Thursday, October 30, 2014

Friday Halloweenies!!!

HAPPY HALLOWEEN Y'ALL!!!! Boy, do I love Halloween. I love the raised hairs on the back of my neck, chill on the air, the magical time of year that it is! I love costumes and silliness and fun. I love the ancient traditions and the goofier modern traditions. Hocus Pocus, The Great Pumpkin, peeled grapes (eyeballs) and spaghetti (brains!!)! I love the music (my first vinyl record was The Monster Mash), and the suspension of disbelief that allows everyone to basically take a mental night off and just exist freely.

Well, I'm fortunate enough to have the weekend off and I hope y'all do too; and even if you don't, here are some funs, happies, pretties and maybe a few spookies to usher you into a fun-filled weekend!!

*I love that this young gal photoshopped herself into old photos of her mother's childhood and young adult years! It's so fun, and makes you think about (something I've thought about many times) what it would have been like if you could hang out with your folks when they were young. Would they have liked you? Would you have been the good influence or bad?

*OOOOwoooo! Haunted houses (for sale) tour!!!

*AHMAGAH! Madonna Chihuahua!

*Beautiful "lace" pumpkins!

*Great "before and after" wedding photos! 

*Make this cute and quirky garland for trick-or-treaters in just enough time to have it hung before the doorbell rings!

*Pups + Leaves = Total Happiness!!!!!

*I have no idea what costume I could make with this gorgeous silk skirt, but boy is it cute!!! Maybe I don't need a reason!

*Meanwhile...In Scotland.

*Yummy things to do with seasonal squash, or squarshes as has been known to be said 'round these parts.

*Awesome teachers you wish you'd had!

*I laughed so hard at this and have watched it waaaaay too many times since. However, I must share it with you. If you haven't seen Sia's Chandelier video, then here ya go. It's helpful.

*And then there's this incredible version from Dancing with the Stars with the original little gal from the Chandelier video, Maddie Ziegler. She's something else, that kid. Wow.

*On a serious note, Brittany Maynard, the young woman who had chosen to end her life (lived with inoperable brain cancer) with dignity on November 1st,  has decided life is feeling too good to end now. There is no "end date" now, and I think that is so damn cool and ballsy. Go on, girl! Enjoy every damn second!

I hope y'all have a fantastic Halloween weekend! Y'all be safe now!

Thoughts on decluttering...

I've mentioned this several times here, but decluttering my house, wardrobe, mind (life!) has been a focus of mine for a while now. It comes in dribs and drabs, the inspiration to do it, I mean. I get super gung-ho then get totally overwhelmed. It's pretty common, but I don't really like it. I get super bummed when I keep unfortunate cycles going. I want to get to a place where it feels like I've made progress.

Then a little perfect storm hit, as it tends to do when I'm mulling grand things over. First, I got the rush of inspiration and grabbed a few empty cardboard boxes for work for donations (always the first step for me).

Second, I read this article and though some of the suggestions are a little odd (and for me that's saying something); I'd still try them all and it inspired me a bit more. I then scoured the internet for more tips and ideas and more inspiration to get the juices really flowing. Here are a few that really did it for me.

*4 Tips to have a minimalist wardrobe.
*34 Ingenious ways to declutter your entire life. 
*The 7 habits of highly organized people.
*The Only 10 pieces of clothing you need. 

Third, I decided to take a few small steps to get the ball rolling. I got a cheapo shredder for the front door for mail and paperwork. That's my biggest problem in the house. I'm also going to make some changes on the here on P&PPS. I love writing every day, but I find some days are harder to do than others, and most of those days aren't the days that there is a lot of traffic. So next week you will notice there are six posts instead of seven and some of the ideas and themes will be condensed, changed or left out completely. If there is something in particular you really enjoy (like Little Victories etc.) let me know!

So, thus it has begun. Next stop is my spare room. Do you have any surefire ways to declutter? Anything change your perspective, your own little perfect storm? I'd love to know! It's time to make some shit happen, y'all!

I hope you have a truly wonderful day!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Just a little bit- hey baby!

Hey y'all! It's Wednesday and around here on Wednesdays I share all different kinds of organizations, people, animals and causes you can donate to. Even if its just $5! Every little bit helps. Here's the list from previous posts that I think we should check out again!

*Support the Critical Care Program Fund for animals in need!

*Donate to East Nashville Radio and keep this 24/7 online radio station playing great music!

*Let's keep up our support for Narayanan Krishnan and all the solid work he is doing for the impoverished and abandoned in his country.

*Help give clean drinking water to people all over the world. A luxury we often take for granted.

*Support the Marine Mammal Center, love 'em!

*Help heal our American Rivers!

*While we're at it, find and support your local Waterkeepers!

*Surivial International helps tribal peoples, defend their lives, protect their land, and determine their own futures.

*Best Friends saves homeless animals. Help them out today!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Comfort Food Recipe

Another great cauliflower recipe here!

Happy Tuesday, y'all! Lately I've been craving my comfort food fave, Roasted Cauliflower & Garlic Soup. I've made it twice already. I know, I know. Cauliflower is the stepchild of vegetables. I actually disliked it immensely until I sort of stumbled upon making this recipe last year. Now I think I've mastered it.

 It's three of my favorite things: 1) Cheap: $7 to feed two for two days. 2) Easy: it's three steps: chop, roast, puree. 3) It's CRAZY delicious and creamy! Okay it's also healthy (something like 65 calories a cup).

I'm going to share it with you (you are special because I don't usually share my recipes without changing an ingredient or two so yours is never as good as mine). Ahem, this is the real recipe- I swear.


1 head of cauliflower
1 onion (I prefer Vidalia)
3 cloves of garlic
S&P to taste
olive oil
1 carton of chicken broth


Chop the cauliflower and onion. Place in casserole dish or roasting pan. Toss in peeled garlic cloves. Drizzle with olive oil. Salt and pepper generously. Roast at 350 for 45 minutes or until golden brown on top.

Remove from oven and let it cool. Once cool, puree it with the chicken broth. Seriously- that's it. It's superb and SO bloody easy. It's a major crowd pleaser too. It's my super-easy "last minute company" go-to!

Do you think you will give it a try? It took me 30 years before I fell in love with cauliflower and I'm so glad I did.

 If you want some different options for it, it's great with a sprinkle chili flakes. In the depths of winter I usually make it with half & half instead of stock. Crumble goat cheese (or cheddar), green onions and bacon on top. Crazy (more fattening) comfort food, big time!

I hope you love it and I hope you have a truly wonderful day!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Little Victories

Hey y'all! How was your weekend? Mine was great, though spent mostly at work. Well, Mondays around here are all about celebrating the little victories that make progress possible! I share a few of mine in hopes that it will inspire you to recognize all the little victories in your own world. Here we go!

*I stayed calm. I"m on an 11 day shift, my boss is out of town and we had a full store move (a pretty big deal) this weekend. I didn't lose my shit. I am, however, fighting a cold. And yes, the store looks good. Probably not as perfect as it would if my boss had been there (but it's a bit more streamlined in my opinion), and I didn't stress- didn't freak- just did my gig and kept positive. I'm kicking the cold's ass too, while I'm at it.

*I took the time to tell someone she was doing a great job. I think about doing this all the time and then I forget; but then I remembered how awesome it felt to be told I was doing a great job at work. It totally made my day. The young lady seemed really appreciative and you know what? I think I felt better too. The good karma circle, baby!

*I bought (and have been using) the Neutrogena face scrubby thingamadoodle. It exfoliates your face and makes it look all soft and air-brushed. After losing my job in 2010, I gave up my skin care products (to save money) for cold cream, water and sunscreen. It worked sort of, but I missed the regime (and luxury, I guess) of proper skin care. I had always been a stickler since I was like- fifteen. Anyway, I gotta say for $20, it's awesome! I noticed a difference after the first use. I love it! It feels so nice to take care of myself again after all that time. And yes, I've gotten my good ole products back too (Olay says what?!). My newborn crow's feet, laugh lines and rooster neck are well cared for once again.

What little victories have you had this week? I'd love to know!!

I truly hope you have a wonderful day!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Listen Up This Sunday!

It's not exactly our typical affirmation, but it is a great quote for Autumn. As I said yesterday, this is  the Autumn weekend. Get out there an enjoy the heck out of it!!

Have a truly beautiful day!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Saturday Meditation

Well it is the Fall weekend. It's the last weekend before the crazy cluster and barrage of the "holidays" (Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas/Chanukah). The foliage is at the perfect stage where the leaves haven't fallen off the branches but the colors are so stirring. The nights and mornings are chilly and the afternoons are lovely and mild. The breezes make a mess of your hair but that's okay, really.

Take some time today to really appreciate this particular weekend. It never feels more "Fall" than this. I have so many memories of "being young" i.e. feeling free and laughing a lot during this idyllic Autumn time.

It's a magical and simple time. Where the only purpose is the changing of the season and all the incredible alterations nature takes before Winter, nothing else. No shopping, no noise, no brutal discomfort. Just comfort, and friends and coziness and great music or great quiet. It is perfection.

Breathe in deeply a few times, let your shoulders relax. Take it in. Next weekend October will be over and it will be November.  It seems to go by so quickly. Really try to be present in this actual moment. It's a gift.

Have a truly beautiful day, y'all.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Friday Happies!

Hey y'all! I can't believe it's rolling up on the weekend again! This week has just flown by. Well, you know the drill around here on Fridays, it's all about funs, happies, pretties and the like so you are ushered in to a great weekend with a smile on your face (even if you have to work all weekend like me!). Here we go!

*I was really inspired by this post. Why You Should Hang Out With + Date People You Admire.

*Black cat Halloween pumpkins?! Soo cool!!!

*Yum times a thousand.

*I'm not that into "shabby chic" but I dig this idea of making your crappy fridge look more rustic and less well- crappy!

*Um, yes please. 

*Well that is certainly something. I love it and its so odd!

*Watercolor mirrors. What a cool idea! I think I want to try to make some for gifts (and one for me...ahem). Would you try something like that? It reminds me of a beautiful watercolor tattoo I saw a few years ago.

*This made me and the hubs laugh so much for so long!

*Holy cow!! That. is. awesome!!!

*Akinator, the Web Genius will guess any fictional character you think of by asking you 20 questions. It guessed my obscure one. The hubs stumped it by picking a real person. Either way, it's eerily good! Fun!

*Well, that puppy is the cutest puppy I've seen today. Little feller!!

*A comedic gymnastics routine? Yep, and it made me chortle. There is definitely an homage to Mr. Bean or Monty Python in there somewhere.

Have a great weekend y'all!!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Book Love

I just finished the best book, Death Comes to Pemberly by P.D. James! It is a murder mystery set six years after  Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice. For a book nerd like me, it's a total double whammy. Not only does James nail an Austenesque voice (and loving detail about the characters we fell for in P&P) but weaves a murder mystery set in the woodlands of the vast Pemberly Estate that unravels all kinds of sordid misdeeds! It was perfect to be reading this time of year, because it has a bit of spookiness and begins in October.

I loved seeing a more personal side to the Darcy and Elizabeth relationship, and it is gratifying. Plus the book takes place from the perspective of both of them; so you get to walk around in their heads little bit, which I found to be fantastic.

The amusing faults of characters like Lady Catherine, Mrs. Bennet, Lydia and Wickham are pitch perfect while the good naturedness of Bingley and Jane, and the wry wit of Mr. Bennet walk you through the comfort of a well-loved and well-orchestrated world. Only once or twice a word choice felt a smidge modern, but everything else about it seemed as if Austen had signed off on this herself.

I really enjoyed it and will most likely add this to the list of books I read every year (with Chocolat, Like Water for Chocolate, Pride & Prejudice and Sense & Sensibilitiy).

Have you read this book? Did you like it? Do you have any to recommend? I'd love to know!

I hope you have a truly wonderful day!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Give a little bit!

Hey y'all! It's Wednesday, and around here on Wednesdays I give a list of organizations, people, animals etc. you can donate to (even just $5 helps!). No act of kindness, no matter how small ever goes unnoticed!

*This is cool!, teachers ask for what the need for their students, your donations get them what they need!

*Help little Diesel get his tests and treatment. Look at that face!!!

*Kiva is an organization that helps give loans to people all over the world to start their own businesses! How neat is that?!

*I've linked to Best Friends before, but it's been a while and I like them. So here it is again!

*Help Mom get to France!

*Give this soap maker a helping hand to get her wares out to her community. They look so nice!

*Help lay to rest a family (one mother and four children) who were killed in a fire. So sad.

*This little guy fell 150 feet down cliff and survived with major injuries. The Oregon Humane Society's Technical Animal Rescue Team hiked for hours to get him safely to surgery (he's doing great- what a tough and brave little guy!). Anything over the costs needed for his surgeries and medicines (already covered) goes to those brave and loving animal lovers that saved his life. Let's help them out!

*Let's give this dance troupe the public dance event they are working toward!

*Direct Relief International provides medical assistance to improve the quality of life to those affected by poverty, illness, catastrophe and war. A frequent high-ranking organization for its quality work.

Give what you can y'all! Every little bit helps!

I truly hope you have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Inspired by...

Boardwalk Empire! What a stunningly designed and orchestrated show and it's almost over. Waaah! I think it would be so fun to have a themed party for the finale. Of course, I have no one in my little town circle of friends that enjoys a beautiful yet violent show like Boardwalk Empire. So I'm falling down the rabbit hole of the internet devouring all the pretty fashions and miscellany purely for myself and for you to enjoy!

At the beginning of the season, the show jumps from 1924 to 1931 which came as a surprise to a lot of people. However, it has been very enjoyable watching this beautiful designed show tackle an even more violent world than it left us with at the end of last session (if possible!). Anyway, the clothes and the characters are just great. This reminds me of Patricia Arquette's awesome (and Floridian) character, Sally Wheet. What a force of nature!

Love that whacky manicure too! She's such a badass! (No spoilers here).

A menu from a Farewell Dinner in 1931. It's so funny! Mixed pickles, caviar and iced table celery to start!

Here's a recipe from 1931 from the Chicago Tribune for that classic of classics, Pineapple Icebox Pie! While you're at it, read all the articles! It's so fun to read the old newspapers.

Much of the first part of the season is in Havana, Cuba. Therefore I present to you, The Hotel Nacional Special.

Got a little ditty to enjoy, The Tiger Rag by The Mills Brothers.

I've had so much fun learning about the year 1931. A lot was going on in the country and the show definitely shows just one or two perspectives on what was otherwise a diversely trying time in our nation. However, suspension of disbelief is an amazing thing and it sure is fun to imagine yourself in these places, with these clothes and fabulous food and drink (still illegal at the time). I hope you enjoy this little look into that world.

Have a truly wonderful day!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Little Victories...

Hey y'all! It's a beautiful autumn morning here in North Florida. Warm with a lovely breeze and brilliant blue skies. Magical. Well, I had a fantastic weekend. I visited a dear friend and her new baby, then the hubs and I caught THE BEST Jason Isbell & John Prine show. Fantastic.

So anyway, around here on Mondays we celebrate the little victories that make progress possible. When your in the mire of change sometimes it's hard to realize how far you have come. I share my little victories in the hopes you will recognize your own and perhaps even share some of yours with me!

*Vitamins. I'm so bad about taking them regularly usually. I've been taking them regularly for a few days now and it has made a nice difference (even if its the placebo effect). But feeling good is a big deal and something I want to feel regularly. Go vitamins!!! I'm a complete and total nerd.

*Kept on the bright side. I don't like driving in big cities. I'm not a huge fan of the city we went to for the concert to begin with and it was tough. Hours of traffic and our valeted car got broken into. I didn't let it ruin my mood. In fact, we looked at all the bright side things like our seats got upgraded at the concert (like six rows closer!) and so did our hotel! It makes everything better when you acknowledge the little gifts.

*We got a big dose of inspiration and motivation from the show. So so good. The first step when overwhelmed with inspiration is to do something about it. And I am. No zero days, I'm doing one small thing every time the wind of inspiration blows. Getting that snowball effect going, you know! This is kind of vague but so far its been things like unpacking my bags immediately instead of living out of them for a month. Getting the laundry done before we went to bed yadda yadda. It all adds up!

What little victories did you achieve this weekend or week? I'd love to know!

I hope you have a beautiful day!

Sunday, October 19, 2014


We all have something we put off or use an excuse for a lack of progress. Why do we do that? Start it. Begin. The tiniest thing is a beginning. Start somewhere. Simply do it!

Have a truly wonderful day!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Saturday Meditation

Hey y'all,  take some time today to practice stepping outside of a stressful situation. It could be as simple as looking out the window and watching the leaves fall or seeing if you notice any leaves that are changing in the trees. Imagine the Autumn breezes whisking your irritation and frustration away. It is but the work of a moment and it can help you keep from snapping at your loved one or making a rude remark. Try it today. Little 30 second bursts of nature meditation. It works for me all the time, especially at work. Nixing negativity before it evens leaves your mouth is a huge success.

I hope you have a truly wonderful day and weekend!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Friday Happies!

Hey y'all it's Friday! I hope your week has been badass and that you have a pleasant weekend ahead of you. The hubs and I are heading to Atlanta to see John Prine and I'm so damn excited! Well, around here on Fridays I share funs, happies, pretties and what-nots to make you laugh, relax a little and get excited for the weekend (whether you are off work or not). Heeeeeere we go!

*Y'all wanna get spooky? 

*"Crumbling" mansions for sale for less than 100K. I'm super intrigued! What beautiful links to the past. I hope people buy them and restore them to their former glory.

*I love this little kid and his love for the film Dirty Dancing. At first you think its just a little kid dancing, then he busts out some impressive moves (especially during the bit where Swayze jumps off the stage- awesome!).  It's totally worth watching the whole thing!

*It may be a few months early; but there is ugly, then there is ug-ly! Whoo lawdy!

*Homemade Oatmeal Cream Pies! I know a handful of lovely people that would like to get a warm basket of these as a gift!

*Well that made me laugh louder than I expected (because we all have had that happen at least once, amiright?!).

*I may have been living under rock, but I didn't even know Streisand had a son, let alone one with such a voice (his part begins at 1:56).

*I don't even need 21 reasons. Do you?

*Ooh, these are saucy!

*This sounds like it smells absolutely incredible! Me wanty!

*Oh my goodness! That is the cutest thing I've seen in a minute!!

*Poor buddy! "I'm okay! I'm okay!" Heavens, that's so cute & funny!

*I weirdly like this.

*Something I've wondered! How does one throw a Halloween party without looking like a jerk?

*12 words even smart people get wrong. I love her blog almost as much as I love semantic antics!

I hope you have a wonderful day!!!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

The Quest Begins

Every year I read the amount of books for the age I am that year (awkward sentence translation: I'm 32 right now and I'm reading 32 books this year). Earlier this year I read an awesome book my mom gave me (this one). Well, it was mostly awesome- some of it was a little "I'm a middle aged, well-to-do ex-patriot living in France" (three things I most certainly am not/am not doing) but the rest of it was really great advice on the French mentality behind skincare, hair care, style and diet/exercise. It's had quite the affect on me. Particularly investing in a quality hair cut/style. 

You see, *dramatic sigh*, I had the best hairstylist, Meghan, a few years ago. I met her literally five minutes after a break up and she proceeded to give me the cutest and most flattering, easy-to-manage haircut that I kept for four years until the hubs and I moved away in 2011. Well, we've been back for three years now and I haven't been able to reconnect with her...until this week. 

Y'all I'm gonna get my groove back!!! I'm so excited and now I'm trying to find the right hairstyle for me in this point of my life.

I want it to reflect my personality (quirky, wash-and-go low maintenance, and a little rock and roll hippie). I want to look sophisticated now that I'm in my 30's, but also a bit young, a bit more hot and a dash edgy (don't want to feel like I've lost that, you know?!). So, y'all- help a chick out, here are some options I'm looking at, give me your insights if you have any! 

Facts: my hair is stick straight, but will do interesting things if layered correctly. It is baby fine, but for the handful of  badass silvery greys coming in that are crazy cat lady kinky (and I weirdly love it).
Here are the options:

#1. That hot toddy at the top of the page. It's kind of French, a little rock and roll, and a lot lady badass, with a chic spin. It's closer to the length I have right now too.

#2. Similar but a teeny bit longer and more layered. I like this one because it's kind of wispy and Chrissy Hynde-y and I LOVE me some Chrissy Hynde!

#3. The Charlotte. I've missed my long hair since I cut off 11 inches (!) in January, even though long hair can be such a pain in the ass. This would be something I'm working toward, but it's so damn sexy, right?!

What do y'all think? I'd love to know. And while I'm at it, I love the idea of taking care of yourself in this regard. It isn't trite or superficial to care for yourself and to feel confident. What do you do to care/make yourself feel confident?

I hope you have a truly wonderful day!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Give a little bit!

Hey y'all! It's Wednesdays and you know what we do on Wednesdays around here, we spotlight organizations, people, animals, businesses etc. that could you help even by just donating as little as $5. Here we go!

*Help Cash get the medicine he needs! Only $30 away from their goal!

*Rescue an historic home (that looks like a castle!) in Johnson City, TN so it can be turned into a cultural arts center!

*Help support Climate At Your Doorstep, a newsletter/forum dedicated to bringing solid information on climate change.

*Narayanan Krishnan is a remarkable person. Not only did he give up a well-paying hotel career to feed the homeless, mentally ill and abandoned elderly in India; he also bathes, shaves and gives hair cuts and physical contact to those in his society that are actively neglected. What a kind, loving soul. Help keep his organization alive. 

*Help animals around the world!

*Give to the Wildlife Conservation Society and help conserve land, and save animals.

*Help 16 year old's Jake's family with his medical expenses since he became paralyzed from the waist down in an accident.

*Help this nutty redhead get her gourmet praline business (Nutty Redhead) get on the grocery store shelves! Healthy and delicious!

I hope you have a truly wonderful day!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Rainy Tuesday

Heavens! It is such a rainy day down here in the South. A huge thunder boomer has come in from the West and with it (hopefully) some cooler weather! Today I thought it might be fun to share some cool Fall items perfectly suitable for inclement weather! Here we go!

*Whatever this guy is selling, I'm buying. Ahem.

*And some rain boots for me (for when I have my little farm one day).

*Some saucy ones for rainy nights out!

*I love this packable trench coat in both colors!

*I'm a little practical when it comes to umbrellas (like an old British lady). I'd really like to have this one.

*Though, it is always nice to have a little fun umbrella in the car for emergencies. One of these would put a smile on my face. 

*What a pretty hat to face a storm in, eh?

*Alas, I must be on my way to work soon, but what I really want today however, is a little bit of this, and this, while looking out the window at this.

I hope you have a wonderful day, y'all! Stay warm and dry!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Little Victories!

Hey y'all, I hope you had a great weekend. I worked most of it but still managed to squeeze in some major fun on Sunday. Now it's Monday and around here on Mondays I share a few little victories in the hopes that you will recognize (and maybe share) the small progresses you've made. Acknowledging the progresses makes the goal more attainable (at least it feels it does!). So, without further ado, here we go!

*I skipped the booze. Not entirely, but I made an effort to resist triggers. I threw back some brewskis with the fam at Irish music night, and had deeeeeelcious wine at my anniversary dinner, however- I avoided my triggers the rest of the week (and when you're paying attention to calories...wowsa- that really adds up).

*Two smoothies a day. Keeping it up, trying to slim down a bit for our big trip to Atlanta next weekend to see John Prine. I'm so excited! Anyway, the point is, I'm making two delicious fruit & veg smoothies so I don't eat peanut butter and chocolate chips or a can of carrots for dinner as has been known to happen. Ahem.

*I've made a point to dance at a high intensity for 5-10 minutes every day. So far I'm four days in. I can really feel a difference and I'm just putting on catchy songs and dancing like a muppet in my kitchen. I look like a crazy person but it's so much fun (and a great workout)! Yes, I am a nerd. And the song above is one of my favorites, it's something about the drums.

What are some of your successes? I'd love to know! Every little thing does add up and can make a huge difference and/or impact on your life.

I truly hope you have a wonderful day!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Sunday Affirmation

BOOM. There it is. What are you going to do about it?

Have a truly wonderful day!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Saturday Meditation

It's Saturday, y'all! Time for your weekly dose of seasonal/nature-inspired quiet time to help you conclude your previous week and gear up for your next. A sweltering heat wave down here in the South has made all Autumnal whispers fade, but its okay. I know more crisp fantastic weather will be on its way soon.

Today, try to get outside and be active. I like to walk around the lake where I live. Leave the earbuds out of your ears and just be alone with your thoughts. It's amazing what will swirl through your mind if you give it the chance to speak up. I've solved many a problem by hashing it out in my mind over the course of a half hour. Do that for yourself today, even if you're just going over your grocery list. You see, it's like the Shower Principle from 30 Rock. You always think of some great idea in the shower because part of your mind is distracted performing a task, so the rest is freed up to fix that thing you were worried about.

Take a little time for your mind to process the past week and the week ahead. You may just be surprised at the volume of stuff your mind is juggling at any given time. Let it breath. Let your mind sift through it all.

I hope you have a truly wonderful day!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Friday Happies!

I can't believe it's Friday again! How was your week, guys? Mine was good. I kept forgetting which day of the week it was, so I had something like three Wednesdays. The hubs and I are celebrating our 4th (legal) anniversary and I'm working the rest of the weekend, but I surely hope y'all have a great weekend planned with days of relaxing in the Autumn breezes, quality time with quality people and loads of positivity! Here's this Friday's lists of happies, pretties and funnies to get you started!

*I love the cluster of frames and what-nots (above). It's so pleasant, quirky and interesting. I like to have art in the house that intrigues me every time I see it. Maybe in the new apartment (whenever that happens), I'll put together something like this!

*This made me laugh, though there are a few edits I'd make.

*Just a delightfully cheeky reminder that it's Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and y'all- ya gotta feel your boobies!

*What I wish I'd done for my bestie's baby shower last April! So cool and chic.

*Fresh pumpkin crates in three color schemes?! Yes, please!! I can't tell which one I like the best. Maybe the green and white!

*I love this metallic DIY centerpiece for Fall. Seems easy enough! Famous last words, right?

*Just finished binge-watching the final season. I miss those guys. 

*What a stunning wind chime. Me wanty (for the prosperity gua in my house- I love Feng Shui).

*I found this video a few years ago and I just love it. This one too. So sweet and magical!

*Now that is a good looking iPhone case/wallet. I could care less that it's Buffalo leather (would prefer it weren't actually), but the design is cool and sophisticated in a pleasantly rustic way.

*What absolutely gorgeous lampshades. The detail! The colors! The whimsy! I don't know which one I love more. They'd be so great in a child's bedroom, or an ahem, adult woman's living room.

*I weirdly love this.

*I used to sell these candles in a shop I worked in, I love them and get all excited when I see the Fall colors. I think I'd get these for Fall, these for the Holidays.

*A knockout bourbon punch recipe. Wowsa!

*I need quite a bit more exercise before I can get away with this, but dammit, I think it's so pretty. Perhaps I should lay off the knockout bourbon punch...

I hope you have a truly wonderful day and weekend!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Thoughts on Progress

The moon from my back yard.

How about that Full Moon last night? Did you catch the lunar eclipse on Wednesday (morning, approximately 3:25 AM)? I just love this time of year so much (I know, I know- I only say it every day)! There really is something some special and basic about getting out under the beautiful Fall moon and sky and letting it wash over you.

This season is a great time to evaluate the progress you've made over the year, as I've mentioned earlier. It's a time to cull from the mistakes made over the year and really begin to formulate an action plan to make progress for the future year. Sound bonkers? Well, in many cultures this time of year is the time of ancestors. Who better to help you learn from your mistakes than your ancestors, right? I can practically hear my grandmothers giving me "helpful" advice as I type this. Just kidding with the air quotes, my late grandmas were awesome (and so is the lovely one I'm fortunate enough to have left, love you Bev!)

But seriously, progress is something so fascinating to me. It exists not only in the major actions, but in the minutia. If you read every Monday, then you know that I believe in the teeny incremental things we do that further our progress.

I've mentioned lately that I've been overwhelmed. I've been feeling a bit "cart before the horse", a little "static in the brain", and quite frankly- a little bit failure-y lately.   I'm trying to recalibrate. I've been trying to remember all the little things do add up and that I'm in that middle part of progress where it feels stale and burdensome to continue the actual work of making changes. Basically, I'm writing this as a reminder to myself and to anyone out there reading who experiences the same or similar, that its worth it. That real change is on the way if you work on it every day, even if it feels a bit burdensome sometimes.

I know I can do it, and you can too. It takes determination for a better life. It takes dedication to the goal you have set. It takes faith in yourself that you can do it. Take some time tonight, really think about the goals you set at the beginning of the year. Think of the progress you've made, and do just one thing to further your progress today.

I hope you have a truly wonderful (and progressive) day!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Give a Little Bit!

Hell y'all, it's Wednesday which means another dose of awesome people, animals and other organizations you can contribute to to help make the world a little bit of a better place! Remember, even just $5 can help so much!

*Help make a change in Africa, Asia, and Central America by helping to give clean, fresh drinking water to those in need. 

*While we're at it, let's get our Earth's soil in better shape too! Donate to the Soil Association today!

*Help General get the surgery he needs. He's a good boy and they're so close, only $970 away from their goal! He got 5 of my dollars!

*Best Friend's Animal Society! Help save them all! Love those sweet animal faces!

*I've got animals on the brain today! Help the only no-kill shelter in Tuscon relocate to a better location. 

*Help fund a billboard in England to raise awareness on the lives of racing greyhounds. They're close to their goal!

*Grayling Ceramics Studio is soooooo close to their goal, only $1037 left to go and 10 days left to do it! Give them a helping hand if you can!

*Clorofilia, a magazine of plant and ecology inspired articles and comics by artists and farmers needs your help to be published!

I hope you're inspired to help others today, and I hope you have a truly wonderful day!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Tuesday Cozies!

Y'all may have realized Fall is my favorite time of year. It makes me so happy, and one of my favorite things to do once it starts getting cooler out is make ultimate comfort food dishes. So, I thought it'd be fun to share some with y'all today to get you in the mood too (if you aren't already!).

*Dude. Cheesy Pumpkin Orzo. It's so good! I made it for my Fall party last year. It's delicious and makes a ton!

*Roast Chestnut, Parnsip, Apple & Goat Cheese Soup. I cannot wait to try this! It has all my favorites! I want to be snuggling up to watch Hocus Pocus or Nightmare Before Christmas and an Abita Oktoberfest beer when I have this!

*Oh my goodness. Spicy Cream of Pumpkin Soup with Crispy Prosciutto. Yep. Heaven.

*Autumn Couscous Salad. Light and yummy!

*Holay molay! Almond Cranberry Squash Bake. What a perfect middle of the week, "I don't feel like cooking" meal. I'd probably toss some bacon crumbled on top or something for a little extra protein.

*Autumn Lasagna. This sounds incredible and I can't wait to try it. Turkey, sage, garlic, butternut squash, mozzarella! Dear diary...

*I think y'all may have deduced I'm a Southern gal, and down here we have pecans coming out the wazoo most of the time. So, my last little addition to this roster of awesomeness, is Candied Pecans. They're like crack. I'm not allowed near an open container for I will eat them all. I like to add a little cayenne to mine. Meowr!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Little Victories!

A happy place of mine. It's tucked away and I like to read there.

Happy Monday, y'all! I hope you had a great weekend and your week has started back up full of positivity and good intentions. Around here on Mondays I like to celebrate a few small victories in the hopes it will inspire you to take notice of the little things you did that are helping you incrementally toward your goals, happiness and the like! So, without further ado, here's the list!

*I ordered the broccoli. I wanted fries, but I've been craving French fries like crazy for a month and no amount of me ordering it is satiating the craving (so bizarre- and no, I'm not knocked up). However whilst we enjoyed a slap-dash meal at a favorite restaurant this weekend, I ordered the Parmesan broccoli instead. It was delicious and it did make me feel noticeably less guilty/bitchy afterward. Yay for baby trees! That's what I called them when I was a little 'un.

*I said, "I'm great actually." when people asked me how I was doing at work. I felt like rubbish (been fighting a cold thanks to burning the candle at both ends for a few weeks). I could have been grumpy. In all honesty I had to correct myself a few times and remind myself to say I was better than I was. Even though I felt like I had been hit by a truck, I still was doing great. I was in a good mood and I wasn't having difficult customers, everything was going pretty swimmingly. So, to sum that up, I chose the majority good over the one bad. It helped and by the end of the work day I was even beginning to feel a bit better.

*I told someone they were right/had good advice when they were/gave it. Two peoples actually! It's funny and odd to realize how frequently our friends, family, co-workers, spouses, lovers etc. say or do something that is solid and how rarely we tell them that. For reasons of pride or time or whatever excuses we make. But it felt good to say, "That's great advice, so-and-so. I think I may just try that!" and "You know, you are right about that thing we talked about. Thanks for your input, it really helped me with my quandary etc." However you say it, try to acknowledge someone's rightness today. It really surprises them and usually brings a smile to their faces.

What little victories did you have? I'd love to know!

I hope you have a truly wonderful day!!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Sunday Affirmation

I love this idea. I try to go the extra mile in a lot of ways and I fail at it in others, but its a lovely statement, and its true. I've watched countless people work hard to be lazy; going out of their way doing three times the work so they don't have to do what they think is actual "work". It's exhausting. Just doing a little bit more for others, for work, cleaning your house etc., it really isn't that hard. And let me tell you, it feels awesome to do a damn good job and especially when you meet other people who like to go the extra mile too. It's like a secret club. People who go above and beyond. It's rewarding and it's lovely.

How will you go the extra mile today? What will you make with this idea?

Have a truly wonderful day, y'all!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Have a Breezy Saturday!

It's almost pumpkin time y'all! I saw these beauties at Tractor Supply (I love Tractor Supply)!

Lovelies! It is a gorgeous breezy Autumn(isn) day down here in the deep ole dirty South. There is something so enchanting about Fall. I can't quite put my finger on it. Perhaps its the changing of the season, the final reprieve from the stifling humid heat of Southern Summers. I've always been so affected by those first tendrils of cool on the air. They are becoming more frequent now and it makes me feel more creative, more adventurous, spontaneous and feisty. Maybe its the animal inside, you know? Something inside senses a change is on the wind.

I plan on spending as much time outdoors this weekend as I can. I want to absorb all the tingly, breezy, fantastic energies swirling all around. Take some time with me. Find a place to set up, camp out, so to speak. I'm talking picnic style, if you can arrange it. Or maybe a porch or a shady, spot in nature. Spread a blanket down and lay on your back and look at the clouds (when was the last time you did that?).

Take the time to feel the change moving about nature. If you can only steal ten minutes with your coffee, then do it. It lowers blood pressure and generally makes you a happier person to be around. It is truly a beautiful thing to sit back and look at the world going about its business. It reminds you that you're here for a ride and that everything isn't all about you. There is something bigger going on. That's something I think we all need to take time to remember, and I think it's a lovely thought. As humans we tend to make ourselves believe it all revolves around us and it just doesn't. Take comfort in that thought. We are a part of an ecosystem, not any other way around.

Take some deep breaths and send out some gratitude. For the changing of the season, for the wonderful things in your life and the beautiful nature that surrounds you.

I hope you have a truly wonderful and breezy Autumn day!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Friday Happies!

Clay Babies (see #4)

Hey y'all! It's Friday and it's time for some fun things to start your weekend off on the right foot! I hope y'all have had a great week and are ready for a lovely, relaxing and positivity-filled weekend.
Here we go!

*Are you a pogonophile? I am. Big time.

*I love this kid. He's so wonderfully weird. I appreciate that in a fellow human being.

*When I was a teenager, my mom painted our foyer a really beautiful robin's egg blue then hand-stamped gold metallic stars over it. Audacious? Yes! Awesome? Yes-er!! I think that's why I love this wallpaper so much (and I, by principle, detest wallpaper). It's just classy and a little over-the-top (which I love). I think it would be really amazing in a small bathroom or as a surprise when you open a closet door.

*How cool/weird/amazing! 

*I don't know if its because I've always loved miniatures, but I've wanted to downsize my appliances for a good long while (I may also be a nerd). When I build my dream house, I want a fridge like this. It's so cute!

*10 ways to fit fun into a busy day. We all need this sometimes, right?

*There's a little Karen in all of us.

*Well that's a hilarious idea for a jack-o-lantern!

*A cute way to stay organized.

*I don't know what the hell an artisan crystal baking sprinkle is (I'm going to go out on a limb and guess really fancy sprinkles), but it seems like it would be a great gift or stocking stuffer (yes, I'm thinking of that already) for the baker in your life.

*Bill Murray bath mat for the win!

I hope y'all have a truly wonderful day and weekend!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

A Little Yummy Goodness!

My little lunch spot at The Paisley Cafe. Best butternut squash soup!

How is this week going by so quickly, y'all?! I can't believe its already Thursday! I've been working hard all week, but had an awesome day off on Tuesday. I treated myself to a lovely lunch at my favorite little spot in town with a good book and a glass of prosecco.

Well, I mentioned earlier in the week that I was trying some new smoothies this week to get some extra nutrients and a good breakfast in my tummy before I leave for work. I've been experimenting with a few recipes so I thought I'd share some of them with you!

*Sweet Greens. I make my own version of this that is very similar. I sub peaches for pear, it's just a taste preference. But man oh man! This is so good and its the best breakfast on the go. I added flax seed too and am making this a daily thing. It's just a great!

*These awesome raspberry and peach smoothies. Again, I tweak this a little for my own tastes. I mix the two together and use almond milk instead of greek yogurt (and those flax seeds are ever present). But, this is such a nice, refreshing drink. It makes a great breakfast, but I find it really fits my 3:00 pm "I'm now completely worthless to the world" energy slump quite nicely.

*This clean-eating Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal Smoothie sounds so incredible. It's healthy and yet it seems so decadent and desserty! I plan on making this as a part of my weekend "treat yo'self" awesomeness.

*This Blackberry Cherry Smoothie is perfection. I sub almond milk (der- I'm not buying thirty types of dairy to make smoothies, sorry) for coconut milk. But LAWD, it is good!!!!!

*This Hidden Veggie Breakfast Smoothie. I think you could sneak some beets in there too. I'm not the hugest beet fan in the world but they are so good for you, I have to figure out a way to trick even myself.

Do you have a go-to smoothie or healthy breakfast on the go recipe you could share? I'm always looking for new ways to be healthy while maintaining my natural ineptitude for getting out the door on time in the mornings.

I hope you take some time to try some of these. They really are delicious and it is always good to do something positive for your body.

I hope y'all have a truly wonderful day!!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Spread it- the love, I mean!

Chuchi girl was a sweet, sweet girl. Never met a stranger or a frisbee she didn't like. RIP, good girl.

It's Wednesday, y'all. And for those of you who read regularly, it's just our Wednesday karma round-up! I list a handful of people you can donate to (it started with a $5 donation request), and you give to them or to the charities, organizations, people etc. that move you.

Whether or not you have given to any of the organizations, charities and folks I've listed here, there have been some big successes, particularly as of late! Five charities (Turnip the Beet Farms, the Desert Farm Initiative, Semolina Superheroes -smallest American pasta factory, Carly Jacobs doing Silly things for a bus, and the Monarch Butterfly Tagging Project!) we've listed have met major goals and/or been able to fund their projects thanks to people like you!!! Take a moment to let that soak in. Lives have been changed!! Let's give it up for some major successes in the lives of a few, and manifest ways to help so many more!

*Many years ago I had the privilege of falling in love with a pup named Chuchi. She was my best friend. The sweetest pup around; she never hurt a fly. She happened to be a pit bull. I have loved and rescued a few pits in my life. It isn't the breed that is nasty, it's what has happened to them (what people have done to them). I support Tia Torres' rescue center in New Orleans because these animals never asked to be a "bully" breed. In fact, they used to be (and still are) a "nanny" breed. That's right. They were known for their sweet, kind and loving nature with children, with anyone who will love them. Support Villalobos, New Orleans today. In honor of Chuchi and Cannonball Mingus. Two loving and kind pits that have pieces of my heart forever. Bless Tia's heart and the hearts of all those beautiful animals. Truly.

*John Oliver did a great bit on how pageants, such as Miss America, are the largest "providers" of scholarships for women (i.e also shady as hell) and they require their recipients to be unmarried, participate in a swimsuit competition, be the proud owner of a completely pristine uterus and the ability to answer complex socio-political scenarios in only 20 seconds. Here are some other (BETTER) providers of scholarships for women that don't rely on bathing suit bottom adhesives. And don't get me wrong, pageants are what they are. They just shouldn't be the largest "provider" of academic scholarships for women. Ahem. Take some time to check out these sites: Society of Women Engineers, The Patsy Mink Foundation, and The Rankin Foundation. And a tip of the hat to John Oliver for delving so steadfastly into the subject as to enlighten even the (sometimes) laziest of feminists.

*Help retired racing Greyhounds live a fulfilling life filled with love and companionship!

*Save Ace's life. He's a rescue dog, deaf and blind and suffering a neurological disease that causes seizures. Yet somehow he has been able to help a child with autism learn, grow and behave better. Help this animal who was saved by this family who is, in turn, saving his family. Save Ave & his boy.

*Help Sam with the expenses to treat his Hodgkin's Lymphoma. It started out as what seemed like an infection that only needed antibiotics.

*I've said it once (maybe thrice), Find Your Waterkeeper!!!!

I hope y'all all have a truly wonderful day and remember that no act of kindness, no matter how small, goes unnoticed.

*Don't forget to say "Rabbit Rabbit" first thing in the morning today! It wishes you good luck throughout the upcoming month. If you forgot, you can always say "Tibbar Tibbar" to reverse the unfortunate juju. Love to all y'all!!!