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Tuesday, January 31

Walled Off

While I tend to shy away from overly filled walls, collages are one of my favorite ways to occupy wall space. In fact, the only items hanging in our living room are a mixed assemblage above the couch. The other four walls are virtually empty (save for a couple of hooks by the door for storing coats and purses). Our collage consists of a central vintage landscape painting, two metal letters, a set of antlers, a 1800s map of Georgia, a vintage gold and crystal candelabra, and a few bird prints. I like to mix modern with rustic for an eclectic spin and throw in a few printed pieces (both vintage and new) for good measure. Here are some of my current favorites for adding a bit of text (and inspiration) to your walls.

What do you put on your walls?

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Monday, January 30

Surviving Winter: Workin on My Fitness

Over the past few years, I've noticed that for me {like many others} January and February are the most difficult months to push through. The holiday cheer has long since dissipated, the mornings are dark and the days are cold, and all I can think about is cheerful spring colors and sunshine-filled days. So I've decided to start a series of posts about my secrets to surviving winter. While I do love a rainy afternoon movie marathon, I refuse to let the weather dictate my mood, and after a difficult 2011, I have vowed to try and live my life to the absolute fullest {cliché, I know, but sometimes clichés are just so true}.

One thing that I think is essential to surviving winter is staying active. Whether it's yoga in the morning, lifting a few weights or an evening run, I find that a good workout always boots my mood. And while it's hard to believe, exercise actually gives you more energy, especially when you're tired. It's often hard to motivate myself to get outside in the cold, so I turn to bright colors and warm layers to help beat the winter workout blues.

1. Athleta Malibu Hike Half Zip
2. Merrell Barefoot Running Pace Glove
3. Hurley Under Armor ColdGear leggings

Friday, January 27

Friday Favorites

This was a somewhat difficult week. Between headaches and a head cold, I spent most of the week feeling perpetually behind at everything. The weekend promises lovely weather and some down time to do a little relaxing, and I'm certainly looking forward to it. Here are some of my current favorite things that made this week just a little sweeter. 

This crisp, clean living room with glass vases and yellow tulips.
Finding inspiration and ideas for throwing a wedding shower in a couple months.
A Saturday evening date with this pretty lady .
These colorful skinnies (that may or may not be mine in a day or so).
This brilliant blue blazer (say that three times fast).
The song above (and this one):

Happy weekend.

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Tuesday, January 24

French Cuff

A few months ago I saw this post and had myself a good little chuckle. The 'french cuff' is a trick us short gals have been using for years. With everything from skinny jeans to slacks, it's a great way to deal with a slightly too long hemline.

H& blazer & blouse, BDG skinnies, F21 scarf, Target heels, vintage ring, Essie 'Brooch the Subject' polish

Who knew being short could be so vogue?

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Sunday, January 22

Little Moments

Last week went by painfully slowly despite having Monday off. I battled headaches during the beginning of the week and came down with a full-blown cold by Friday. And although the weekend was shadowed by grey rain clouds and thunderstorms, it was exactly what I needed.

We made blueberry banana almond-flour pancakes and rode our bikes in the living room. I had Sunday afternoon coffee with my mom, which somehow always manages to make everything right in my world.

Sambo sat on a stool. We saw a pig outside of CVS. Sambo slept in front of the heater while we watched Mad Men and got a vest to keep him warm.

My paperwhites bloomed. I found an incredible chair at the thrift store and white Pottery Barn-inspired plates. I bought a red "brief case" to make my days at the hospital a bit more cheerful.


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Tuesday, January 17

Detox Recipes

Just a few of my favorite take-aways from the last week and a half of detoxing.

2 - My favorite herbal tea with a squeeze of lemon
3 - My New Roots butternut squash + apple soup
4 - (never home) maker's vegetaable broth for breakfast idea
5 - My take on NHM's autum stew - I substituted tons of veggies (yellow squash, cauliflower, carrots, parsnip, a bit of celery) for her lentils and beans and kept the can of pumpkin and blend of spices. Delish. It's my new favorite winter stew. (not pictured)

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Monday, January 16

Pumpkin-Flax Crackers

I've always been a snacker. Growing up it was always a challenge for my mom to get me to eat an entire meal. {My favorite food day was always Sunday, when we would eat an assortment of veggies in the late afternoon.} Even as an adult I tend to eat five small meals a day instead of two or three larger meals {although I do love a good brunch}. So I knew that snacks would be an important part of this detox cleanse. Since wheat and dairy are out of the picture and I didn't want to rely on nut butters, I decided to try my hand at homemade crackers {with almond flour of course}.

The recipe is from this book, which I love and highly recommend. I used chia seeds in place of sesame seeds since that's what I had on hand. The end result was a perfect companion to this delicious butternut squash soup.


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Thursday, January 12

A Breakfast Story

Because scrambled eggs with balsamic tomato salsa is my favorite. Especially when paired with fresh oregano and toasty french bread from a local bakery. {And because eggs and bread are on the NO list for the next couple weeks, we made this for brunch last weekend.}


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Wednesday, January 11

Got the Blues

Because days boasting such a beautiful blue sky need an equally cheerful combination of sapphire hues.

H&M blazer, Rodarte for Target top, BDG skinnies, Loft scarf, vintage sunnies, vintage & J. Crew bracelets, gifted booties, Essie Eternal Optimist polish


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Tuesday, January 10

Rosemary Mint Body Scrub

When I was in college I was obsessed with Aveda's rosemary mint hair products. I loved the faint tingle the shampoo gave my scalp and the sharp and sweet smell that lingered all day. Luckily for my college student budget, I had friends who worked in salons and Aveda shops who were able to feed my obsession keep me supplied with rosemary-mint goodness. Now that I'm older, I've graduated to using all natural tea tree products for my hair, but I still love the combination of rosemary and mint. So, this sweet combination seemed like the logical choice when I decided to make my own body scrub.

For some reason I haven't been overly particular about using all natural products when it comes to skin and hair care. I've always been one to read labels and try to purchase the best products, but despite being very conscious of what goes in my body, I haven't been equally as conscious about what goes on it. Well, no more. I've switched out my supposedly sulfate-free shampoo for one made from tea tree oil and plant extracts and have embarked upon making my own body scrubs. The process was simple and allowed me to control how much or how little fragrance went into the product. Also, the obvious plus is that there are four {count them, only four} ingredients here.

approx. 1/2 cup coarse salt
approx. 1/2 cup grapeseed oil (or olive or coconut)
lots of rosemary and mint leaves*, chopped

Fill a container of choice with salt and add just enough oil to wet the salt. Add in the chopped leaves and mix well. If your container is small, you may need to transfer the mixture to a bowl in order to thoroughly combine all the ingredients. If you want a stronger fragrance, add more leaves.  
*Note: you could also use a few drops of essential oils instead of actual herbs.

Next up, it's a sugar scrub with coconut oil and lavender.

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Monday, January 9

January Detox: Week One

I know a lot of people aren't big on resolutions, probably because a large portion of the population uses the new year to make unrealistic goals they never attempt. I however, love the idea of starting anew. Each day is another chance to improve, to change and to grow. Granted, you don't need a new year to do this, but I think it helps  put the mind in a good place. {Especially after the holiday season, which is so inundated with sweets and treats that are somehow  equated with happiness.}
Over the last year or so I have been eating a {mostly} paleo diet, but with a hectic school/work schedule and not enough hours in the day, I've recently made compromises that I'm not happy about. So now seems like the ideal time to embark upon a four-week cleanse* {no time like the present, right?}. Husband and I are creating our own hybrid of the whole living detox and the Dr. Junger Clean cleanse (find some of the recipes here).


This week is kind of a pre-cleanse week where we cut out foods that promote inflammation and/or are difficult to digest. That means:

NO dairy
NO grains/wheat/gluten
NO caffeine {say what?! my five am commute is gonna be rough...}
NO sugar or sugar substitutes such as agave and honey
NO alcohol

It's smoothies for breakfast, salads and veggies for lunch and more veggies for dinner. I'm also skipping out on meat for the week. Snacks will consist of kale crisps, pumpkin-flax crackers {recipe to come}, and carrots with apples.

I think the things I am most looking forward to are the possibilities of less headaches, sinus congestion and backaches and more energy to start my day. {Gosh, I sound so old. Ugh.}

Here's to a healthy, happy year.

*I am absolutely not an advocate of any detox or cleanse that requires you to only drink lemon water or olive oil or anything similar. Your body needs nutrients, and starving yourself of those nutrients in no way benefits you. A detox filled with raw, organic vegetables and fruits is a great way to give your liver a boost and rid your body of toxins.

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Friday, January 6

Have a fun and restful weekend!

This is my last weekend of freedom before I start back on rotation Monday, so I plan to soak up every sweet moment. Lately, I've been feeling out of the loop and longing after the lives of work-at-home moms and bloggers, so this weekend is about focusing on all the incredible blessings my life holds. It's so easy to get weighed down with what our lives aren't, and I really don't want to lose sight of how wonderful my life is. 

This weekend we may also start looking {preliminarily} at a few houses we'd like to buy (!!!) which is simultaneously exciting and scary. Nonetheless, I've been overcome lately with finding the perfect pieces for my home. So, I leave you with this amazing store to fill your weekend clicking, since you know, I want everything they have. 

Have a fun and restful weekend.

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Thursday, January 5

HiS Traditions: New Year's Day Hike

New Year's Day in the south is synonymous with a meal of black eyed peas and collard greens as a means of ensuring wealth in the coming year. While we always observe this tradition with my parents, last year husband and I started our own tradition of a NYD hike. This year our adventure took us to the rocky and beautiful section of AT that climbs Blood Mountain. The trail is lined with rock outcrops and mossy trees that are hauntingly beautiful in the winter.

The day was cool and overcast, and unfortunately, the rain let loose as soon as we reached the top of the mountain and continued for most of our hike down. We took Sam with us, and the rain terrified him, so there was no time for picture taking as we headed back to the car. Despite the weather, we had a wonderful time and decided that perhaps this experience meant that we would be able to weather the storm together in 2012. {Although after 2011, it's safe to say that we've already weathered the storm and came out of it stronger than ever.}

The top of Blood Mountain promises an incredible view and ample photo opportunities, and we plan on returning in the near future.

Happy New Year.

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Wednesday, January 4

Meeting Sambo

With me being in school and us not having any little tots yet, the past couple of years husband and I haven't really done much for each other in the way of Christmas presents. We exchange stockings and spend money on trips such as our honeymoon to Pagosa Springs and Durango, Colorado and weekend getaways to Bryson City, NC or Abingdon, VA. This year, however, I really wanted to do something special for husband's Christmas. We had spent the previous ten months apart, moved into a new {rental} home, and recently made a lot of tough decisions, so it was the perfect time for a new puppy in our lives.

Growing up, K always had a dog. Some of his favorite childhood memories involve his mother and their golden retreiver, Sambo. We adopted a five month old boxer-german shephard mix from the local humane society, and naturally, we named him Sambo. He is absolutely the perfect pup for us. He loves running on trails and hiking trips but is very calm and quiet and really loves to be snug.

Here's to new additions and new beginnings.

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