April 22, 2014

Earth Day

If you're like me then you're a strong believer that every single day should be treated as Earth Day. After all this is our home, where our ancestors lived and where future generations will live (if all goes well). The Earth was here long before any of us ever were, and will be here long after us. In honor of this day I've created a short list of both simple and challenging things we all can and should do. Some of these have become habitual for me, while others are still goals of mine. 

1. WALK MORE (If you're going somewhere that's walking distance then walk there, don't drive. It's good exercise, too)

2. BIKE MORE (same as above)

3. DON'T WASTE WATER (Water is not a renewable resource, sustainably speaking. Turn off the faucet while you're brushing your teeth, washing your hands, doing the dishes or whatever. If your not rinsing something then you don't need the water running. It's so easy to turn it off and on as needed.)

4. UNPLUG (Your iPhone uses about as much energy as your refrigerator. So unplug it and the charger when you're not charging it. Just unplug more stuff in general.)

5. DON'T EAT ANIMALS AND ANIMAL PRODUCTS (If that's totally out of the question for you then try to eat less, a lot less. It's better for you, the environment, future generations and well innocent loving animals.)

6. DIY (Start a garden large or small, cook more, try new recipes and make all sorts of stuff.)

7. USE A WATER BOTTLE (Stop buying water, buy a water filter, fill it up and take it with you. I use a Keith Haring Sigg bottle and love it.)

8. LIVE WITH LESS (How much do you really need to make you happy? Stop buying so much stuff. If you feel like you need to shop constantly for things that you don't really need then they've already gotten to you. It's not too late though.)

9. EDUCATE YOURSELF (Learn about the issues so you can figure out how you can best help.)

10. LIVE THOUGHTFULLY (These things take time to form into habits. So it may take a lot of thought and effort at first. That's a good thing,)

That's it. Feel free to add more in the comments if you like. One last thing which is a huge pet peeve of mine, ABSOLUTELY DO NOT LITTER! There are so many people working extremely hard to protect the planet (like risking their lives hard), the least you can do is throw your trash into a garbage.

April 21, 2014

spring smiles

It's Spring! It's been so nice outside. We've been getting out a lot and going on some long walks. This has significantly lifted my spirits and also helped me get down to my prepregnancy weight, which has been a goal of mine all winter. We've been opening our windows, feeling warm breezes and getting lots of fresh air in our home. Those are just a few reasons why we are smiling.

 Ryan is also behind the camera acting crazy and making her crack up, which makes me smile. I'm so thankful about the end of this particular winter and all of the things that go along with it. We've got a few very exciting plans for the upcoming months. Spring and summer also seem to be the time of year when we get a lot of visits from friends living in other cities. This time around looks no different, and I can't wait to see everyone. We've got a very special one year birthday to celebrate soon, too! A few more things I'm looking forward to this spring and summer are; taking Ruby to the beach for the first time, picnics in the park, seeing Frida at the MCA, wearing light summer clothes and going to the Minnesota State Fair for the first time in 18 years. I'm smiling just thinking about all of it.

April 20, 2014

Perfect 365

As some of you know, I have been posting some Instagram photos using the app Perfect 365 lately. I'm obsessed with it right now. It makes me laugh. It's basically an app for those interested in perfecting their selfie, testing out new hairstyles and makeup and just making hilarious photos. I'm sure there are other things you can do with it that I'm still unaware of. My seven year old niece is the one who figured out that it isn't just a makeup app, there are also hairstyles to choose from. The bottom one of Ruby is surely a classic and needs a frame.

wearing white

I've always believed white jeans were only for preppy or super skinny women, and so I never considered them to be my style. I also feared ruining them with a spill or just keeping them clean in general. That's been my worry with wearing anything white. So I've never worn it much at all, except on my wedding day. My wedding dress didn't make it untarnished either. I ruined it by accidentally setting it on fire with a sparkler. At least I have a great story to tell when I pull it out some day to show my daughter. I digress.

 I recently bought a pair of white jeans and have been wearing them like crazy. Lately I've been inspired to start wearing them, and then suddenly I came across the perfect pair. I decided since Andrew WK wore them they no longer belong only to the preppy crowd. I also no longer care if they aren't slimming. Since having a baby, I'm just proud of my body and the amazing things it can do. 

White jeans are classic and polished looking. I've discovered they're surprisingly easy to wear since they go with almost anything. My favorite way to wear them has been with a light colored or white top and simple flats. They haven't gotten dirty either. That's even after many wears, eating out with a baby and walking all over the city. I've got a new style staple and a newfound love for wearing white.

April 1, 2014

a community garden

I'm very excited to start working this week at the Waters School Community Garden and ecology program. I'm thankful to have found a way to combine my background in education, Earth science and environmental studies, and also get to spend time working outside with kids in my neighborhood. I couldn't be more thrilled about this! I will be doing some restoration work on the Chicago river this summer, too. I feel a connection to the river considering my husband and I canoed it on our very first date, and have done so many times since then. I know there will be some long hot summer days ahead, but this is exactly how I want to be spending my time if I'm not spending it with my family and friends. My goal is to learn enough from this experience so that I can help start a community garden and ecology program at another school. It would be amazing if that could happen wherever Ruby ends up going to school. 

March 31, 2014

april fools mix

check out what we've been listening to around here a lot lately

somebody-hannah georges
wide eyes-local natives
lament-mount morah
thunder clatter-wild cub
book of revelation-the drums
how dare you-thao & mirah
better watch your back-hall & oates
money on my mind-sam smith
you're not good enough-blood orange
live in dreams-wild nothing
placid acid-tourist
thinkin bout you-frank ocean
tessellate-ellie goulding

March 24, 2014

girl crush: Leandra Medine

While I have been reading and enjoying her blog for a while, it wasn't until reading her book that I developed a girl crush on her. It's been a long time since I've had a girl crush, but you know I've been busy. And I've been crushing pretty hard on my baby for the last 9 months and twenty days. 
Leandra's book is exactly what I was hoping it would be, she never let me down. That makes her reliable. She's also very attractive, with her dark bed head hairstyle, those thick eyebrows and just an overall cuteness about her. She's smart and hilarious, obviously. I mean she's in her mid-twenties and has already written and published a book, and made herself famous by writing a hilarious fashion blog (it's called the man repeller, in case you didn't know). Smart and hilarious are two qualities that are an absolute must for me when crushing on someone. She's also been very helpful for me. Reading her book and then looking at images of her style has really helped me figure out my own current style. This has been something I've struggled with since becoming pregnant and seeing my body drastically change. I think she's helped me put the fun back into getting dressed. I would love to go shopping with her and then go to her apartment and look through her closet. Yes that sounds like a lot of fun.

March 19, 2014

more swinging

This week were able to go to the park as a family for the first time! Ryan got to see how much Ruby loves the swings. It was so much fun! I will try not to let my blog turn into just photos of my baby swinging, but swinging photos are just so cute!

March 14, 2014

swinging in spring

The spring weather is finally hitting Chicago. The snow is slowly melting, and you can actually feel the warmth of the sun when you're outside. I was able to take Ruby to the park earlier this week and put her in a swing for the first time ever. She loved it! There was lots of squealing, big smiles, laughter and leg kicking (so much that her boots flew off)! I'm so proud of my fearless little girl and look forward to all the new things we get to experience together this spring.

March 13, 2014

bad habits

I can very clearly remember a period not so long ago when I was going through some deep internal struggles. It wasn't the first time and most likely won't be the last. My life had just been turned upside down and it all was my doing. I was in a happy relationship, but the rest of my life seemed to be taking a nosedive. 

I recently chose to pass up an amazing career opportunity for the chance to love someone. I found myself in those tricky beginning stages of a relationship after knowing the comforts of a very serious long term one. This struggle was during a time when I was working a horribly unfulfilling and physically demanding job for a woman who had no problem making it clear she didn't like me. I was broke, insanely busy, back in school but not sure exactly why. My life was not where I thought it should be and my mental state was suffering for it. I felt like I was stuck and forever moving in circles instead of moving forward.

This period came directly after a wonderful time when I was incredibly happy and independent. I worked multiple jobs that I loved and made enough money to live on my own in a beautiful apartment in a great neighborhood. I ate well, could afford to go shopping and travel all while creating a comfy savings account for my future. 

I have never been one to blame my problems on other people or things. I choose to look inward and examine myself when I notice that something is seriously wrong or needs to change. It's the only way. In times like these people often look for a sign. Not me. 

Then one day I received what was to me a very clear sign. I stepped out of the shower, walked through my dressing room (yes I had a dressing room) and noticed on the tops of my two stacks of magazines were the magazines bitch and dwell. I stared at those two words laying side by side for a while. At first I thought it was just a really funny coincidence, but then I began thinking about the alternate meanings of those two magazine titles. It was right then that I became conscious of my bad habits of complaining and fixating (bitching and dwelling) on the things in my life that made me unhappy. I started to realize that in doing this I was actually wasting the moments when I could be happy. I would still have to go to my crumby job and figure out what I was doing with my life, but the bitching and dwelling were something I could now control. I had an awareness of my own negative behavior and thought patterns.

I still catch myself falling into these bad habits from time to time. But now I am better able to realize when that starts to happen. It is because of this awareness that I have a much easier time moving past difficult situations. I now know I can either just let it go or directly confront and change the situation. These are not always easy things to do. But by letting go of and/or confronting negativity I have found I have been able to live a much more honest, happy and healthy life.