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15 Things To Get Done This Spring

Did You Know: It’s World Poetry Day March 21st so I thought I would share this one:

Some days,

I feel everything at once.

Other days,

I feel nothing at all.

I don’t know what’s worse:

Drowning beneath the waves

or dying from the thirst. ( o.m. )


I love places with 4 seasons because they’re precious & only a few parts of the world get to fully experience them. For the rest of us, Spring is a date on the calendar & something to pretend we actually experience.

Spring Checklist

I use the change of seasons as a check in.

I hate getting comfortable.  I’m 50% a lover of routine & my home BUT I’m 50% ready to pack a suitcase & start a new life-altering adventure next Tuesday.  Too much comfort gives me anxiety. That’s why, with the change of seasons, I try to get my shit together.  Mix in a couple planned trips, organize my memories, and throw things out!

I’m also the person that has lists EVERYWHERE.  I have a list for every thought in my mind.  As I was making my Spring To Do List I thought I should turn it into a post so you guys don’t have to sit down & do the brainstorming.   Maybe you can take a few things off my list to add to your own, and share a couple things from your Spring lists?  Changing little parts of our routines & making plans is key to cultivating adventures. And who doesn’t like adventures?

Spring Checklist

Shoes ( h e r e ) // Pants ( other color options: h e r e )

15 Things To Get Done This Spring:

  • Clean out your living space, cliché, but this is major. For help: Click Here

  • Take advantage of the sun being out & workout outside (… and shed any added winter weight)

  • Start your allergy medicine regime

  • Buy extra flowers to fill all of your rooms, this is the time to go overboard!

  • Change up your wardrobe, wear florals & pastel colors like: this floral maxi dress & this pink sweater

  • Organize or create your outdoor space (yard or patio) & get a fire pit to have a few fires

  • Start mastering your self-tanning routine, for help: Click Here

  • Order your summer swimsuits, a favorite: one piece here & two piece here

  • Plan your summer vacation & weekend getaways

  • Bring your doggie on a canoe, before it gets too hot & uncomfortable for them

  • Go Camping! While all the flowers are blooming & it’s cold at night

  • Organize your photos from the year so you can start fresh

  • Backup your phone (I’m the worst at this)

  • Download music that has a Spring vibe: Like this or this

  • Write down 5 things your grateful for this Spring

Spring Checklist

Ok, what did I miss? Favorite Spring activities?

I’m currently off to grill burgers.  We haven’t been grilling recently but the weather is already starting to steam in Texas so the BBQ has been calling.  Not to mention it’s been forever since I indulged in my all-time favorite Basic Burger salad & something about the warmer weather has me craving it!  (Can you tell I’m starving hungry?!)

BYE!

As always, be thoughtful

Xx

Shop Spring:

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10 Perfect Housewarming Gifts

I spent a lot of time on this list!  I’m going to a housewarming brunch this weekend & have been thinking about helpful gifts to bring.  It’s a bit tricky.  I had to take it back to when I last moved & what would’ve been a helpful gift rather than a burden.

When someone’s moving there’s a lot of unpacking going on.  That’s why – I’m anti-gift basket for a housewarming gift.  Now you want me to unpack a damn basket?!  No. I get the idea, super thoughtful, but just no.  I finally organized everything, I don’t want to start organizing more shit.  Feel me?

The best gifts would be something that won’t clash with someone’s own design ideas for their new home, won’t make them start unpacking or putting away, something easy breezy but enough to help their new house feel like a home.

I should mention, with this list & pretty much any “gift” list going forward, I’m definitely going to incorporate gifts that give back in some way.  I’m a HUGE believer in giving a gift that gives in more way than one… I have a super hard time understanding gifts in any other way – specifically Christmas gifts, but I’ll get into that when we get closer to Christmas.

Perfect Housewarming Gifts

The Best Housewarming Gifts Ideas:

  1. Game:  I think this is a great gift for someone that recently moved into their new house.  Guests will be coming over to check out the new crib & it’s nice to have entertainment on hand.  A new game does the trick!  My two favorite options are Cards Against Humanity or the new popular game, Catan.

  2. A Large Ass Candle:  The very first thing I bought after moving into my new place was a candle.  Scents are important when you first move because you’re trying to make your house, smell like a home.   A HUGE candle that can burn for hours every day is a perfect gift that won’t get in the way, but be a special way to help the new house feel like their own.

  3. Diffuser: Going with the above, you can really do no wrong with bringing over scents.  If a candle is too predictable bring over a pretty diffuser.  No one can have enough pretty smells happening!

  4. Dream Catcher:  This might apply more to someone that has children and recently moved, but a dream catcher can be a perfect housewarming gift.  A dream catcher is supposed to catch all your bad dreams at night, so you keep it in your bedroom.  For kids having trouble in a new bedroom at a new house, what a great way to help them feel comfortable.  Adults qualify too.

  5. Pretty Vase:  Flowers are pretty standard for housewarming, and they should be.  Flowers make any place feel relaxing & comfortable w/a little jazz. BUT if you go this route make sure to include a pretty vase.  Likely, whoever has moved doesn’t have their vases unpacked yet, or they don’t know where they are.. Make it easy by bringing over flowers in a pretty vase they can keep for their next flower run.  You can never have enough flowers around the house, so this is a safe bet gift.

  6. Flatware Set I thought of this when thinking about what was important when I last moved.  I didn’t have anything, literally.  I had my suitcase of clothes & a borrowed mattress to lay on at night… (Living abroad for a year and a half does that to your material items.)  But I also didn’t want a lot from people.  That was part of the fun in moving, buying what you love for your new place.  However, a nice flatware set to manage the first few weeks/months while people visit or you’re still getting your shit together would’ve been perfect!  Get a pretty caddy, like this one: HERE and stock it with some affordable flatware like these: HERE.  I would have loved this!

  7. Succulents:  A baby plant like a succulent is perfect because it’s small enough to put anywhere and grows slowly. I remember going over to a friend’s house once and they had a pretty succulent on their kitchen window & she said they had it since they moved in – I thought that was a pretty neat memory.

  8. Coffee: Because who doesn’t need coffee!?  Like I said, I’m a MAJOR believer in giving gifts that give back, that’s the only way it makes sense to me & this coffee does just that.

  9. Wine:  Hellooo?!  Yes. Please.  (How did this wait until number 9?!) Wine is never a bad idea.  Not only does this wine look like a hard won trophy, a bottle I would never want to open, but the company has an awesome mission too.  They’re all about giving back & each bottle goes to funding a different social issue.

  10. Hand Soap & Lotion:  Let’s be real, this is overlooked when you’re moving because it’s kind of on the bottom of that long list.  Either that or you have that cheap, okay smelling bottle from Target on your one of many runs to get a long list of missed items.  A pretty, nice smelling lotion and soap is a great way to make a home feel more like you’ve completely moved in.  Again, these lotions give back too!


That’s it! My top ten housewarming gifts!  I would bring something from this list over to a friend’s house for a dinner or invite, I think anything from the above adds that extra thoughtful part of the gift.  Let me know any other creative ideas you have for housewarming, I’m super interested after doing all my research…

Have a great weekend and remember to be thoughtful!!

Xx

shop housewarming goodies:

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The First Thing I Look For When I’m Overseas

Well this is fun.

I was in the process of creating my Must Have Trader Joe’s Grocery List and experienced a little flashback –>  I was getting off the plane in Bahrain and immediately asked to go to the grocery store.  A friend overheard my request and the look on his face will forever be imprinted in my memory. (… no.)

 

In my naïve brain I thought the grocery store was going to be some cute little corner shop filled with pounds and pounds of spices, piled high with fresh fruits, and I wanted to check it out!

Reality: Grocery stores in Bahrain and Dubai, are located inside the shopping malls. They look like a huge HEB, Cub Foods or your typical large chain grocer. With a Top Shop across the isle…  Not too much glory in that.

However, I stand by my suggestion:  Stop in the local grocery store of the country you’re visiting or living in.

From there, you can learn what locals use to cook. What they grow up eating. If there’s any no-no’s. Or any must-eats.  You can find real, local, fresh foods.  Or you can find items you’re used to seeing fresh.. now imported and barely surviving.

 Dates

In Dubai – there were huge spice barrels, a nut and olive counter, and aisles packed with fresh dates.  There was also as scary dark dungeon in the back of the store where you could try to score some pork.

In Portugal – I was ecstatic to see mounds of salami and wine, and a butcher who would very excitedly try to communicate the best option for me, giving me taste tests along the way.  (I spent a lot of time at the salami counter, 6 months into living in a pork-free country had me like heeeyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy)

In the Dominican Republic – there were mostly smaller markets. Some larger… All of which lacked peanut butter, and I craved it like a fish craves water. (I think I eventually found PB near a resort and ended up paying $30 for a small jar. Priorities people.)  Also, the DR had tons x tons x tons of beer and rum + yucca and tostones + loud salsa music inside the markets… at 6am.  All for approx. 10 cents <– You can tell those people are happy.

In Amsterdam – my dreams came true. Tiny, cutie, corner markets with breads, cheeses, flowers, coffee and food that looked so precious – staring at it all day was enough!  They also had larger, more typical style grocery stores. Extra heavy in the floral department. (Needless to say, I’m anxious to go back)

 Flowers

What my flashback has pushed me to say is, when you’re abroad, take a good look at those local grocery stores.

Appreciate the fresh items you find, that you won’t be able to at home.  Eat them like cray.  And don’t forget to figure out what groceries to appreciate from home, that may not be offered abroad.

The people working at the grocery store are locals.  Learn about the them. Personality, language, accents, style…

 1Portugal

I love finding fun activities that aren’t so touristy. Granted, sometimes laying on an all inclusive beach resort with no scary pork dungeons is a treat of it’s own… But that get’s a little boring, no?

What fun do you look for when you travel internationally? Surely, it can’t simply be grocery shopping…

PS. Must-Have Trader Joe’s Grocery List IS coming up tomorrow… Distractions on lock down.

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Spring flowers – You Need To Wear Them

I could talk about floral clothing all day, every day, for the rest of my existence.  I didn’t realize my obsession until one of my friends noticed the only pattern I ever wore was: FLOWER

Bright pink nail polish + bold flower print  + white jeans + rapunzel hair —> L I V I N G

I’ve been day dreaming hardcore – and in doing so I happened upon some wish list floral items to add to the wardrobes.  I’m thinking there’s a lot of you that get drawn to black or neutrals.  This list shall help you expand the mind… {Which you totally should do, if there’s any time to wear floral it’s SPRING!}

There’s nothing that screams happiness like a bomb ass floral print.

Anyone wearing flowers, feel free to tag me, not only do I like to wear flowers.. I love to see other people wearing them too  <3

[Warning: Dead, sad, weeping floral print can result in looking cheap and dirty – be careful and selective with your flowers!]

 

FloralPrint

1. Oasis Bold Floral Shift Dress – Classy perfection!

2. Sonix Indigo Floral Phone Case – because your phone should be happy too

3. Floral Cami Top – simps

4. Paper dolls Floral Print Swimsuit – really into this one piece trend

5. Adidas Trefoil Tank – WOW. Adidas printed flowers. Need I say more.

6. Reclaimed Vintage Cold Shoulder Dress – Off the shoulder + floral? YES please.

7. Bueno Floral Tote Handbage – One word: Target.

8. Patterned Blouse – I own approx. 9 of these 

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Thoughts

Celebrate! It’s Valentines Day!

Happy Valentines Day!!

 vdayg

TODAY IS THE BIG DAY:

VALENTINES DAY!

(Done with the caps.)

I wish Valentines day happened once a month, or at the very least quarterly. Like I’ve said before, Valentines Day reminds us to give an extra big hug, share a cookie, and buy some flowers.

If you’re the Grinch of Valentines Day, I ask –> WHY? WHY?!?  WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU?! You’re obviously over thinking it.  I don’t associate Valentines day with romance or even buying gifts. I associate it with love, happiness, hugs, pink, flowers… what’s so bad about that?

Offer a compliment, or a hug… Draw some hearts, hang them on the fridge… Wear pink!

S h o c k someone with kindness!

Because, why the F not?! We (the human population) need a lot more kindness going around.  Save the bitchen and moanin for another day, because TODAY is the day we’re being n i c e and k i n d and extra touchy.

vdayf
As for me…
In Austin, the weather is perfect. I say perfect confidently. Sun, blue sky, water, lush, perfect temperature accompanied by a perfect breeze.  There’s nothing more I desire.
Wafiq and I are bringing our leading lady to the green belt, a hiking trail close to where we live. Water + Freedom + Fresh Air
Then we’ll be working on our vision boards. I’ve been wanting to set aside time since Jan. 1 but haven’t squeezed it in. Since we envision only positive adventures in the future, this plan sounds like a great ending to a loving day.
Add some wine, flowers on the table, smooth jazz, candle lit, and some afternoon cooking = We have ourselves a winning Valentines Day!
DON’T overthink Valentines Day, but DO think about it 🙂
vdayc
vdayd
vdaye
Valentines Day 2
vdayh
vdayi
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Photos, Places: Middle East

Miracle Garden Photos

Once upon a time, there was a Miracle Garden that grew in Dubai.  Although the miracle was not in the making, fore it was man-made.. there did appear to be quite a miracle in seeing so many flowers growing in one place amongst the desert. (Also, quite a miracle there were so many excellent places for photo’s 😉 )

Here lies the evidence…

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Role the credits…

(Models pictured below)

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Leeann

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Katie

 

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Juliana

~  The End ~

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