While this might be a bit premature for those of you located further north, it is well and truly spring time in Tallahassee. Truth be told, it’s probably more accurate to say that it is summer-adjacent since the thermostat will be hovering in the low eighties a little later this week. With the threat of the inevitable summer Florida heat looming, it seems like a good time to put together my spring bucket list so I can start crossing things off.
Go to MacClay Garden
Make a bird feeder
Yoga or Meditate Daily
Go to Lake Ella to see the ducks
Buy myself something in a fun spring color
Sip a chai on the back deck at Black Dog Cafe
Play with Sidewalk Chalk
Go for a walk
Make a flower crown
Enjoy some fresh berries
Take a day trip
Go to a farmers market
Drive with the windows down
Plat roses in my back yard
Buy an Adirondack chair for my back porch
Go Marie Kondo on my closets
Make a loaf of homemade bread
Bake something with lemon
Make some DIY extracts for baking
Stomp in some puddles
Curl up and enjoy the rain
I thought about putting a few more trip/mini vacation ideas on this list, but Andy and I have both been a bit bogged down with work lately, and I am trying to make sure that we can have fun but still rest up on the weekends. It’s all about that complicated thing we call balance. So what is on your spring bucket list this year?
We all knows what today is. We all know. And to be completely honest no matter my status, this day almost always leaves me feeling inadequate in some way. So how about we take this year off and give some serious attention to the relationship we most often neglect, the one with ourselves. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Buy yourself a little something. A pair of shoes, a new phone case, overpriced yet gorgeous flowers, whatever makes you feel special.
Get a pedicure. Start your self care from the bottom up and try out a new polish while you’re at it.
Don’t feel like paying for your primp? Grab one of those single use face masks (or DIY one), and paint your own nails.
Watch a movie. Pick your favorite genre, hit up Red Box, Netflix, or Target, and grab a movie watching treat while you’re at it.
Take a bath. Light a candle, throw in a bath bomb, do the whole damn thing, and luxuriate in scented, bubbly bliss.
Journal. Take some time to really check in with yourself and work through where you are in your current journey, then spend some time thinking about where you want to go and how your going to get yourself there. Write out some steps and make plan.
Roll out the mat and do some yoga or meditation. I have been really enjoying some of the routines by Yoga With Adriene, and I have no doubt she’ll have exactly what you need.
Clean out your closet. We all get bogged down with clutter from time to time, and it can be incredibly freeing to shed all that extra weight.
Color. Find yourself a nice clean page, your favorite crayons or color pencils, and kick it old school for an evening.
Read a book. Pull out an old favorite or lose yourself in something new. Lose yourself in a literary adventure for one.
Extra points for adding chocolate and or ice cream to any of these activities 😉
I am one of those people for which tiny things are almost always cuter. Animals, food, decorations… you get the idea. Imagine my delight when Instagram started throwing images from SmallWildShop at me, the website to purchase things from is actually Ceramic Art by Danielle Paterson, tiny perfect ceramic works of art that are fantastical and gorgeously gilded.
Tigers, owls and sloths oh my! While tiny trinkets are without a doubt a staple of this incredible little shop. If you are looking for something a little more affordable or maybe even “useful” there are a number of necklace options as well. in all honesty it is probably the option I’m probably going to go for. Not to wear but hang from my rear view mirror so I can enjoy on the daily.
This is going to sound strange, but these dreamy little pieces remind me a bit of the whimsical pastry confections created by Jacob Kowalski at the end of the first Fantastic Beasts movie. And yes I am 95% sure that that particular brand of magic is not real…but when I see things like this I always wonder if the artist has somehow tapped into something a little extra special. Who knows for sure right?
There was a Super Bowl Tailgate themed luncheon at my office last week, and since I knew they were planning on the traditional wings and sliders, my vegan coworker and I made plans to bring some veggie friendly food for ourselves. We’re all for the office camaraderie, but we’re definitely past the age where we can get away with only eating potato chips and celery sticks for lunch. Luckily for us, Field Roast has a number of veggie options that easily fit into hot dogs and hamburger buns, but I wanted to make sure we’d have a sweet treat as well. After doing a little poking around online, I found this simple recipe video on Tasty . Quick and easy, which is exactly what you need when you decide to bake on a Thursday evening. Even better, it was a recipe that couple be elevated an personalized with a few extra ingredients.
Ingredients: for 10 servings
½ cup sugar
¾ cup dark brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup refined coconut oil, melted
¼ cup non-dairy milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ½ cups flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
4 oz vegan semi-sweet chocolate, chunks
4 oz vegan dark chocolate, chunks
In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, brown sugar, salt, and coconut oil until combined.
Whisk in non-dairy milk and vanilla, until all sugar has dissolved and the batter is smooth.
Sift in the flour and baking soda, then fold the mixture with a spatula, being careful not to overmix.
Fold in the chocolate chunks evenly.
Chill the dough for at least 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
Scoop the dough with an ice cream scoop onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Be sure to leave at least 2 inches of space between cookies and the edges of the pan so cookies can spread evenly.
Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until cookies just begin to brown.
*For my cookies I subbed the chocolate chunks for mini chocolate chips and added a 1/2 cup of chopped pecans. As soon as the cookies came out of the oven, I sprinkled each with smoked sea salt.
Oh my, were these cookies exactly what was needed! Chewy, a little crispy at the edges, with the crunch of the nuts and the creamy chocolate chips, and that pop of the smokey salt every now and again. My coworker and I agree they’re the kind of cookies that you want to eat even after you’re full to the brim. 10/10 would recommend and will absolutely make again.
While don’t ascribe to the “new year, new me” philosophy, I am a big fan of using the start of a new year as an excuse to try new things. Far too often we get stuck in a rut when it comes to our daily lives, championing the old adage “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it” and missing out on things that can enrich our lives – or at the very least, make them simpler. This year I am going to endeavor to try out a few helpful items every month and report back to you guys with the results and let you know about any particularly amazing finds.
The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a Fuck – for those of you who don’t know, I have been seeing a therapist since the middle of last year. My dad had passed away a few months prior, and I was neck deep in trying to figure out how to close up his estate and balance the stress of my new job. I was constantly exhausted and frazzled. One of the first things she encouraged me to do was to start setting more boundaries. Don’t go out when you’re tired; don’t let people guilt you in to doing things you don’t want to do – essentially start learning to say the word “no” and stick to it. Sounds simple, but it’s something I struggle with all the time. That’s why I bought this book almost as soon as I saw it. It’s about taking stock of your daily “fucks” and being more judicious about how you choose to spend them. Also, how to do all that in a way that is productive and not hurtful or rude to the people around you. A lot of food for thought, and it feels good to have another tool in my emotional arsenal.
SKYN Iceland Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gel– under eye circles are something that have really plagued me the last few years. Being pale, it’s always been something I have to worry about, but my 30’s have been a little less than kind to my skin in general. Something that lightens discoloration and reduces puffiness? Sign me up please! Now, I have no idea if these actually work, I put them on and in less then two minutes in my under eyes were itching and starting to turn red. Off they came and I will be passing them along to other interested parties with a “use with caution” caveat.
Sharpie Gel Highlighter – a coworker of mine had some of these, and after my regular highlighter bled through yet another report, I decided to try them out for myself. These guys are essentially neon crayons, no way they will bleed through anything. They also don’t dry out if you forget and leave them uncapped. Super vibrant, but -and for me this is a big but- they aren’t the most precise, you have to keep rotating the highlighter if you want a thin crisp line (Editor’s note: I like big buts and I cannot lie). Will they be my go-to in the future? Probably not, but I will absolutely use up the three that I have.
Tea Drops – This was the only true disappointment out of all the things I tried. I was hoping that these would be the perfect way to enjoy a cup of tea at work. Skip the tea bags and tea balls – they even contain their own sweetener. I tried them, my friend tried them, and neither of us has interest in a second cup. The flavor was bland, the sediment left behind was thick and gross. *shudder* I made it through an entire cup, but there will not be a second.
OLLY Restful Sleep Gummy Supplement – A good nights sleep is a beautiful, beautiful thing, and I am always on the hunt for something that will make that a regular thing for me. These gummies had good reviews and I figure “why not”. Do they work… yes. However, to really get the full benefit, for me at least, I needed to take them about an hour to an hour and a half before I was planning on heading to bed. One down side, they kinda taste like crap. Something along the lines of cough syrup with mint. I also found out after I purchased them that they are not vegetarian -they use standard gelatin- so that alone makes these a no-go for me. However, if you could use a little help winding down in the evening, these might do the trick.
Not too bad for my first month. While there are only one or two things that I will continue to use, there are four out of five that I would recommend. Since this is something I’d like to do every month, please feel free to reach out and recommend products or items that you adore or are interested in.