Day 28: Self Care Sunday: Walks in Nature

Ahhh we’re so nearing the end! I’m trying to make it with a strong finish, and there’s definitely a lot I’ve learned about doing Blogtober, but ANYWAY. Today’s Self Care Sunday I actually got the idea for earlier this week. I had woken up and was supposed to go to the gym for a really intense workout, but what I wanted more than anything was a nice, slow, meditative walk in nature. So after arguing with myself for 45 minutes, I decided that going to the gym wouldn’t actually be that productive because A) I would hate myself the entire time, and B) I would be so miserable being there that the workout would probably suck. So in the interest of #SelfCare, I put on my sneakers and set out on a walk down to the riverside.

Something about being out in nature just resets me, and I think this is a pretty universal feeling. The air is clear, the weather is soothing, and something about all the trees really just helps you get in touch with yourself. At least that’s how I feel. So I downloaded a podcast from Kalyn Nicholson, put on a jacket and my sneakers, and went for a walk. I spent a lot of the walk practiciing mindfulness; trying to be cognizant of the way the leaves looked, of how the air felt, of the scent in the air. I found a flower randomly going out of the pavement, and then had a rush of gratitude; if I hadn’t been watching where  I was going, I would’ve missed it entirely.

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Literally just growing right out of the sidewalk!   

I live right near the Naugatuck River, and there’s this beautiful little river walk I love to run on, and that was where I decided to go take my walk. So I walked down there, saw the sun, smelled the river, and honestly just felt so at peace with the world. It sounds so “hippie-dippy”, but some time in nature is sometimes really just what you need. As much as we all think of meditating as sitting criss-cross on the floor, sometimes it’s just as helpful to walk through nature and be mindful of your surroundings. That was what I focused on Sunday, and as much as I was obsessed with getting home and getting a bunch of tasks finished, I tried to push all that away in favor of just being mindful and enjoying what I was doing in that moment.

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Casual morning. I am so grateful to live near something so beautiful.

In the end, I ended up walking 3 miles, which although took me about an hour at a much slower pace than I would’ve normally run, was super cathartic and wonderful. I returned home at peace, feeling at one with the world, and ready to take on the day. Sometimes, we need to just forgive ourselves, take it easy, and do what’s best for our minds versus what we believe is the ultimate end-all-be-all. I’m still learning how to accept that, but it’s something I’m really trying hard to believe in.

Anyway, hope you enjoyed this Self Care Sunday, and here’s to making a strong finish with the rest of Blogtober!

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Blogtober Day 25: How I Celebrate Halloween

Hey y’all!

Blogtober is coming to an end in just 6 days, and I’ve definitely failed a bit at it, but I’m still going to go along pretending like I haven’t for a little while longer. Today, I’m sharing with you a guest post I wrote for my lovely friend Sophie! She is also doing Blogtober, and I’m so excited she gave me the chance to be apart of it! Click here to read my post and check out the rest of Sophie’s blog!

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If you can’t get the hyperlink above to work, copy and paste this one into your browser:

https://sophieblogslife.wordpress.com/2018/10/25/halloween-guest-post-blogtober-day-25/

 

Blogtober Day 23: Hello Gourd-geous

I am literally obsessed with pumpkins. That sounds like the most ridiculous statement in the world, but bear with me. They’re so cute and orange and round. Pumpkin patches are incredibly aesthetically pleasing. Pumpkin carving is a FUN holiday activity. You can actually EAT things made of pumpkin and they are DELICIOUS. What reason is there to not carve pumpkins?

So, I am enthusiastically encouraging everyone to get to a pumpkin patch as soon as possible (like, yesterday), and pick yourself some pumpkins. Yes, you can get them at a grocery store for cheaper, but the experience of going to a pumpkin patch is SO much more enticing!

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Okay, I mean come ON, this was a man made pumpkin patch and it was still the greatest thing I’d ever seen!

Pumpkin picking is an EXCELLENT date, and honestly one of the most fun ones I’ve done! Bobby and I went to this fall festival on Staten Island (where he lives) and spent a crazy long amount of time looking for the absolute perfect pumpkin (plot twist: we left with three). It was just so much fun to be laughing and looking for these pumpkins and knowing that once we got them home, there was even MORE fun in carving them!

 

We got some pumpkins, we got them home, and after I forced Bobby to watch Hocus Pocus for the first time (he was indifferent to the film, which I find unbelievable), we set out to carving these bad boys. We lit a fall candle, turned on a horror movie (Freddy vs. Jason), and bonded over the careful art of carving a jack o lantern.

Even though he’d only done it once before, he was way better at it than I was, but like, whatever, I’m barely even bitter about it. We also opted out of buying the guides at the store, but they look really fun, so I’d be interested in trying one of them someday! You can get them at Target for only five or so dollars, and they look really cool! This is how our free handed pumpkins turned out.

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There’s a little guy next to those two we didn’t carve…he’s just sitting on my desk as I write. He was too teeny!

Anyway, this was an A+ fall experience, and whether you’re doing it alone, with your family, or with a significant other, I would definitely recommend it all! It gets you really in the spooky mood!

Blogtober Day 19: The Little Things

Happy Blogtober Day 19! We’re definitely getting up there; I can’t believe October is almost OVER! I’m a little sad, but I also love the holidays, so I’m not reaaaally super mad.

Anyway, this is going to be kind of a short little baby post, but I really was just FEELING it, you know? I’ve been really appreciating fall lately and I really just wanted to sit and make a list of all the little things I’ve seen lately that have just made me really grateful for being alive.

When I started thinking about that, I started thinking about how cliche it sounds, but how important it is. Whenever I get too stressed, Bobby tells me to just BREATHE. Stay in the moment, recognize where you are and what you’re doing, and be mindful. It’s great advice, and we should all take it more often. When I take the time to appreciate the little things around me, it makes me an all around more mindful, happy person.

We have such a tendency to get caught up in whatever is going on- work stressors, relationshps, filling our already cluttered schedules with emails and phone calls and coffee dates where we anxiously check the clock the whole time to makes sure we’re not late for our next appointment…we never actually get to ENJOY anything.

So, this week I’ve been making a special effort to really notice and appreciate all of the teeny little things the universe has to offer. Sort of like the world is saying, “Hey, look. It’ll be okay.” Here’s a few examples of things I’ve stopped to notice and appreciate over the past week:

  • a perfectly shaded,  bright red, yellow, and green leaf just laying in the grocery store parking lot. Literally looked like someone had pulled it off the shelf at Michael’s. It was PERFECT.
  • the shade of blue the sky turns right around 9 am when I leave the gym
  • the Glade “Cozy Autumn Cuddle” candle. I buy one (two) every single year and burn through them.
  •  that really nice in-between weather where the air is crisp and chilly, but the sun is shining down, so the entire outdoor climate is just in perfect equilibrium
  • the moment when you first wake up in the morning before you open your eyes where there’s just total peace as you float between asleep and awake
  • a really good, long, belly laugh with your best friends. The kind where you laugh until you can’t breathe and you’re crying and your stomach hurts.
  • the colors of the trees driving down the Merritt Parkway (Connecticut is BEAUTIFUL in the fall. New England does not play.)

I guarantee there will be more, but these are just a few things that make me really happy when I see them and just kind of give me a really good feeling about being alive.

Share with me some of the fun little things that bring you joy in your life! I’d love to hear them!

Blogtober Day 17: Fall Date Ideas!

It’s me, I’m back, and I know what day it is now! AND all my finals are done, so hello I am a real person once more.

And today, we’re going to talk about one of my FAVORITE things…FALL ACTIVITIES! More specifically, fun fall date ideas. Some of these I’ve done already, some I haven’t, and some come from the fall bucket list, but all of them sound like a grand time to me.

1. PUMPKIN PICKING/JACK O’LANTERN CARVING

Okay, this one was Bobby’s (my fiance) idea, I’ll give it to him, and I’m so excited to do it this weekend. Go on out to a pumpkin patch and find a perfect pumpkin together. Take a lot of really cute cliche fall pictures with that pumpkin. (Fun fact: we took our first ever engagement photos with my mom’s cellphone in a pumpkin patch!) Then take the pumpkin home, cover your kitchen table in newspaper, and CARVE IT UP! I’m not nearly as good at pumpkin carving as I wish I was, but I’m good at the fun part where you scoop the guts out of the pumpkin! ALSO, save the seeds and bake them! They’re SO tasty and good for you!

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Even if you’re not taking cheesy engagement pics, GO GET A PUMPKIN!! 

2. PILLOW FORT GAME NIGHT/SPOOKY MOVIE MARATHON

Grab a bunch of pillows and blankets, a few chairs, and set up a pillow fort in the living room. Put on your favorite spooky movies, light some fall candles, and even bring in a board game or two. Try to put your phones away for most of this, and just enjoy feeling together! This one reminds me of being a kid, especially when you leave the cellphone and social media out of it. Just unplug for a little while!

3.  GO TO A HAUNTED-SOMETHING!

Be it a haunted house, a haunted corn maze or hayride, or even one of the spooky haunted amusement park events, get on out there! Even if you’re the kind of person who will fall right on their butt when someone jumps out at you (re: me, this Sunday), it’s still so much fun to get scared! Plus, you can push your significant other in front of you when the zombies get too close! (Not that I would ever…..)

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Didn’t take any pictures of anything haunted while I was here because I was too busy running away from a clown (true story), so here’s an ad I found on Google LOL! 

4. TRY A NEW FALL RECIPE OR A CRAFT PROJECT (OR BOTH)

Pinterest is your friend here, y’all. I love finding fun recipes! You could bake some cookies, throw a new chili in the crockpot, or just find a new way to roast some vegetables. You can enjoy cooking it together, and then eating it together, too. Bonus points if it’s good for you (or just tastes delicious). While it’s cooking, hop BACK on Pinterest and find a fun craft project! I have one I’m dying to try. Make a whole day of it, and go to the craft store for supplies together, hit the grocery store for ingredients, and then you two can snuggle up with some Mod Podge and acrylic paint while your whole house starts to smell like whatever divine thing you have in the oven…you see my vision here?

5. GO FOR A FALL HIKE

It’s simple, free, and gets you moving! Hikes are BEAUTIFUL in the fall, with all the leaves on the ground and the trees. Plus, you don’t have to worry about getting too hot in the crisp, cool air! Go to one of your favorite spots, or pick a new one! And don’t forget to take more cliche photos.

 

Those are just some of my fall date ideas (and you bet I will be doing all, if not most of them). I hope you try some out and enjoy! Let me know if you do, and let me know some of your favorite fall date ideas! I might have to give them a try!

Blogtober Day 5: FALL CLEANING CHECKLIST

Hey hey hey!

Now that fall is officially underway, I’m getting the itch to start doing some fall cleaning. To me, this is almost more exciting than spring cleaning. Fall cleaning means getting your house nice and cozy and ready for the chilly weather. Just thinking about colder weather and falling leaves makes me want to gut my entire house and polish the woodwork.

For each season, I like to make a cleaning checklist of various tasks I want to get done for the start of the season. If anyone out there is a psychopath like I am and wants to use this checklist for their own house, feel free to do so!

fall cleaning.jpgORGANIZATION/DECLUTTERING:

~ Go through summer and fall wardrobes. Get rid of any items you didn’t wear over the summer, and any you know you won’t wear going into fall.
~ Do the same thing with your shoes
~ Declutter and organize the desktop and desk drawers. Throw out old bills (already paid), old receipts, anything you not longer need. Anything you do need, file.
~ Do a good, thorough room organization. Dresser drawers, side tables, bins of clothing and odds and ends. You’d be surprised how badly you need it.
~ Go through your refrigerator and be sure you don’t have any bad leftovers, expired food, etc.
~ Go through your bathroom and get rid of any products you no longer use or that have expired.
~ Look in each room carefully. Is there a storage crisis you’re having? Identify key problems. Maybe your jewelry never stays organized, or your t-shirt drawer gets messed up, or you can’t keep a neat pantry. Identify the problem, and find a solution to fix it.

CLEANING:

~ Sweep and mop (or vacuum) all your floors.
~ Wipe down the windows and windowsills. It might be the last time you think about it until it gets warmer.
~ Wipe down all the radiators to get rid of the dust in preparation to start using them.
~ Wash all your sheets and put fresh ones on the beds.
~ Wash all blankets or pillows or anything that doesn’t get a lot of love if it happens to need it.
~ Do a solid scrub down of both the kitchen and the bathroom.
~ Scrub down surfaces so everything looks nice and shiny and clean.

MISC:

~ Clean out your email inboxes and delete any old emails you don’t need. Respond to and file the rest.
~ Do a solid sort-through of everything on your phone. Delete anything taking up storage you don’t need, or transfer it to a google drive.
~ Take a mental assesment. What in your life is causing you stress or anxiety? Certain people? An aspect of work? Lack of time management? Identify the problem, and come up with a solution, whether it be making time for meditation every day, investing in a planner, or seeking professional help of a counselor.
~ Take stock of anything you might need personally. As well as equipping your home, it’s about equipping yourself! Maybe your workout routine needs some love. Maybe you desperately need a new hairdryer and you’ve been putting it off. Maybe that DIY project has been sitting in the corner for months. Wrap some things up and find NEW BEGINNINGS!
~ Take the house plants inside for the season and find them a new home.

That’s the essence of what I have. Of course, I always end up adding some weird obscure things at the last minute, like organizing the bookshelf, or categorizing the pantry, but that’s the skeleton outline of my list.

What’s on yours?! Honestly, I’m so open to suggestion. I love this kind of stuff. HA! Until tomorrow!

Blogtober Day 4: FALL BUCKET LIST!!

Hey what’s up hello,

Happy Blogtober Day 4! For some reason, my days keep escaping me, and I keep not getting to these posts until the evening, so I’m going to try to turn that around. SORRY.

Anyway, I thought it might be fun to swap fall bucket lists! I’ve already gotten started on a bit of mine, but I’m always open to adapting it, so if you have anything you think I should add, let me know!

fall bucket list

I’ve done a few of these already, like apple picking, taking cute fall pictures, going away for the weekend, and going on a brunch date, but I’m planning to knock off a few more this weekend!

What’s on your fall bucket list? Share with me!