Category: lifestyle

Friday Favorites: Mother’s Day Gift Guide

“Where you lead, I will follow anywhere that you tell me to. If you need, you need me to be with you, I will follow where you lead.” – Carole King

Mother’s Day is this Sunday and no one could be more surprised than me. It seems to me like it was the beginning of April and now here we are a few days out from Mother’s Day weekend. If this holiday caught you off guard as it did me, hopefully the following gift guide will help make your weekend perfect for the mom in your life.

My mom and I have similar taste so I tend to know what she would like: anything film, travel, or coffee related. However, these gifts should make any mom happy, except, probably Emily Gilmore- ish moms. Enjoy this Mother’s Day, regardless if you have a mom in your life or not. Treat yourself and spend time with those you love.

  1. Pink Notebook // What mom could ever have too many notebooks? If your mom is anything like my mom, she always “needs” a new notebook for whatever her task is for the day.
  2. Movie Tickets // Splurge on your mom and take her to see a movie she has been wanting to see lately. My suggestion: Avengers: Endgame. However, if your mom isn’t into Marvel or superhero movies (you have my condolences). The Hustle with Anne Hathaway and Rebel Wilson comes out of this weekend and it looks mom-worthy.
  3. Cute bag // Get your mom a purse that should wouldn’t normally buy for herself. Something fun and cute more than practical.
  4. TV Series // Your mom’s favorite television series that she loves to watch, but hasn’t purchased for herself may be the perfect gift this year.
  5. Matching pjs // My mom is terrible about buying pjs for herself. She tends to keep the same thing for years. This pink Jcrew pj set is a great mom-worthy gift.
  6. Road Trip // You may want to do something different this year and take your mom on a road trip for a few days.
  7. Chemex // The Chemex coffee system was what I got my mom for Christmas this past year and she can not rave about it enough. She is in love with the taste of coffee made in her Chemex. If your mom is a coffee lover look no further.

Friday Favorites

It’s Friday! We all made it through another week and here we are again with Friday Favorites. The last few weeks feel as if I was walking in molasses, yet as I look back it feels like I blinked and it’s already the middle of April.

As my reader’s know, I have a 101 goals in 1001 days that I’m trying to accomplish. One of my top goals is to read every book I own. I am a bookaholic so I keep buying books before I have read the last few I bought.

In order for me to get to all of these books, I have set a goal to read certain books in a certain month. For the month of April I picked four. This is an ambitious amount of books to read with just half a month left; however, my current (semi) social media fast I am currently on should leave a sufficient amount of time for me to read more.

One// Eat Pray Love

Elizabeth Gilbert had at all. A successful writing career, a great marriage, a wonderful home, yet she was incredibly unhappy. So she left it all to try the world, solo, for a year. I’m halfway through this one and I am enraptured by her frankness regarding how she feels about everything in life.

Two// My Life in France

Julia Child. Need I say more? I grew up watching Julia Child teaching me how to cook beef bourguignon. Although I’m still terrified to try to make it myself. This book was a collaboration of her and her nephew telling the story of the early years of her life in France with her husband Paul. My favorite parts so far are her stories of the food she ate while leaving there and when she signed up for cooking classes.

Three// Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking

Just because the introvert in the room isn’t the loudest, the funniest, or the most social DOES NOT mean we have nothing to contribute. We are powerful souls who often go unappreciated at home, in relationships, in the workplace. Susan Cain does an excellent job of dissecting the myth that extroverts are the ideal temperament in our world today. As a lifelong introvert I have found ways to use my temperament for good in the workplace and at home.

Four// Atlas Shrugged

I found this classic at a used bookstore in Denver this year and knew I needed to add it to my collection. Although it was negatively received when it first came out, it has since been considered an important an important philosophical novel that is referenced frequently in our world today. We’ll see how I’ll feel about it when I finish it.

If you see me out this month please ask me how my reading is going to keep me focused on this goal. And if you haven’t made a personal goal for the month of April, it is never to late to start.

Until Saturday, Ciao dear readers.

Friday Favorites

“I’ve been fighting with one arm behind my back. What happens when I’ve been set free?” – Captain Marvel

This past week has been emotionally exhausting, yet productive. I worked hard and was able to check some major items off of my to-do list. If anyone knows me, you know my to-do lists are a major thing for me. If it’s written down, it happens. If it isn’t, that’ll be a no. Another reason I am pretty sure, Rory Gilmore is based after me (still waiting for my royalty check, Amy).

In the midst of my crazy, anxiety-ridden life, there are five things I have enjoyed this week and hopefully you will too!

One // Hydroflask

I researched for a few months, whether or not a Hydroflask was worth the price. After talking to a few coworkers and researching reviews online, I decided to join the club. For my birthday, I bought myself the 32 oz. double-walled water bottle in mint green. They have discounted that color, which is why I bought it at the sale price. It did not disappoint. I have found I drink more water and it stays cold all day.

Two // Sparking Joy

As many of you know from my previous post, I have been slowly, but surely organizing my life. It takes time. It is frustrating and you do not see results immediately. But, take heart dear reader, I can assure you it is worth the headache. I will post a video soon of the process of decluttering and organizing.

Three // Parenthood

I know I am late to get on a Parenthood kick, but it is so good! I’m on the fourth season now and I’m hooked. My mom has recommended if for years, however, I was having trouble seeing Lauren Graham in any other role than Gilmore Girls. Have no fear fellow Gilmore Girls fans; although, her character does remind me of Lorelia, it did not affect the show. You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. You’ll be thankful for your crazy, messed up family too.

Four // Captain Marvel

“I have nothing to prove to you.” – Captain Marvel. Preach girl. So I’ll be honest Captain Marvel was not my favorite Marvel movie; HOWEVER, I enjoyed it and it was needed in order to see Nick Fury’s history. Being an avid Marvel fan (I just completed a Marvel marathon, in preparation for Avengers: Endgame), there were several things lacking that I always expect in a Marvel film. Conclusion, watch it. See what you think. Share your thoughts with me. If you are new to the series (what have you been doing with your life?), don’t judge based on this film.

Five // Fruits and Veggies

Usually when the sun finally comes out after a long winter, my mood instantly lifts: not this year. For some reason this spring has been one of the most difficult. I don’t know why, but my body has been craving fruits and veggie more than usual. I’ve always been a fruit fanatic, but lately that’s all I’ve been wanting. Obviously, my body is lacking something right now. So in the meantime I’ll be over here scouring Pinterest for more yummy recipes.

Let me know what has given you joy this week!

Until next time,

Meg

Traveling Coffee

Not all who wonder are lost. Most of them are just looking for coffee.

I’ve recently become a traveling coffee junkie. That’s right folks. Those little coffee trailers you see roaming from place to place setting up in various locations and caffeinating the general populous. I had seen enough cool pictures on Instagram to get out and see what the hype was all about.

Conclusion: any way to get more caffeine in me is the way to go. Although coffee on wheels is just like any other coffee shop, there are good coffee shops and not so good coffee shops. I would definitely do a quick search for local coffee on wheels and see what the locals say. However, trying new coffee is half the fun. So don’t miss out on something new just from one bad review.

Last week I tried two coffee trucks. The one pictured above I found the first week they were opened. The Bouncing Bean was offering a special their first week of buy one get one free drink. How could I pass this up?

I tried a latte and a hot chocolate. And they did not disappoint. Quality espresso was key. They had good prices and friendly service. The owner, Andrew, was happy to answer any questions we had. Of the two I tried I can definitely say this one was my favorite.

Although I enjoyed trying the other, I would not recommend it. I encourage you to get out and try the local coffee trucks in your area this week. Not only does it support local businesses, but it is fun to try new things, even if they aren’t your favorite.

Until next time folks, my advice is to drink your coffee slower in order to savor every sip.

Meg

Sparking ‘Joy’

“No matter how wonderful things used to be, we cannot live in the past. The joy and excitement we feel here and now are more important.” – Marie Kondō

I knew that if Emily Gilmore found a way to spark ‘joy’ in her life after the passing of Richard that I should take note. Gilmore Girls, “A Year in the Life,” was the first time I heard of Marie Kondo and her, now infamous (Amy Sherman-Palladino is always ahead of the crowd), Konmari method of tidying up. At first I found the method intriguing and a quotable scene in Gilmore Girls; however, now I believe Marie Kondo really does know what’s going on.

A few weeks ago I started watching the Netflix original series, Tidying up with Marie Kondo, and started the process of ‘tidying up’ for myself. A long and painful process to say the least. Long because you find yourself staying up all night to see your progress and painful because going through the things you have accumulated over the course of your entire life is hard. For those of you who may not know the process, the basic premise is that you go through all of your belongings and hold each one in your hand, asking yourself, “Does this spark joy?” If it doesn’t, you get rid of it. If it does, you organize it in your house. Neatly.

Her book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, outlines 5 categories of items to tidy up:

  1. Clothes
  2. Books
  3. Papers
  4. Komono (Misc. items aka kitchen, bathroom, garage)
  5. Sentimental (the hardest category of all)

Clothes, papers, and miscellaneous were the easiest for me. I like clothes, but I can let them go if I need to. I had a lot of papers because I had saved almost everything from high school, college, and all of my jobs, so that was definitely a huge undertaking. However, it was the books and sentimental category that was the hardest for me.

No more than 30 books!! That is the number Marie recommends to have in your house. That, alone, is the number of coffee table books I own. Books have always been my best friends and constant companions. I have shelves overflowing with books and they are all my friends. They all give me joy and I like them around. Do as I say and not as I do in the Marie Kondo category of books. Although, I did get rid of some books, it wasn’t many.

I have a lot of sentimental items. I mean a lot. I have held on to their things: my grandfather’s globes, my great-grandfather shoe repair kit, all of the cards and letters from my aunts, uncles, and cousins. Why? The main reason was because I have always felt that my kids won’t know who their family is if I don’t keep everything.

I don’t need to hold on to to everything my ancestors left behind for my kids to know them. I kept a few important things and threw away the rest. have found that when I hold most of my memorabilia in my hand it doesn’t spark joy. I had an amazing childhood and I had a lot of family, but as Marie says, “we cannot live in the past.” I’m sorry Nathaniel for throwing away your valentine from the third grade. The same goes for my awards and trophies and pen pal letters: they didn’t all give me joy.

I am still in the organizing stage of what I have decided to keep. Hello container store! This is challenging in a different way. Now that you know what you want to keep, how do you want to keep it? Marie recommends a lot of little containers for storing things neatly and it really does work.

Have you tried the KonMari method? What surprised you in your quest to spark ‘joy?’ I’d love to hear your stories. Until next time, dear reader, don’t forget that it is okay to throw away your great-grandfather’s book about boats. It probably didn’t give him joy either.


hello 2019!

I know what you may be thinking: wait, what? It is already two weeks into 2019, what do I mean hello? Well, for me, for me today is the first day of the new year. Yes, it is January 14, 2019; however, I am just now getting down to the nitty gritty and start my new year right.

The last two weeks have been amazing: got a different position at work, took a spur-of-the-moment ski trip to Colorado, and have eaten lots of burgers. I have been so busy living that I haven’t gotten to my lists, resolutions, budgets, and writing like my normal, high-anxiety, overly-organized self. And it has been great.

So HELLOOOOO 2019!! I’m ready for a new start!

But guess what? If you didn’t go to the gym on New Years Day because you worked all day it is okay. If you had a hamburger and chocolate milkshake (which the writer of the post may or may not have done) the world doesn’t end. In saying all this, I am definitely ready to set new goals and see what I can accomplish in the coming year.

Ant-Man said it best, “…my pap-pap always said, ‘You do something right you make a list. So we should do that…”

  1. Writing // I am a writer. This is who I am and what I need to do to survive the monotony of everyday living. It doesn’t matter if it is good writing: I just need to write and I need your help. If I see you on a daily basis or not please keep me focused. Ask me if I have written. Remind me to write. Or just put pen and paper in front of me and tell me to write.
  2. Health // My goal is to be healthy this year. Go to the gym. Run. Drink water. All the usual goals over-achievers list every year; however, I want to add, avoiding toxic people, limit superfluous activities, and focusing on self-care.
  3. A Vintage Nomad // One of my main goals this year is to focus on my website, Youtube channel, and social media sites. Documenting my travels, adventures, and lifestyle.
  4. Time // A new year means new opportunities to spend your time both good and bad. I want to make sure I am spending my time with the people I love and the people that love me. As well as not worry about things that do not matter.
  5. Adventure // I want to continue living life to the fullest and see where the new year takes me. I have an idea of where I’m going and it will be exciting to watch it unfold.

Let me know what your goals are and how you plan to achieve them. I look forward to hearing everyone’s thoughts on the coming year! Here is to 2019, may we all learn and grow from each other. Just a reminder to keep your friends close and you enemies closer this year.

It’s Fall Y’all

As much as I love a change in seasons, I feel as though this year I am particularly looking forward to fall. I can’t wait for chili and boots and scarves and pumpkin pie. Fall in the Blue Ridge Mountains adds a special ambiance to the season. However, this year it is more than that. This year it is about shedding the dead parts of my life.

For the past few weeks I have felt a heaviness like something was weighing me down. It was a feeling of constant tiredness, regardless of how much sleep I had (I don’t get much sleep anyway so that didn’t help). Coffee didn’t help. My books didn’t help. My passions seemed distant, out of my reach. I realized that it had been six months since my college graduation and where was I now: holding on to the things that I need to let go.

“…and all at once summer collapsed into fall.” – Oscar Wilde

Unlike spring, which is about new life flourishing, fall is about letting go of the old life. I am ready to shed habits, friendships, and material possessions that are the last few leaves on a tree trying to hold on, yet in the end they must let go. It is not something to mourn, it is for a chance at a new start.

Over the next few weeks of fall I plan to do just that. I am letting go of friendships that have died a long time ago. I am getting rid of material posessions that no longer give me joy. And I am letting go of any negativity that may present itself. My life is going to change in the coming year and I need to get ready now.

I already know my passion in life: writing screenplays. It is time to get rid of whatever it is that is hindering me. Does anyone else need to shed the old to make room for the new? I would like to hear your thoughts.  Please comment below and let me know how you are fulfilling your passion.

Until next time don’t forget to eat breakfast. It is the most important meal of the day.

Meg