinds of things like depression, for example.

Most things are best when in balance. 
In a yoga pose, one is always extending and contracting at the same time. In a squat today, I was simultaneously tucking my tailbone and lengthening my inner thigh. Fun, huh?
Finding this sweet spot is what life is about! 

Self-knowledge is invaluable.  
Before I practiced yoga there were a lot of things about myself I would ignore. Yoga forces you to deal with your crap. This is why there is that internal struggle associated with yoga. Stress leads me to want to eat or drink something delicious and just veg out.  I often take this route and enjoy it immensely.  But when I choose yoga, the benefits of that last much longer. 
This knowledge also applies to the body.  Having the ability to name where that ache is coming from and how you can relieve that pain or strengthen that spot is pretty cool.

Hopefully, as my yoga journey continues I will have more to add to this list!

Namaste, Ya'll!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Weekend Recap

I can finally say that we had a very low-key and relaxing weekend!  This has truly been a long time coming, and I could not have been happier.  After a travel-filled few months, it was so nice to just hang out and sleep in. 

Saturday I slept until 11....30. What?!
It was amazing.  Let me tell ya.
We decided to stroll down to the new doughnut place by our house and grab some coffee and a treat.  I love that they are opening lots of new businesses near our house!  Sadly, they had sold out at 11am.  That's what I get for sleeping in.  That led us to wander around the neighborhood looking at houses.  Once you own a house, it seems like all you do is window shop.  We are always ooohing and ahhhing over other homes' gardens, fences, creative decorations, wind chimes, feral name it.  
This little stroll led us to King Daddy's!  At first I was so skeptical of this place but it has become one of our favorite spots.  Their patio is super cute, the staff is so friendly and they always love all over Mozey, which wins them big points.  I had a divine pumpkin waffle with toasted pumpkin seeds, peanut butter and strawberries on top!

Our wanderings included a photoshoot with this cool old truck.  I have a penchant for rusty, old things.  I think it's the Central PA in me.

Saturday night was a lazy one and I freakin' loved it!  I have not had a Saturday at home in forever.  I drank wine and watched Gilmore Girls and it was glorious.  Read = cat lady.

Sunday we went on another long morning walk with the dog.  If it wasn't for my dog, I would be quite a bit lazier.  Thanks for that, Mozey.  The afternoon was spent ridding the garden of all the overgrown summer veggies.  I sure will miss those tomatoes.  Later, I went on a nice little hike with my girl Sarah and her two pups.  We looked ridiculous hiking up that trail with three small dogs.  It was an insanely gorgeous day here yesterday, with a high of 75!  We met back up with Heather on the West side, ate some delicious food and then relaxed at home for the rest of the night.

It was an awesomely boring weekend and I loved it!  We haven't had an entire weekend with nothing on the agenda in a really long time.  My bum bonded with my couch and my head spent a lot of time on my mountain of pillows, and for that I am truly grateful.

How was your weekend?

Linking up with these two :)

Friday, October 24, 2014

High Five for Friday!

Happy Friday to you all!  I hope, wherever you are, that you are blessed with some gorgeous fall weather.  

Here's a look at my 5 favorite things from the week:

1. Each time the weather changes I am faced with a new footwear dilemma.  As I have mentioned, I have old-lady feet.  Each time I think I can get away with wearing cute, totally flat shoes I spend the next three days limping around and cursing myself.  I recently purchased these puppies and I hope they help me be semi-cute and comfy at the same time.  Wish me luck!

2. Hikes in the Fall are the best!! The colors of the leaves against the blue sky are so stunning.  This is a snap from Mt. Pisgah a few days ago.

3. I can't stop making recipes out of this cookbook.  Angela writes that she won't publish a recipe that is not meat-lover approved.  I think that is a pretty good measure of how hearty and delicious her meals are!  I am not vegan myself, but I like eating and cooking that way fairly often.  Her blog is chock full of gorgeous photos, too, check her out!

4. Speaking of cooking, I followed this recipe to make "healthy" pumpkin muffins and they were perfect!  I omitted the oatmeal and added chocolate chips instead. 

5. Hurray for the Riff Raff played at my favorite Asheville music spot last night, The Grey Eagle.  She is so good.
We first saw her at Bristol Rhythm and Roots last year and fell in love.
She has a great story, which adds to her allure.  Give her a listen.

Hope you had a lovely week!

Linking up with Christina and Lauren for High Five for Friday!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Fall Favorites

Fall has officially arrived in the mountains.
Here are a few little items spicing up my life these days:
(Warning: Makeup talk below!)

Fall Favorites

1. I normally go the Apple Cinnamon route for fall candles, but this Marshmallow one is YUMMY.    It's warm and home-y and not overwhelming like some of the Bath and Body Works ones that everyone, myself included, seems to adore. 

2. Sunscreen keeps my face pale year-round so during the summer a bit of foundation is necessary.  Now that my summer tan has faded, foundation has gone out the window.  This is the best dupe I have found for my beloved Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer.  I love that NARS shiz but I don't love the price.  This one has great coverage and blends well.

3.  It's hydration season. This smells so good and dries quickly, meaning you can get dressed ASAP and not stand around freezing your buns off!

4. This Milani blush is the right price and a nice peach color. I love a nice glowy (not sparkly) blush to bring more life to my face in the colder months.

5. This is a weird one, I know.  Hear me out.
I have never been a person who cares about laundry.  I don't buy dryer sheets or iron my clothes.  This was a total accident and actually took me by surprise.  As in, I literally smelled myself one day and thought "Wow, that's nice" after which it took me a minute to figure out it was this lovely soap!
6. CeraVe is the best. This is the only eye cream I have found that doesn't irritate my super sensitive eyeballs.
7. Hendricks + a splash of St. Germain + soda water + lemon = Refreshing and delicious.  Try it.

Happy Fall!  What are your favorites this season?

Friday, October 17, 2014

Finally home on Friday!

I am really feeling the TGIF vibes today.  Here's what has been on my mind lately:

1. Baby time is the best time!  That little thing is so dang cute, I don't think I am emotionally equipped to handle it.  And she wore a seasonally appropriate pilgrim outfit for her baptism.  She obviously shares her auntie's love of dress-up.

2.  I am so grateful for my friendship with my sister.  Our relationship was not so wonderful for most of our lives and I was always so jealous of my friends who actually had fun with their siblings.  
It took us 20+ years to get there, but Amanda has become my best friend.  She is probably the person in my life who is most honest with me and I can be just as honest with her.  And we share some amazing parents.  Life is beautiful, no?

3. There have been a lot of dogs in my life recently!  We had Pip, and her mom of course, stay with us all week and it was hilarious watching them interact.  I wish Mozey always had a dawg to play with all day.  Pip is so tiny she makes Mozey look like a big dog. 

4. Gilmore Girls. Is on Netflix.  Hello, nostalgia.  
I used to watch this every week in middle/high school with my Dad.  Obviously, that is the only recommendation you need to bond with your couch this weekend.

5.  The last few books I have read have been super sad, the last of which is my current read: Into the Wild.  I highly recommend it.  But, I am ready for something a bit more lighthearted.  Any recommendations??

Linking up over at The Lauren Elizabeth, check her out.

Hope you had a fantastic week and have a lovely weekend!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

It's officially everyone's favorite season


Fall is my absolute favorite season of the year.  I am aware that everyone, everywhere is posting about Pumpkin Spice Lattes and knit scarves.  Let it be known, I love pumpkin and accessorizing.   But, my favorite things about this season are a bit more subtle.  I don't know about where you live, but here in the mountains Fall means foggy mornings.  When I wake up each morning and see all that smokey fog filtering in between the red and yellow leaves I cannot wait to get outside.  Mozey is pretty resistant to these misty adventures but I love taking her out early in the morning.  I feel like I am getting to experience every nook and crannie of my 'hood in a new (lack of) light and it makes me feel so satisfied somehow

The other wonderful thing about the beginning of cool weather is that it slows everything down.  Just like in Spike Lee's Do The Right Thing (go rent it if you haven't seen it), when things heat up, the energy rages.  Summer seems to be all about external experiences:  Lots of beer drinking outside with friends, beach vacations and floating down the river.  I feel like I spend much of summer running around trying to fit in every warm-weather activity that I can.  Whenever the weather is perfect and warm I feel some pressure to make sure that I make the most of that time. 

But when the leaves start to turn my priorities turn more inward.  Fall means that my favorite food-tastic holiday is on it's way and that that uber-festive green and red one is on our heels, too.  All of this coziness makes me think more about home and family.  I find myself doing insane things like perusing cookbooks and recipe planning.  I am also daydreaming about buying adorable holiday outfits for my niece.  Essentially, Fall is when I prepare for my life as an elderly woman.  An elderly lady who piles on the makeup and jewelry like my idol: Iris Apfel.  

Speaking of which, I may be Iris for Halloween!  We shall see!

Happy Fall to you all!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Friday Update

Here's what's been going on in my neck of the woods:

1.  I said I wasn't doing it again until Thanksgiving but I caved.  I'm off to Philadelphia today for just the weekend.  My initial reaction when I learned that my little niece was being baptized was... exhaustion.  I had just returned from my last trip of September (the month of travel) and did not relish the idea of hopping on another plane.  Then I slapped myself in the face and said to myself:
WTF?  I get to see Louisa.  This is a no-brainer.  DUH.  And off I go.

2.  My hair my or may not be blue.  We were going for silver and the result was a silvery blue that will fade in a month or two.  But...I actually love it and kinda don't want it to fade.  At first I was terrified that I would look like an Urban Outfitters wannabe.  Not cool.  It is definitely not "professional" but luckily I have a pretty cool boss and an awesome work environment.  Blue hair could even be an asset?  It's possible.
I took this nifty selfie at my desk the other day, while sitting on a yoga ball.  Don't be jealous.

3.  On that note:  I love my job.  
It's fun and I feel like I'm learning a lot and even accomplishing things sometimes.  It's endlessly valuable to not hate going to work every day.  We spend way too much time there to not spend it well.

4. Makeup talk begins now:

I am learning to love this palette again.  
It took me quite a while to commit to spending the dough on this baby and we had a short initial love affair.  My sis is in love with the original Naked palette, but I was swayed by the snazzy metal packaging (uh...duh!).  Sadly, after week number two, I grew tired of the glittery shadows that dropped all over the rest of my face and the palette entered my bottom drawer and has stayed there for a year.  
Enter: Cream shadow.  I have learned to start with a cream shadow and leave the rest of my face makeup for afterwards.  A quick dust with a powder brush under my eyes removes all drop down and the problem is solved.  There are some pretty pink/copper/gold shades in this guy that are really nice for this season.  (Ten points if you made it through this long-winded makeup tirade.)

5.  On the home front we have made some tiny changes that make a big difference in how it feels.  I recently rearranged some furniture and got some new pillows for the bed.  Boom, different house.

A tiny peek into what's been happening this week.  Your turn!

Linking up with Lauren today!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Post Card Inn, St. Pete Beach

I saved an entire post just to talk about the Post Card Inn on St. Pete Beach, and this place deserves it.

Holy crap, this has got to be the coolest hotel I have ever stayed in.  After we left the beach house we weren't sure where we were going to stay that night.  We had some couch-crashing options but when Heather mentioned this place, I took one look and immediately booked it.  This place seemed like an experience more than just a nice place to sleep.

It was a great decision.  First of all, they let us check in 5 hours early, which was ideal since we left the island at 10am with no agenda.  When we arrived we started chugging cucumber + mint water from the lobby, because we are classy and...I LOVE water. it.  I'm odd.  
This lobby is the most amazing conglomeration of design I've seen. Commence, crappy cell phone photo bomb:

I want to know who designed this place because they have taste.  I am not a fancy person so I appreciate a cozy environment like this .  Our actual room was no different.  The hotel is a remolded, older hotel, so the rooms were small but super quaint.  It's like an adorable pedestal sink versus a massive vanity.  Sure, the space is nice but the adorable-ness makes up for any type of claustrophobia you may feel.  
At least it did for me.

After checking in we wandered down to the beach shack for lunch.  The grounds are so amazing.  Trees, string lights, lounge chairs..and then the beach!

Obviously, lunch was BYO hummus.  I was about to eat my own arm at this point and the Mahi sandwich was perfect.  After lunch we read and floated at the pool.  

I had successfully avoided a sunburn after SEVEN days at the beach.  Two full bottles of sunscreen realized their demise during that week and I really did feel like it was an accomplishment to survive that long in the Florida sun without a burn.  
Then...cut to me, at the end of vacation, with no tan and no sunscreen left.  While at the pool, I thought to myself: It's okay I'll just flip every 20 minutes.  That is like saying I'll text at stop signs.  Sorry honey, that is still considered texting while driving.
Obviously, I got burned.  Our lounge chairs were in the shade but in true lazy fashion, we spent a lot of time on blow up rafts in the pool...and I paid the price.  So, once 3pm hit it was time to leave the pool, shower and get ready to hang with the locals at the beach shack.  
I am very excited to say that this day-drinking experience introduced me to the beauty that is the Dark and Stormy.  Oh my lord.  Rum is not something I drink.  I am a whisky and gin kinda gal.  But ginger beer + rum is amazing..and lots of lime of course.

We met into lots of lovely people and had fun chatting with new friends.  We even witnessed a wedding right in front of where we were sitting.  And then we watched the coolest sunset and I jumped around like a child.

At thus ends our Florida vacation. The end!!