Friday, January 23, 2015

Gettin' to the Core

I mentioned before that not once in my life have I made a resolution.  While I am closer to 30 than not, most of my life has been spent as a blissfully unaware young person.  I was a tall, nerdy, content tomboy and later a fairly well-adjusted teen.  Luckily enough for me, I had a very juvenile childhood:  I wasn't faced with adult stressors.  I know this is an infinite luxury, and it's one I do not take for granted.   My la-la childhood morphed into an equally nonchalant young adulthood.   When it came time for me to go to college, I never stressed about the transition.  I made friends the first day: women who are my nearest and dearest still.  Finally, post college, I snapped out of my wonder world and realized that life isn't always hunky dory (you're welcome).  I was working my first real-world corporate job and was I stressed.  That anxious, overwhelmed feeling still occasionally rears its ugly head.

In 2014, stress ruled.  My emotions were all over the place, worrying about our housing, legal and financial situation.  We got a quick and dirty lesson in homeownership, building code, traffic engineering and most importantly; how to communicate with people who want to take advantage of you and your good will.  Whew.  SO, after last year's stress it felt really nice to sit down at the beginning of this year to reflect and make some plans to direct my life in the direction I choose.

Which brings me to my sole resolution for this year: Get to the Core.  This word is pretty simple but has a complex meaning for me.  I knew a list of goals would go out the window fairly quick so I settled on an idea.  Yes, I literally would like to work on my core strength (to improve full-body alignment and help all those little aches and pains of aging :) ).  In more figurative terms, I plan to take more time for the creative pursuits that got pushed aside and continue the eternal yoga/meditation journey.  I start a meditation workshop this Saturday with Heather and a dear friend, so I will keep y'all posted on that.

So far keeping this idea in mind has been really helpful for general decision-making.  It's almost like drawing an outline and following along, while obviously taking the necessary liberties and side-steps.  Historically, I have never taken well to structure or rules so this broad idea is about as tight as I am willing to go.  Baby steps.  But so far so good!

Three weeks late (right on schedule) this is my single resolution for 2015.  I am excited to see what this year brings!

{This is me, shaking off 2014, T-Swift style.}

Monday, January 19, 2015


It was a beautiful weekend in Asheville!
The mountains have had a good number of 50 degree days this season but it has been quite gray lately.  When the higher temps are coupled with clear and sunny skies, that makes for some lovely (if appropriately rare) wintertime fun.

Friday night we explored a new brewery!  Not that we need another one in town, but I can say I really like Burial Beer.  I appreciate a spot with a casual, relaxed vibe and the bartenders were friendly and quick:  two elusive and wonderful bartender-y qualities!  Rumor has it they are doing a donut pairing with Vortex, and I am ashamed to say I left without trying it.  I guess I have to go back now.

Saturday, Heather and I finally celebrated Christmas!  I hate the feeling of rushing through Christmas; hastily eating breakfast and opening presents.  So we leisurely drank our green juice and cooked delicious pancakes with apple and raisin compote.  Post breakfast we each opened some presents and took our time enjoying it.  After waiting so long to exchange gifts, it was nice to savor the experience.  Post festivities, we went to the best spot in Asheville for homey (not homely) goods:  The Screen Door.  We came home with a few gems, including an old school locker that is currently holding jackets and sunglasses.  I'm not ready to show off any photos yet as we have lots of furniture and art rearranging in our future.  Our rare winter activity was a sunny bike ride!  Then we were off to Christmas dinner at the Marketplace where I had the most delicious cocktail ever.  I'll be back with a recipe once I nail it down, but I'll just say now that it involved tequila and an IPA.  It was a delicious Christmas tradition I hope to continue!

(It does seem like our weekends are heavy on the food and drinks front but I feel semi-legitimized in the fact that we really try to cook at home during the week.  There is just too much delicious food to eat here and we are supporting local biz-ness people, so that's good right? Good.)

For once we got our tushes in gear early-ish on Sunday to go out exploring on the Blue Ridge Parkway!  We have our go-to hikes we do all the time, but since parts of the Parkway are closed in the winter we were forced to think outside of the box.  The three of us (Mozey, duh) ended up on the Shut in/Mountain to Sea trail and I am so glad we found it.  This piece of these two conjoining trails is only a 15-minute drive from our house.  Our typical drive is 30-45 so this is a great one to remember for quick after-work outings.  We did a 3.5 mile stretch that paralleled the parkway and it was quite beautiful.  It was along a ridgeline, so there was no peak or bald to give some spectacular, rewarding view.  But, since it was winter we could see across plenty anyway.  What's that about you can't see the forest for the trees?  
Well, this one was all about the trees.

How was your weekend? Hope it was lovely!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Best in Beauty 2014

Makeup artist, I am not.
Makeup hoarder, yep.  YouTube beauty video junkie, yep.  I'd like to think I know a little bit and I love to talk makeup with my friends.  So friends, here are my favorites from last year.  Maybe you will love one too!

Benefit Gimme Brow.  This is so fast and ridicuously easy.  It makes my brows look full and natural and keeps all those wild ones in place.

This mascara is one of the best I have found from the drugstore, and I have tried a lot.  The longer bristles on the outer edge make it easy to accentuate your outer lashes without all the crazy brush maneuvering. 

I have said it before and I'll say it again, this is the best concealer. Ever.

This is an oldie but a goodie.  These CoverGirl eyeliners are so easily blendable, I love using them to create a quick smudgy eyeliner look.  Typically I slap on a thick line, smudge it upwards a bit, then slap on another thin line right at the lash.  Add mascara and done.

Another amazing eyeliner. This color somehow brings all the brightness I want to the lower lash line while also giving enough depth to define the eye at the same time.

The NuMe Lustrum.  So good and so many options!.  The weird variable width barrel creates a messy, tousled look.  (You betta believe I did not pay that price tag, I got that shiz on supa sale!)

Good old baby power for the win.  I put it in my clean hair to add texture and use it on days when I don't wash it to absorb oil. 

This stuff is the only way a hairbrush ever gets through my wet hair.

In recent months, I have really paired down my morning routine so this list is most of what I use daily.  I also could have added almost all the products from this post but...this is the paired down version!

Friday, January 2, 2015

Happy New Year!

How is it 2015 already?  
I am aware that this is a very tired sentiment by now, but let me repeat: How is it January already?!  Christmas was a week ago, then my birthday, then New Years Eve and now...January!

This weekend I am off to celebrate my birthday with some of my nearest and dearest in the best way I can imagine: in a cabin in the woods, in my sweatpants.  I used to think I was a super social being, but I have come to decide that isn't quite as true as I once thought.  In my old age, I have learned to accept my grandma status.  Cooking together (aka watching others cook), playing horrifying card games and drinking champagne in my pajamas is a dream come true.  The cabin we are renting has fireplace and is close to some natural hot springs which we are going to plop our bums in around sunset this Saturday.  I can't wait!

After all of the celebrating is finally over, I am planning to set aside some time next week to reflect on 2014 and make a few goals for this year.  Last year was full of transition and growing.  It was probably of the best and hardest years of my life and I have big dreams for this year.  I have never in my life made a New Years Resolution, so I am looking forward to some quality time dreaming, writing and sketching some things out.  Wish me luck!
And...Happy New Year!

Can you see, it has my birthday on the menu!