Happy New Year! I hope you have had time to reflect on 2016, let it pass over you and move into 2017 with an open heart and a fresh start, no matter of the happenings in the last year. I hope you welcomed this year with your loved ones, lots of laughs and sweet memories to kick it off on a bright note. If you spent it at home by yourself, snuggled up, eating lots of goodies and watching NYE specials then what a cozy way to start it! If I didn’t have traveling plans it’s exactly what I would have done too. Whichever way you transitioned into the new year I do hope it was one that you enjoyed—one that awakened inspiration within you and got you excited for what is to come.
December has flown by and with Christmas making its way to us this Sunday prepping for it, while planning for NYE, working and staying on top of personal goals has been a bit of a whirlwind. The holiday season is always hectic, but the cozy and lovable vibes in the air seem to get everyone every time. By now I hope you have gathered all of your Christmas gifts and just have gift wrapping to cross off your lists. The majority of my gifts are all stacked up in the corner of my room like a mountain as I type this, just waiting to be wrapped in snowflakes, plaid and ribbons.
If you know me you know that I have two loves in my life that can never be faltered—one is for elephants, and the other is for food (after God, family, friends, etc. of course). Teehee. Today we’re focusing on my love affair with food though. I’m a foodie down to the core and if I’m not tweeting about my obsession with Master Chef or Top Chef then I’m binge watching on all the foodie related shows on Netflix. Shoutout to Iron Chef America! I’ve always felt such a sense of relaxation when it comes to food. Following the steps in a recipe, experimenting in the kitchen or just watching someone else prepare a meal has always filled me with such warmth and comfort. It’s probably why you’ll find me covered in flour with a sink full of bowls during a baking session if something is truly bothering me.
I find solace in the creation of food and see it just as another form of art. It is always intriguing to me too that if just one ingredient is missed, added or overworked it can affect what ends up on your plate in such a significant way. Your taste buds of course will be the first to tell.
Lately though what has been making me crave food more isn’t just what I’ve been tasting, but what I’ve been seeing from four incredibly talented food bloggers. Whether it’s their mouthwatering Instagram account or eye-catching blog posts that make me want to try each and every recipe—these food blogs will make your heart and tummy feel full in the best way.
The name of this blog just gets me every time. Created by Mary Elliot, her blog Oh She Swooned has such meaning behind every recipe she posts that it just makes you want to smile. I feel that soft comfort every time I’m cooking in a kitchen when reading her posts. She truly has a way with not just food, but words as well and I am effortlessly swept into each story that she shares on her blog.
The Sugar Hit is a sugar rush just waiting to occur. Sarah Coates is a badass babe in the when it comes to whipping up something delicious. Her quote, “We welcome salads, we welcome fries, we welcome donuts baked and fried, all we require is deliciousness and a bit of a laugh” stuck out to me right away when I first discovered her blog and it is definitely something to note that shows the type of incredible person she is. Not to mention that I cannot get over the ’90s feels her blog’s theme gives me. Raise your hands ’90s babies!
It doesn’t bother me one bit that I do not understand a word of Slovak, yet The Story of a Cake is written entirely that language. Sure, I Google translate it, but just browsing through this blog and seeing the photos is enough for me sometimes. Each photo that blogger Marta Marcakova captures is like a memory stuck in time. It’s as if she is capturing her food right after it has had its finishing touches—so right then we see it in all its glory. Definitely click over to her blog or Instagram and you’ll understand what I mean with her head turning creations.
When I stumbled across Constellation Inspiration my heart totally skipped a beat. My entire aesthetic is captured by Amy H. in her food design making me fall head over heels for whatever she makes. There is such a subtle romance I find in her blog posts and photos as well that really draws me in. It makes me want to know the story behind each recipe and has me heading to her blog numerous times a week.
The past 2 weeks have been a bit of a rollercoaster for me—actually this entire month has been a rollercoaster. As much as I love October, it definitely has been filled with days that have been stressful beyond belief, challenging and not the brightest. I know not everyday can be the best and during this month I’ve come to the realization that that’s completely okay. But the most important aspect I’ve learned from this is that when you have days that aren’t the best finding the time to relax, rewind and refresh needs to happen.
Our bodies and minds are constantly in motion and basically only have time to rest whenever we rest ourselves. For many of us, this moment of relaxation may only take place during a quick nap or when we go to bed. Sometimes that is all it takes. A good night’s rest or a cat nap to get us rebooted for the day or next day. Other times though we need much more than that. We need some good ole’ me time.
Your body and mind will let you know right away when you need a moment to yourself. And when that happens, please listen and take care of yourself. Learn to relax and to not worry about anything when doing so. I’ve had to learn this exact thing and make it a priority in my own life. I’ve always been the type of person who is thinking about her next move—what I should do next, what would happen if I did it, planning everything in advance, I mean even planning to plan. Thinking ahead of the game definitely can be a positive aspect to have, but it can also get out of hand. I can sometimes have what people say is “no chill.” I always want to do more and in turn I don’t know when to stop. October has truly helped me learn exactly how to stop. How to really sit down, enjoy myself and my life, and to not worry so much—especially when it comes to things that are solely out of my hands.
If you are a person that is always on the move this may sound familiar to you. I only hope that you find some peace when you need it. Overworking yourself can be one of the worst actions you can take. We’re not made to be machines. We’re human. Down time shouldn’t be looked at as something bad, and you shouldn’t think of yourself as being lazy if you’re just kicking back. Instead, pat yourself on the back and be proud of the work that you do. Even on the days that you don’t think we’re your best, I’m positive that you still did your best.
Kick up your feet. Go to the movies. Take a spontaneous adventure. Finish that book you’ve been putting to the side for way too long. Create something. Take a few minutes to just breathe and close your eyes. Treat yo’self. Sing along to the radio as loud and as much as you want. Vent it out with your closest friends. Have a well needed night out.
You deserve it. Because at the end of the day you are strong and valued and utterly extraordinary. I’m proud of you. I hope you are too.
And remember, girl you got this.
“Today will be a good day. And even if it isn’t the best day, there will still be good moments within it. No matter if they are big or little. There will still be something good in this day.”
It seems that every time October begins, so does Halloween—even if it technically lands on the 31st—but all of us spooky lovers tend to ignore that fact. If you’ve been sporting vampy lips, eating tons of candy, rewatching Hocus Pocus another hundred times, and filling your home with creepy decor then you’re totally on the same band wagon as a lot of us in the world. High five and let your spooky flag fly!
While this month has been creeping by I’ve been soaking up every October day not only with pumpkin spice erry thing, but with a few Netflix series that give me all the chills. Now, of course I’m not keeping these series that I believe are super Halloween-worthy a secret; I’m sharing them with all of you! So grab yourself a cup of your favorite hot beverage, snuggle into some blankets, light a candle and get ready to scream…not really. You may cover your hands over your eyes at times, but these Netflix series each have plenty of entertaining and interesting elements, as much as they are creepy.
Have a spook-tac-ular time watching!
P.S. I’ve linked the trailers of each of the series within their titles as a sneak peek for what you may be interested in watching!
A dark series that takes place in Victorian London brings together some of literature’s most classic and complex characters, like Frankenstein and Dorian Grey. I’ll be frank about this series—it can definitely get a bit out there, but that definitely is the quintessential of the show. It’s a psychological thriller that is utterly unpredictable, and with three seasons under its belt you’ll be entranced with every turn it takes.
Another Netflix original series that is a bit out there as well, but one that will totally have you binge watching episode after episode. Hemlock Grove is based on the book by Brian McGreevy that centers in on a fictional town in Pennsylvania whose residents are peculiar…and not exactly human. Nothing is what it seems in this series and you’ll be trying to put together the puzzle pieces with each strange happening that occurs.
To be honest, this series reminds me of one of those cheesy original series on the Syfy channel. However, what’s different about this series is the original and personable characters that keep you wanting to watch till the very end. I’ve binge watched on Lost Girl like no tomorrow and have been waiting eagerly for Season 6 to launch. Lost Girl centers in on a young woman named Bo who turns out to be a succubus—a mythical creature that feeds on the sexual energy of humans. After a deadly encounter with a human, she is brought into the world of Faes (being the mythical creature world) and strives to find out who exactly she is, and where she came from.
A Netflix original series that you may have already heard of after all the hype behind it. Stranger Things is a total must-watch in my book because it merges many classic Sci-Fi elements into a modern-day show that isn’t too overboard or unbelievable. It takes place in a small town in the 80’s (Gah. I know. Perfect, right?) in which resident, Joyce Byers’ 12-year-old son, Will goes missing. After his disappearance an investigation is launched that opens up doors in the small town that were always meant to be kept secrets. Meanwhile, Will’s three best friends also launch their own investigation in the search for him, stumbling upon one of those secrets—an unusual little girl with paranormal powers. This show is coming out with a second season so I would definitely catch up before then!
Based on the novel by Susanna Clarke, Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell takes place in 19th century England and focuses on the reemergence of magic by two men—Mr. Norrell and novice, Jonathan Strange. Together, this duo, both set forth to bring magic back into the light, but with two very different views on it there is bound to be a collision.