16 August 2017

Pretty Little Bird

I don't have much to share today, except for this pretty photo of a little British bird from when I was in England. I absolutely love the striking gold colour of his feathers. This photo was taken all the way back in 2014. I still can't believe it's been that long since I was there! Also, I really need to compile some photos from my trip, because I have so many. Until then you can see two posts from my England trip here:

A Photographic Journey Through England: Stonehenge
Through the Lens: Whitby Cemetery, UK

Have you ever been to England? Or overseas - and where? Where would you love to go? Let me know in the comments below.

15 August 2017

Slow Living

For awhile now I have been intrigued by the concept of slow living. A life of slow living is one that is intentional, minimalist in theory and relaxing. A time where you don't make plans or are constantly busy. It means that you actually have time to enjoy yourself and your loved ones. It can be as simple as cooking your meals instead of ordering out, or enjoying a cup of tea or coffee at home, instead of on the go.

For me, slow living is actually a lot of things. It's listening to records on a Sunday morning with Alex. Reading a good book or having a picnic. The way our homemade meals taste and how good simple food should be enjoyable and relaxing to make. Having a cup of coffee in the morning, sitting at my table alone, and enjoying the stillness of it all. It's also about buying less and making more.

Slow living is different things to different people.
It's about finding time for what truly makes you happy.

Here are a few links in regards to slow living - ones that have really inspired me:

What do you think about slow living? What ways do you practice it? Let me know in the comments below, so we can discuss.

14 August 2017

A Family & Movie Filled Weekend

I really thought I wasn't going to write about the weekend every Monday this month, but this weekend has been an awesome whirlwind! Packed with movies and time spent with family. On Friday night we had Alex's parents over for dinner. It was their 41st wedding anniversary, so it was nice to spend time with them. Alex made killer cubans for dinner and we watched Get Smart while snacking on delicious truffle popcorn.

On Saturday, Alex & I did a thrift run, but went home empty handed. Later than afternoon we went over to my parents for dinner. We brought Olive with us and she pretty much tuckered herself out while she was over there. We all watched a Mr. Bean movie and then the movie Clear History, which is hilarious. It was Alex & my second time watching it, but the first time for my parents. If you love Larry David, you need to watch it. It was fun hanging out over there. We even left with my sister's dog, Molly - since Caitlin needed a puppy sitter for the night. As you can see below in the awful grainy, but really funny photo, Molly enjoyed wearing Alex's boxes as well.
Sunday rolled around and Alex & I spent the day relaxing. I made cast iron skillet pizza for the first time and Alex devoured it. He said it was the best he's ever had - which is a BIG DEAL coming from a chef! So that made me pretty happy
Afterwards we made a random trip to Ikea. All we bought was gummy dala horses and a little plush mouse for Olive. We've named him Barnaby and Olive tolerates him. Once we got home we watched Dark City. Fun Fact: but that was the first movie we ever saw together. Surprisingly the movie held up quite well for 19 years! We ended our night with Twin Peaks and Game of Thrones.
Then today, Megan came over and we sewed like mad women. My Mom scooped us up and we went to Concord for coffee and Panera for lunch. It was really, really nice spending time with my Mom. The three of us talked about some serious stuff, but it felt so good to just talk. Very cathartic.

 I am very lucky to have her as my Mom and I really wouldn't be who I am today without her love and support. I'm looking forward to next Monday because the two of us are going to get breakfast together and I'm going to show her how I make my pizza dough. I think I might throw in an Ikea trip with her cause she's never been!

Oh and Megan and I did spin class this afternoon. We're dead now. ;)

So yes, my weekend was an awesome lovely family-filled weekend and my heart feels very full from it. I hope you all have had a lovely weekend. I'd love to hear all about it in the comments below!

11 August 2017

5 Things I'm Loving

1. Spin class. Last week I tried spin for the first time and I loved it. Which is great because I was really needing a cardio workout, outside of running. I used to run 3 miles 3 times a week and I could tell the damage it was doing. I mean don't get me wrong, I don't foresee not running at all. I still run a mile two times a week. But having a different type of cardio in my arsenal is great. Last night, Megan came with me to spin and we finished it off with a yoga sculpt class. Which really made any soreness I felt last week non-existent this morning.

2. E-Books via the library. I've had a library card for years now. Sometimes I'll borrow books, but for the most part I don't. Which is crazy because I work right across from the library. Either way, I just found out that I can borrow e-books. I mean a part of me knew this, but I guess I forgot. I've downloaded a few books this month and I'm really excited about reading good books for free. Don't get me wrong, sometimes there are gems within the free Kindle books, but for the most part they're crap.

3. Proper weekends with Alex + Olive. Alex used to have Sunday & Monday off, but now he has Saturday & Sunday off and honestly, I'm digging it. Olive is too! This weekend we have a lot of plans too. Tonight his parents are coming over for dinner and we are celebrating their anniversary with homemade Cubans, truffle popcorn and a movie. I still have to get some flowers and balloons, but I'm pretty excited. Then tomorrow night we are going to my parents to spend some time with them. As for Sunday, it's pretty wide open - except for a Twin Peaks viewing party with Alex, my sister & Jeremy. I'm also going to make some homemade pizza in my cast iron skillet. Yum! I'm really looking forward to next weekend - we're going to St. Pete to explore Mazarro's Italian Market. Thanks for the recommendation Terri!

4. Thrift stores. Alex & I are saving $$ like crazy both; for a house and pregnancy fund (Wait, what?!) - don't worry guys, I'm not pregnant -yet! So with the majority of our normal "fun money" going towards savings, I've been hitting up thrift stores whenever I get the urge to buy something. Which is pretty good because most of the time I don't find anything and when I do it's something amazing and cheap! Whether it be a perfect wicker basket or the sweetest dusty rose colored skirt - which I still need to decide if I should shorten the length or not. I used to go to thrift stores a lot when I was younger, so it feels as if things are coming full circle over here.

5. Spinach Salads. Weird thing to put on here, but I seriously cannot get enough of them. They've been my go-to work lunch for the past few weeks now. I'll add in leftover chicken (I can't stand reheated chicken, so it works), garbanzo beans, sunflower seeds, tomatoes, fruit and chia seeds. As for dressing, I love splashing on some olive oil, red wine vinegar with salt and pepper.

Now for one thing I'm not loving:
Olive waking us at at 5am every morning. ;)

What are the 5 things that YOU are currently loving? Let me know in the comments below. Or if you make a post of your own, be sure to leave me the link!

10 August 2017

DIY Rabbit-tat

Not too long ago, Olive got a rabbit-tat which was a major upgrade from her previous pet store cage. I know that the majority of people who read my blog won't be interested in this, but I figured it might help future bunny parent's who stumble across it. Sadly, the majority of rabbit cages that you can get at pet stores are actually too small. Rabbits need space to sprawl out and relax - it's what makes them happy!

Now Olive is definitely a small bunny (she weighs about 4.5 lbs), but she's actually quite long too (around 20 inches). Which means by the time you put a bowl, litter box and hay container, a pet store cage gets small pretty quickly. The last cage she had was livable only because the top of her hidey hutch had a lounging area. But it was still too small. This is where an x-pen comes into play.

The best part is that x-pens are usually about $50 less than a large rabbit cage at any given pet store. I paid $100 for Olive's first rabbit cage and only $25 for her current "cage". See those quotation marks there? It's because her cage isn't really a cage. There isn't even a topper on it and the only time the door to it is closed is when I'm at work. Since we keep her in our heavily bunny-proof bedroom, there's nothing to worry about. And honestly, now that we have a higher bed, she spends most of her time under it anyway. We refer to it as her lair. Haha!

This is what her set up looks like:
Here's the breakdown of what it entails:

  • Enclosure:metal x-pen
  • Hidey-Hutch: a mesh hamper w/ the bottom removed​ and a blanket on top
  • Flooring: a plush blanket with a twin sheet on top
  • Bathroom: a litter box surrounded with cardboard for privacy
  • Water Container: a ceramic bowl (a water feeder or bottle isn't the way to go)
  • Hay Feeder: a pine slat box that I lined with fabric so it won't get hay everywhere
  • Toys: cut up toilet paper tubes (make sure there isn't any glue)
As you can see on the outside of her cage I have her pellets, chamomile flowers, ceramic food bowls and cup for water set up. Why? Because I like having everything she needs right there and honestly, maybe it's out of laziness. Either way, it works.

If you're considering getting a rabbit as a pet, be sure to check out my Quick Guide To Having A Pet Rabbit. And as always, if you have any questions - let me know in the comments below. I will try my best to answer your questions.

09 August 2017

Pin Curls & Memories

My sister and I spent a lot of time at my maternal Grandparent's house growing up. With our parents being divorced, and my Mom working full time, we spent the majority of our summers and afternoons at their house. Thankfully, I have a lot of wonderful memories with my Grandpa and Grandma.

I loved spending the night with them the most though; eating delicious home-cooked Italian dinners, talking and laughing while my Grandpa called me his little gypsy and watching Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune in the living room while Grandma would answer all the questions and solve all of the word puzzles out loud.

And I'll never forget how she would pin curl her hair. I remember her sitting in her recliner with a black, velvet pouch covered in pink & red flowers with dark green leaves resting in her lap. As she watched over us, she would gingerly section off her wet hair and slowly coil them into neat, little spirals on top of her head. Securing them into place with the metal bobby pins from inside that black velvet pouch. It was something I admired, even as a little girl. And something I can still so clearly remember as an adult.

Sometimes I wish, that after Grandma had passed, I would have asked to keep that pouch of her, those metal bobby pins still kept safely inside. Perhaps maybe having that memory is worth so much more. And it's weird to me, that something so innocent as recalling her doing that simple act will sometimes make me cry.

08 August 2017

What you are left with...

Today has been quite busy and I've been rather tired. But in the spirit of blogging every weekday this month, I'm checking in with a quote that has been on my mind lately. The other day, while I was reading Bright Lights, Big City, there was quote that resonated with me so much that I just had to share it with you all.

"...what you are left with is a premonition of the way your life will fade behind you, like a book you have read too quickly, leaving a dwindling trail of images and emotions, until all you can remember is a name." - Jay McInerney

This quote reminds me so much of everything I was going through during 2015. Especially in regards to my divorce. But it also reminds me of all the hope that I experienced that year with the new life I was finding with Alex and all of the amazing things that came along with it. The start of something new, finding my footing, remembering who I was again and letting the past fall behind me without getting caught up in it's netting. Life is a series of events that you can either let soften you or harden you. I choose the former and will continue to, again and again.

I hope you all had a lovely day! As for me, I think I'll be retiring to the bedroom a lot earlier than Alex & I had planned.