The new year left me feeling inspired to clean, refresh, and organize my home. Everything I own is neutral, so it's always easy to change out a throw pillow or blanket and give the room a fresh, new look. One of my favorite new additions for '14 has been adding this acrylic sheepskin from Lulu and Georgia to my office. I've always wanted a pretty desk chair, but since I spend a million hours at my desk a week, I had to go for something practical. Adding this sheepskin made my not-so-pretty leather desk chair a lot more cozy and feminine.
And the best part? Buddy loves it.
Receive 20% off your next Lulu and Georgia purchase with the code NEWYEARSPRUCEUP20. Valid until Sunday, February 2nd. And don't forget to check out Lulu & Georgia's blog to see how other bloggers spruced up their homes.
I'll share some additional photos of the changes I've made in the coming weeks.
after taking over 3 months off, ifinallyreturned to crossfit on wednesday and went back again on saturday. the first workout was really tough, but i already felt better when i did my second workout on saturday. pull-ups were much easier day 2! i will probably need to modify things for a while, but that's fine with me. it feels so good to be back!
the pup's white blood cell count is normal again and his platelet count has been stable during the process of lowering his steroids. we're finally going to cut the dose of his immune suppressant in half which is great news because
a. i hate that he's on drugs, and b. it's not that cheap. once he's been stable for a few weeks, we will lower his steroid dosage again. the goal is to eventually have him off the steroids and on the immune suppressant once every few days.
bunny williams designed a collection for dash and albert. i want one of these runners for my kitchen.
on saturday, i met shari for lunch and we did a little shopping. i think i'm in love with this coffee table. if you're on the hunt for new cookware, this is beautiful. these too. i also discovered that peet's has almond milk lattes. starbucks needs to get on that.
the best gift for your bff – bought it for my oldest friend.
I've worked from home for about 5 years. My job(s) don't require much, and my only "gear" is my computer, camera, a few lenses, and a tripod, so space has never really been an issue. Or at least that's been the case until The Everygirl launched a product line and I had boxes of a few hundred phone cases, prints, and lots of packaging all over my bedroom. I love my apartment–it's the perfect size for me, but there's very little closet space, and I needed to find a storage solution.
I ordered the Parsons Tower from West Elm. If you're looking for something similar, this is a more affordable option. I went with the West Elm version since I had a code for 20% off and store credit. It ended up costing less in the end.
I filled the bottom two shelves with six of these bins (got those during a sale, too), each one full of iPhone cases. There are prints and packaging materials stacked in lacquer boxes, white lacquer trays, and in these black semikolon boxes, I even found a new place to store my old issues of house beautiful and elle decor. Mixed in a few gold accents that I already owned, and voila. Storage solution solved. I also cleaned out my closets and donated anything that I no longer use which cleared some space to keep more packaging. Cheers to a less cluttered home in '14!
alaina and i traveled to santa cruz for the most random job ever, and then spent two days in sf.
dinner with alaina, caitlin, crystal, and meg, brunch meeting, drinks at cavallo point, and a full day + night with one of my oldest friends in the world. and then there's the sunshine which made me miss ca so, so much. coming back to the cold was a little bittersweet, but it feels good to be home. such a great trip.
had the best iced coffee of my life in sf. might need to order this.
found and fell in love with this company in sf. not paleo, but it's g-free. the cinnamon rolls will blow your mind and the bread is like woah.
buddy's white blood cell count was up last week. the vet put him on
antibiotics and said not to worry which isn't really possible for me, but i think i've done pretty well. i did text gina multiple times a day while i was away and don't usually do that. he seems to be doing great–he's
upbeat and has a ravenous appetite. we're heading back for a follow-up
today (insert flying money emoji here).
I haven't been feeling like myself the past few days. I'm going to blame the cold weather because the same thing happened around this time last year. Life has been pretty good lately. I'm happy. I've spent a lot less time on my phone, have gotten a lot of work done, and things feel pretty good right now. That said, I am still not feeling like myself.
This doesn't happen too often, but when it does, I usually think about all the positive things in my life and snap out of it pretty quickly. So, I decided to give myself a dose of happy. It started with puppies, and turned into this. Hope it brings you a little smile, too. Enjoy.
puppies. the smiling kind.
good friends. or even better–best friends.
a favorite snack.
doing what you love.
a favorite song.
a friendly coworker. holds especially true when that coworker is this guy.
dancing in the street.
and there's always paris.
What do you do when you aren't feeling like yourself?
made this chili (added 2 sweet potatoes–thanks for the recipe, max!)
whipped up a modified version of this grain free (paleo) granola, too. i added a little extra honey and baked it at 300 for 20 minutes. so good on its own or with almond milk.
i also picked up some of CJK's paleo granola at mariano's. if you're in chicago, you have to try this stuff. it's heaven.
started physical therapy this week and it went very well! was told i would only need go to 2x a week for ~ 3-4 weeks. i've been doing pull-ups since 1 day post-op (installed a bar in my bedroom doorway) but was cleared to add a few more things into the mix. can't wait to work out again!
During fall and winter months, I use my slow cooker at least once (if not twice) a week. It's been way below freezing this week, so I whipped up some roasted tomato soup, this sweet potato soup, and this chili. And thanks to Williams-Sonoma, I've been using the All-Clad 4qt. Deluxe Slow Cooker, which has made the experience much, easier. It's easy to clean, easy to use, and the handles don't get hot which is especially wonderful. My last slow cooker was a nightmare to clean and the handles were not heat resistant. No fun.
I'm excited to team up with Williams-Sonoma to give the same slow cooker to one of you!
To enter: follow Williams-Sonoma on instagram, Twitter, or Facebook, and leave a comment letting me know you're following them.
Deadline: You have until January 13 at 11:59 PM to enter!
I'll announce the winner on Twitter and instagram, so be sure to follow me there!
A few months ago, I made the decision to disconnect from Facebook. I deleted the app from my cell phone and went from constantly updating my status and checking in (mostly at CrossFit and when I was out with friends) to never checking in and sharing the occasional status update. I only ever update my status when I'm at the computer or by myself, and I'm making an effort do less, just like I said I would. No one needs to know what I'm up to all the time. I mean, really. What's the point? I think Facebook is a great way to stay in touch, but there are lines, and I successfully crossed each and every one of them.
I watched this video a few days ago and decided to give myself a little more credit. Sure, I've scaled back on Facebook, but I'm still pretty connected to instagram and email, and need to scale back even more. I realized that it's ok to post photos later on and not while you're in the moment. There's a #latergram hashtag for a reason, people.
I'm not saying farewell to social media, but I'm done trying to stay connecting while trying to make real connections with those around me. I'll take a quick photo if there's a moment I want to capture, but then the phone goes away and I'll go back to living in the moment. You know, talking. Laughing. Connecting. Enjoying the moment instead of instagramming it. Life is passing by so quickly, and I don't want to miss out.
Do you feel too connected to social media? Any plans to scale back?
The following seems to hold true each year, but I cannot believe how quickly 2013 flew by. It was both a wonderful and trying year for me, but I suppose every year comes with its highs and lows. In the end, I learned a lot and came out a stronger person/ I am healthy, the pup pulled through, I have the privilege to do what I love every day, and my family and friends are healthy.
I feel like I learned a lot about myself, my strengths, and my weaknesses. About who I am and what I want. About finding balance. As each year passes, I learn more about what really matters to me. And through the highs and the lows, I'd call it a great year. Minus the time I got shingles or when my dog was dying.
I'm not one to make resolutions, but do have some big goals for the coming year. To focus on my career (shocker) and to be sure to make time for myself. To continue to work on that elusive work-life balance that people speak of. To take a vacation and completely disconnect from everything. Preferably on a beach where it's nice and warm because it's freezing here. Europe was incredible and I am beyond grateful that I was able to go, but this would be my first beach vacation and I think I'd love it.
I deleted the FB app off my cell in Sept. and stopped checking in and tend to only update from home. I did add it back but don't check it very often. This year, I'm going to continue to be in the moment. To instagram less while I'm out. Social media has taken over and I'm sitting by and letting it happen. That's definitely something to work on. I'd also like to try new things. Take a cooking class–maybe even a cake decorating class. Read more books and volunteer. To be a better daughter, sister, and friend. To end '14 knowing I did my best. To move forward and grow as a person.
I came across this list of 25 resolutions everyone should make, and I'd have to agree with almost all of them. Great list! Try to check a few of these off your list this year. Or all of them. Set the bar high.
Happy New Year! I hope you all had a fantastic year! Wishing you all the very best in 2014.