Pictures taken on a hike early this morning, on the trail a few steps from our place. Living here still seems a bit unreal. I noted today, while walking through the hills, that this feels like a vacation. We are busy, our stuff is still all over the apartment, there are plenty of lists still to complete. But, despite it all, this place feels a little too good to be true. I can't believe that every time I have to take Pippin out, I can spend an extra 5 minutes and walk up the ridge with him to look over the city. The way the sun lights up this place all day makes me giddy; especially the skylit over the stairs in the morning. There are hundreds of miles of trails for my backyard (I've been averaging 3 hikes a day so far). I've watched the sunset over Boise every night we've been in our new place and I don't plan on stopping. There is so much beauty and inspiration up here and I plan on enjoying it, soaking in it, and capturing it. Mental note to carry my phone (my only camera) with me everywhere.
Needless to say, we're settling into this place rather nicely. And, oh boy, are we happy.
I know I've been terribly quiet over here lately, and I will continue to be for the next week or so. Will and I both have a lot of changes happening all at once that require the majority of our attention. We will be taking a lot of risks — but we are also planning accordingly. And, happily, the majority of the stress that accompanies any time in life like this, has transformed into excitement, anticipation, and optimism for the future (and all that we can do with it). I wanted to stop in here real quick, and give you a little glimpse into all that I have been up to.
+ I am typing this on my mattress, on the floor, and it is now the only thing left in our bedroom; well, except a few bags and boxes of other essentials. Our frame and box spring is already safely packed. You got to get that big stuff out of the way first, right? We've got a trailer parked out front that we have been grateful to be able to borrow, so we can take our time packing and moving.
+ We are finally signing the lease to our new place tomorrow (Monday) afternoon. We never anticipated that we would find a place that felt so perfect and met all our needs on the short notice we had to get a new place. We're really excited to get in there!
+ Moving day is officially Tuesday! I can't iterate enough how ready I am to be in this new space. Our new apartment is a light, bright, open place in a lovely, quant, and quiet community in the foothills. If you know the Boise area at all, it is just (like a few skips) northwest of Camel's Back Park. Like, there is a trailhead just outside our new front door. I can't wait for morning walks with Pippin in the foothills as the sunrises every morning. And if I ever want to watch the sunset over the city, it's just a quick jog up to the top of the hill. Can you read my excitement yet?!
+ I had an interview this morning and I'm feeling really good about it. I can rock a group interview like a pro. In fact, all the of the places I've worked (minus substituting at a daycare) I obtained from a group interview. My top tips for group interviews: 1) Sit right next to the interviewer. 2) Engage in conversation, don't just answer the questions asked to the whole group. 3) Bring up your own questions and concerns. Let the interviewer talk about their job/company, they'll love it. It will also get them to direct more attention your way. Direct eye contact is a must! Do it! 4) Sell yourself, more than anything. 5) Dominate the conversation (over the other people being interviewed, just don't be rude or interrupt anyone ever), and don't feel bad about it at all. 6) Also, random, if you are weird like me and perform well under pressure and nervous energy is your mojo, drink a big tall coffee right before. I swear that those caffeine shakes give me a power boost.
+ I am wearing this outfit today, because the place I was interviewing was pretty casual. And this outfit makes me feel really good about myself. Like, damn. Do you have an outfit that does that?
+ I have a feeling these next two days will go by so quickly, even though I feel the minutes dragging right now. Before I realize, it will Tuesday night and we'll be asleep in our new place.
+ I will be really sparse over here for quite awhile while everything settles out. But, believe me, I am so ready to be back on a normal schedule again. Especially here. I have so many ideas swarming around in this busy head, and quite a few projects planned. There will be so much to share soon!
Hope you are all well. Forgive my email neglect too, please.
|| one | two | three | four | five | six | seven | eight ||
For now, you can follow my new apartment board on pinterest, where I'm collecting ideas and inspiration.
Life lately, according to iPhone pictures:
1. a couple of the valentines treats from my mom | 2. my favorite cuties, snuggling | 3. homemade heart-shaped kale pizza for dinner on Valentines Day | 4. pizza is love | 5. this place may be our backyard soon | 6. pretty sunset the other night | 7. we've had spring like weather lately; Pippin loves it and riding with the windows down | 8. a Pippin panic while Will filled up gas | 9. .... continued
The last couple of weeks have been a huge blur. There are a lot of transitions happening at once and it is all rather intimidating. We are going to be taking a few risks, because we have confidence they will be worth it, but that means my anxiety and stress has been at an all time high for a countless number of days. It is strange, when we come to points like this in our relationship where we are facing hardships and difficult decisions; they some how always bring us so incredibly close. I think it says a lot that when I'm worried, all I want to do is hold you. So, we had a very low key Valentines Day, in fact we spent all of it at home. We have been nonstop trouble-shooting and problem-solving lately, so we took a day off. We binge-watched a few episodes of the new season of House of Cards and I made us a pizza. It was a great refresh, and a great opportunity to brainstorm even more. I absolutely love simple moments like that, sharing our dreams with each other.
We're going to do great things together, darling. It may take some time, but oh I can feel it.
Here's a little playlist I put together full of some lovey dovey tunes for you to enjoy just in time for Valentines Day. I tried to make it an eclectic mix including some of my favorite folk artists, classics and covers of classics, jazzy tunes, sexy numbers, and of course a perfect Bey love song. Enjoy!
I couldn't think of a better Valentine than a puny junk food edition. And once I get started with puns, it's hard to stop. My idea list included much more junk food humor than this, but I decided to cut it down to my favorites to try to keep myself sane. I may or may not be eating a donut at the precise moment I am writing this, if that is any indication about my love for these particular four foods. Just the other day I was standing, eating a piece of pizza, but I set it down and scooted it aside so I could plop a big wet kiss on Will's face; because he was sitting near and looking particularly cute. He then said, "Aw, you like me better than pizza?! Wow, I'm so lucky." Yes, I do love you more than pizza. But yes, yes you are lucky, because I also really freaking love pizza. And, I mean, what better way is there to tell someone you love them than to imply that they are as delicious as your favorite junk foods? Yum.
To print and use these valentines for your personal use, click a Dropbox link below to access the files for download:
+ a PDF download containing all images
+ a (word) Document download containing all images
+ or download each image separately: donut / pizza / pie / latte
* This printable is free for personal use only. It may not be used for commercial or promotional purposes without my written consent. Credit me if you share it elsewhere. Thank you. *
I printed my valentines on grey printer paper (which is why the plate under the slice of pie didn't show up too well) and then cut and glued each one onto a colored piece of card stock. I plan on writing on the back and handing some of these out to my friends.
Let me know if you use them! And, enjoy :)
P.s. Now all I want for Valentines Day is some homemade pizza. I'm easy.
The stress level over here lately has been a little unreal. Thing after thing after thing keeps coming up on top of some other things that we were already having to deal with. How is that for vague? I know that these changes, while very stressful (and some of them unwanted), will be worth it in the end. I have complete hope and optimism about the future and where we will be once we make it through this next little while. It's just a bit difficult to remind yourself of these truths while experiencing all the hardship and anxiety. So, we've been taking a lot of walks on the river and in the foothills lately. We ended our day of apartment searching today with a walk around Camel's Back park. And we hit it just as the sun was setting; surely one of the best ways to see this time of day in this city. It almost felt like spring. And, as I looked out at the city skyline and all the way out to the Owyhees in the distance, I was reminded of how lucky I am to call this place home. And to share it with the person I love. And that we'll get through this.
If you've contacted me recently, or I've been promising to email you (sorry Dus!), I am so so sorry. I'm just a little stretched thin. But, I will get back to you!
Trying to think happy thoughts,
Valentine's Day, to me, is a perfect holiday to get crafty and make something sweet and special for someone you love. Or for yourself, because you deserve it. I was always that kid in elementary school with the handmade valentines, and boy, I went all out. I've always been a crafter. Showing a little love or appreciation, for those important people in your life, doesn't have to be expensive or complicated. Something made by hand will always hold more meaning anyway. Here are a few fun ideas I've gathered as inspiration to get you thinking/started.
1. Spruce up your place for the holiday, and add some color and life, by making some pretty floral letters — whether a monogram or a cute XO. Urbanic Paper's blog, Parcel Post, has the tutorial. If you wanted these to be fresh, just wet the floral foam first. But, if you'd rather this stick around and last long, just follow the instructions and use pretty silk flowers. I think this would be a lovely gift for a lady you're fond of. So pretty.
2. One of my favorite bloggers, Ella from Paper Umbrella recently shared a DIY tutorial for this darling gold glitter heart headband. Isn't it super adorable? The instructions look very simple; you probably have all the supplies sitting around in your craft things already. And, I think it would be the perfect addition to any Valentine's Day outfit. See the directions here.
3. Last year for Will's birthday, instead of a traditional birthday card, I made him this darling little booklet. I titled it then, 25 Reasons Why I Love You, because he was turning 25. You can customize it in anyway for your needs. I wish I had added printed pictures to mine, but I still love it (and he did too). Plus, it was really easy and fun to make.
4. I've been wanting to make a giant bouquet arrangement of painted flowers for myself ever since I saw this Hand Painted Flower Tree DIY from Oh Happy Day last year. I may make it first on my list of things to do once we settle in to a new place later this month. I think it would be perfect in an area for crafting. I think I'd be instantly happy every time I looked at it. Treat yourself and make one for yourself and spruce up a little corner of your home.
5. If it's still cold where you're at (and it's likely with all the snow I'm seeing on instagram), surprise and wow a friend with a handmade fleece ear warmer. Red or pink would make it perfect for a valentine. With a big pretty bow on the side, these are so cute and cozy warm. Not to mention, fast and simple to make. Promise.
6. Do you have a significant other? Give them a really meaningful handmade gift, like this mini Love Notes Photo Book that A Beautiful Mess shared. Get creative, choosing pictures that are meaningful and that coordinate with your notes of love. Emma added fabric to some sides of the pages, which I think was a really pretty, unique touch. This is such a lovely, little, sentimental gift you can both look back on years later.
7. These cute little pouches that Oh Joy! shared, by artist Roxy Marj are just darling. There isn't a DIY tutorial for them or anything but I think you could easily create something similar, with little effort and some cute fabric (perhaps, even, a heart pattern). Wouldn't a fabric envelope-style pouch make a cute unique way to package up a simple gift for a valentine? Not to mention, you (or your valentine) could reuse them!
Do you have any unique DIY valentine ideas? If so, share them with me below!
Happy valentines crafting!
The weather has been so kind to us lately. First, a big storm came through and finally pushed that inversion away. Then, the sun was out daily and it heated up significantly for about a week; all of us in Boise were dreaming of spring. It cooled down rather drastically this week, but I don't mind because we were hit with another wave of snow. I mean, if it's going the be bone-chilling cold there better be pretty snow too, am I right?
Yesterday afternoon we headed out downtown to enjoy a bit of fresh air and some time together before attending a conference that evening (that we got tickets to for christmas). We walked around BSU campus, grabbed a mocha to split, then walked around the greenbelt for a bit. I love seeing the park all bare and white and quiet; I've always found winter so peaceful, you know. Our little in-town adventure didn't last long, though, as the crisp piercing wind made the cold rather bitter. I enjoyed it, none the less.
coat: Old Navy
jeans: Forever 21
earring: Forever 21
gloves: bought from a vendor on UofI campus years ago
boot cuffs: gift, purchased at a craft fair
purse: Fred Meyer
The conference lasted well into the evening and after we headed to Apple Bees — not my favorite choice, but the only place we knew to be open in this town after 10 on a week day. But the crunchy shrimp surprised me and Will got to enjoy some buffalo wings (one of his guilty pleasures). The snow really started to dump again the moment we pulled up to the restaurant. I didn't mind one bit sitting there next to a window watching it fall over warm food and great conversation. Driving home in the blizzard was surreal, as we literally couldn't see anything around us (except the lights from a few dutiful snow plows). I'm a happy kid today, with the pretty white world.
Hope you are well and warm,
I'm going to start trying slightly different formatting in the way that I share my monthly goals here with you. You'll remember that at the beginning of January I shared my goals for the year rather than specifically for that month. I will share my progress on these goals once a month, as well as the typical list of individual goals tailored to accomplish that month. My progress on my yearly goals will also include the next steps I am taking, or plan on taking over the next four weeks to continue towards those big aspirations. For the first time, I will also be linking up with Melyssa over at The Nectar Collective for monthly wishes. The Nectar Collective is such a great, supportive community. Be sure to check it out if it is new to you! I'm a few days later than I tend to like for my monthly goals post, but hey, sometimes that just how schedules work.
JANUARY IN REVIEW
+ One of goals this year is to try to be more of a creator and less of a blogger. I love blogging and writing and all the work I put into the content here, but I am struggling to balance it all out with my more artist endeavors. I'm still looking for a way to integrate more of my artistic side here.
+ I have some pretty serious stretch goals for the year. One, that I haven't yet to share, involves those artsy things I mentioned above. I'd like to try my hand at running an Etsy shop for some of my creations. I don't know how much of a market there is for things like handmade pillows, feminist patches, art prints, or embroidery art but I am creating regardless. And I'm doing a lot of brainstorming, researching, inspiration digging, and dreaming.
GOALS FOR FEBRUARY
+ I'll be moving here shortly, so I've starting a very thorough and long to-do list to make the process a little less overwhelming and stressful for everyone (hopefully). It's pretty simple, organizing and packing one room at a time over a few days to space out the work that needs to be done. There will be a lot of purging, too, as moving is the best time to determine what items are essentials and what you are just hanging onto for no real reason.
+ Did I mention yet that the sun is out and has been shining none stop?! It is a lovely change after that nasty inversion. It even warmed up for a bit last week; it almost felt like spring! It is back to butt-cold again, but I still plan on getting out and enjoying fresh air and sun as much as I can — even if it requires my down-jacket. I've got an adventure planned this weekend, and hopefully more every weekend this month.
+ I've been doing so well with my workout goals; I can't wait to feel stronger and do even more. Lately, I've been doing cardio/hiit circuits three times a week, an upper body lifting day and a lower body lifting day once a week, leaving the weekends for rest or just for fun activities (like hiking or zumba with my sister). I'd like to also add in yoga, maybe switch out the cardio in the middle of the week for an hour session or add a little bit to the end of my circuit each day. I'm not sure yet where it will be added to my schedule, but it is something I am really looking forward to.
+ A simple goal: to keep my nails painted. I've mentioned this goal before, and why I like having them done. It's an instant mood booster right on my fingertips. My goal is to do them once a week, on Sunday — my lazy, catch-up on TV day. I've been experimenting with a few different techniques lately, and can't wait to try this scotch-tape method.
+ Finish Ancillary Justice and start the next book on my list!
+ I will continue my research/brainstorming/day-dreaming for my Etsy shop goal. And I will continue creating. I have so many new ideas for creations; luckily I keep them safely organized in my phone.
How did January treat you? Any big plans for the short month of February?
I can easily say that this salad is one of my all time favorite concoctions (and I have made quite a lot of yummy concoctions before). I thought of it/made it for the first time last week, and I've been craving it since. Warm salads are such a treat this time of year; they're a great way to get some fresh veggies and greens into your diet without sacrificing the comfort-food craving that has become oh so strong nearing the end of winter.
It may very well be one of my favorite concoctions because couscous is one of my favorite foods. Couscous is a great grain that is fluffy, delicious, and super simple and fast to make. I eat it often as a side, to fish and tofu, but this is the first time I have made it the center of a meal. While hunting for lunch ideas after an afternoon workout, I saw we had a few boxes of couscous in the pantry. I wasn't much in the mood to cook much of a full meal and was craving something more light and fresh; couscous salad it was! I kept things really simple by using the box mix of couscous to add instant flavor to salad. I paired the Near East wild mushroom & herb couscous mix with some grilled balsamic veggies and lots of spinach, which made a perfect combination. Feta cheese crumbles and fresh slices of tomato really set everything together.
See the full recipe below and give this warm, filling salad a try!
Balsamic Veggie and Couscous Salad
yield: 3 large servings or 5-6 starters/sides | adapted from this recipe
1 box couscous mix or 1 cup uncooked couscous
1 zucchini, sliced
2-3 large mushrooms, sliced
1/2 a small red onion, sliced
1 tomato, sliced
2 cups fresh spinach leaves
1/4 cup feta cheese
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon italian seasoning
salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
1. Cook couscous according to instructions on the back of the box; cover and set aside. If not using a couscous box mix, bring two cups vegetable broth to boil, remove from heat stirring in one cup of couscous; cover and set aside.
2. Melt 1 tablespoon coconut oil in a frying pan over medium heat, add the zucchini and red onion. Cook until vegetables are tender, then add in the mushroom.
3. Cook until all veggies are tender and start to turn golden. Add in the balsamic vinegar, garlic cloves, italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Cook for another few minutes, until all flavors seem combined. Set aside.
4. Fluff the couscous thoroughly with a fork. Toss in a large bowl with the spinach leaves. Stir in the grilled balsamic vegetables and the feta cheese. Serve warm, topping each serving with a few fresh slices of tomato.
Simple and savory. Enjoy!