Monday, July 28, 2014

The endless search

Wool hats have been a trend for quite some time now. I received one as a Christmas gift years ago-but it's just a little too "floppy" and really hard to wear without feeling terribly dramatic, especially considering my style is anything but dramatic.

Ever since then, I've been on the seemingly endless search for the perfect wool hat.

Seriously, I have commitment issues with them.

I'm going to Dallas next week for a study tour, and we will be doing lots of shopping. I have recently decided that it is my sole mission on this trip to take the plunge and buy one. Cross your fingers for me.

Here's a few that I have my eye on...

1//UO-39.00 2//H&M-17.95 3//UO-39.00 4//Zara-59.90

Saturday, July 19, 2014

DIY: weathered map

For Austin's birthday I wanted to give him something special. That, paired with my crafty mood, lead me to the weathered map idea.

After doing a little Pinterest research (what else?) I went all-in on a map I had picked up from our hotel in Chicago. The best part of this project? I already had everything at home. Not counting the frame, of course.

What you'll need:

These are the bare essentials. There are many ways to personalize this project, so get creative!

BONUS: There really aren't many steps to this project.
  1. Lay your trash bag down so you don't get coffee everywhere.
  2. Crinkle your map into a ball, then flatten. The more you do it, the more weathered it looks.
  3. Dip your sponge brush into the coffee and paint. I didn't want mine to look too distressed, so I only did one coat. If you want it to look super old, make it really wrinkly and paint several coats. You can also show more love to certain spots to make it a bit uneven.

**Optional: take a lighter to the edges. (make sure they're soaked with coffee first! No fires allowed!) Even though my edges ended up not showing because of the frame, this takes it a step further.

And voila!
Happy birthday, Austin!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

At home iced coffee fix

The other day I really wanted some iced coffee and I thought, I have a coffee machine and some milk and stuff I can make MY OWN!

Fast forward to me sprinting leisurely walking to the kitchen to get started. Little did I know it would take me about three seconds to make it which I guess is good but I was weirdly disappointed; maybe I didn't feel as fancy as I thought? Either way, it did the trick.

What you'll need:

Iced coffee:
1 coffee cup of chilled plain coffee
1/4 cup cream
1/2 cup milk

If you like your coffee super sweet, add a bit of stevia or sugar. *Remember, 1 tsp. of stevia sweetens like 2 tsp. of sugar so start with a little and taste test! I also wanna try this with a tiny bit of caramel syrup.
Shake or stir or both and enjoy!

sip sip

Friday, July 11, 2014

Banana Bread Cookies

I'm SUCH  dessert girl... I will crave something sweet after lunch or dinner until the world ends if I don't have a little something for dessert. I've been searching pretty hard for some healthier alternatives to my go-to's of frozen cookie dough or ice cream!

Sidenote: Check out Chocolate Covered Katie... I'm convinced she's a gift from the heavens.

I'm a member of the Tone It Up community and I love searching through other member's recipes to find Tone It Up approved (so you know it's gonna be healthy!) options. I found a recipe for banana bread cookies and I decided to try them out yesterday! I already had everything in my kitchen, so hopefully it doesn't require a trip to the store for you either.

Banana Bread Cookies
You'll need:
1 1/2 ripe bananas
1 1/2 tbsp. chia seeds (I used flax & chia)
1 tbsp. 100% maple syrup
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/2 c. coconut flour
1/2 tbsp. coconut oil (melted)
1/2 tbsp. cinnamon
1/2 serving protein powder (I used vanilla hemp protein)

What to do:
Preheat oven to 350. Mix the chia seeds with 1/4 c. water, set aside for about 10 minutes. Mash bananas, and mix with all wet ingredients. Mix all dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Add wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix thoroughly-but don't overdo it!

Place small-medium sized dough on a greased cookie sheet. Make sure to flatten them with your hand or a fork! (These don't expand when cooked, so you can put them relatively close together!) Bake for 25-30 minutes. Yields 12-15 cookies.

These are great with a little earth balance melted on top with coffee in the morning. Enjoy!
PS-they're gluten free :)

Thursday, July 10, 2014

What to do when...

As you all know I recently went on a trip to Chicago. Before that trip I was working out twice a day, eating great, feeling great and staying semi-motivated. But before that, not even taking into account healthy diet and exercise, I was majorly losing inspiration with all the stress that life has brought me during the last couple of weeks. I need to be better about not losing myself even when life happens.

What do you do when you completely lose not only motivation, which is bad enough, but inspiration? I've been pondering this and here's what I'm going to start slowly incorporating back into my routine so that maybe I can find my happy place again! (Seriously, a few months ago, I was like stupid happy) not that I'm not happy now, just not as I once was. I felt so in tune with my soul. Here it goes.
  1. Get back to yoga at least three times a week, not just one or two
  2. Take my dog on a morning or evening walk-daily
  3. Prep protein and veggies on Sundays to incorporate into meals during the week
  4. Start getting out on the water: paddle boarding and kayaking
  5. Carve out a little money to take myself to breakfast/coffee once a few times a month
  6. Meditate on the days I'm not at yoga ( is great for this)
  7. Start paying for Spotify so I can directly play some soul-soothing tunes as needed
  8. Entertain at my new digs at least once a month
  9. Rent a bike and actually use it
  10. Last, but perhaps the most important... smile more. In the aisles of the grocery store, while tagging shirts for work, right before bed... just share a little smile with myself and the world.
PS-for fun, 16 spelling mistakes you should stop making, like, now

Monday, July 7, 2014

Post-Chicago blues (and good pics)

The longer I stayed in Chicago, the more I loved it. The more I saw of it, the more I wanted to see. I'm sad that we didn't have more time (like, unlimited time) but I am so grateful for the experiences we had and the company I went with couldn't have been better.

Things that occured during our three-and-a-half-day-stay in Chi-town:
  • Panera Bread trash cans
  • Face slaps
  • Train rides
  • Bus rides
  • Uber/taxi rides
  • Thunderstorms
  • Drag Queens
  • Bad drinks
  • Good drinks
  • Good food
  • Urban Outfitters Surplus Store AKA my own personal heaven
  • Visits to old friends
  • Architecture
  • Accidental jazz music
  • Accidental romance
  • Ferris wheels and popcorn
  • Laughter and love. Lots of it.
Now for the good pics! (for more, visit my vsco)