“Do one thing every day that brings you joy.” This sounds like such a simple idea, yet it seems like so many of us ignore the things that bring us joy or fuel our creativity. We get so bogged down with our day-to-day schedule, and it’s so easy to say “I don’t have time to ‘fill in the blank.’” But there’s always time if we’re willing to make time! And who says you have to devote hours a day to do something that you love? Simply setting aside twenty minutes a day to do something you love can make a world of a difference.
So here’s your challenge: Take five minutes today to sit down and write down your perfect day. It doesn’t have to be anything crazy – it can be something as simple as sitting to enjoy your cup of coffee instead of taking it to go, or taking a half hour to read a couple pages of that book you bought three months ago. Maybe it’s cooking up a new recipe or giving a friend a call! The point is to write out your perfect day.
Once you have your list, make it a point to implement at least one of those things into each day of your week. And when your week is over, take note of how you feel. More refreshed? Happier? More fulfilled? Why do we sacrifice the things that we love when we don’t have to? It’s easy to find twenty to thirty minutes a day that we otherwise might spend scrolling through social media or something else less-productive, and replacing it with something that brings us joy. Go ahead, try it!
FEBRUARY’S LOOKBACK LIST
One of my goals this year is to read at least one book a month. This month I sped through The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto by Mitch Albom. I whole-heartedly will recommend this book to anyone. The hardcover was about 500 pages, and I think I read it in six days. I couldn’t wait to pick it up and start reading it again. It moves quickly and it’s told through the perspective of Music as a being. There are a few famous musicians throughout the novel too who tell about their encounters with Frankie. I loved it, I can’t stress it enough. Take this book on vacation with you.
Currently, I’m working my way through The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. I recently just got a library card from our local library – thanks to my neighbor, Lauren – and now I’m wondering, “why didn’t I do this sooner?!” Anyway, this book is due back on March 3rd, so I only have a couple of days to finish it! I’ll say that this novel started out a bit slow for me, but it has really really picked up, and I’ve been enjoying it quite a bit now. This is a pretty long book (~800 pages hardcover), and is told through the perspective of a young boy who loses his mother at 13. It takes place in New York City.
This month, Alex and I nailed down a couple more wedding plans! — including our readings and some more music selections! I’ve also been in the beginning stages of happily planning for my friend, Lauren’s, Bachelorette Party in Virginia!
Aside from non-successfully going to see the new movie Get Out that is holding a record-100% on Rotten Tomatoes (we will see it!), Alex and I have been watching a docu-series on Netflix called Abstract: The Art of Design. The series consists of eight episodes that profile eight different artists in different design fields. This month we’ve watched the Interior Design episode, which focuses on the acclaimed designer, Ilse Crawford, and the Shoe Design episode, which gives a closer look into one of Nike’s biggest designers – Tinker Hatfield, who has designed countless Air Jordans, with the legendary Michael Jordan himself. I especially loved the shoe design episode because it really drove home the point that “successful art” is defined by the artists themselves. That, art doesn’t have to sell or be displayed in museums to be deemed “good art,” but that if you create something that brings you joy, than that is success in its own right. This was a conversation that was sparked between my brothers and I a couple of days ago, and I’m thankful that the three of us seem to have so many meaningful conversations so often!
Other episodes in the series include automobile design, architecture, photography, graphic design, etc… The episodes aren’t very long, and so they’re a good thing to throw on while you eat lunch or dinner, which is what we like to do!
Unfortunately, this month has been crazy work-wise for both Alex and I, so our cooking together has been sacrificed a little bit! Things we have been cooking up though, include: delicious Sriracha-jalapeno burgers for hockey games, eggs with Spanish rice and tofu for breakfast, and lots of yogurt with granola and fresh fruit for snacks! February has also included a lot of pasta… Meanwhile, we’re always cooking up our normal chicken, rice or potatoes, and veggies for workday meals!
A tradition that we’ve started up with friends, as suggested by our friend Hayley, is Culture Nights! I guess we don’t technically have a name for it, but basically what we do is: once a month, a different couple hosts dinner at their place for everyone else. But they have to pick a country, and make that country’s food! This month, Sean and Hayley were incredible hosts of Japanese Night! They made hand-rolled sushi for everyone and set up a ramen bar, and then there was also steak! Everything was delicious. We drank sake and really had such a great night! I love this newfound tradition, and March just so happens to be our month! Obviously we can’t go through March without having an Irish meal! So I’ll be making my mom’s Corned Beef recipe, and who knows what else I may whip up 😉 Does anyone have any Irish dessert recommendations !?
Our best friend, Julie, spent some time in Hawaii this month, and she brought back some fresh and delicious Kona Coffee for us! We enjoyed the freshly-ground beans this month. We also stopped into a new coffee shop in Santa Monica called Groundwork Coffee, which was really good! Obviously we really enjoy trying out new coffee whenever we’re given the opportunity 😉 On the healthier end of things, Alex has this concoction that he calls “the green drink,” which is water + emergenC + wheat grass. It’s not the best tasting drink in the world, but it’s kind of a kick in the butt for your immune system if you feel a cold coming on! It’s also an incredible hangover remedy if you happen to have partied a little too hard the night before 😉
This month I’ve been working on a couple of projects! I found this beautiful lace fabric at Joann for a super-sale, and I just had to have it. I had seen this long ankle-length kimono for purchase on a website for $60, but I thought to myself, “I could make that for a lot less!” So when I saw the fabric, I knew that it was meant to be! I bought the fabric + the pattern on sale for a total of $15, and made my very own kimono in an afternoon. This was my first time following a store-bought pattern on my own and it was definitely a success! In the weaving world, I’ve weaved my largest weaving yet! My incredible dad built me a custom large loom and it’s the prettiest loom I’ve ever seen, let alone owned! For some reason, I always feel extra motivated when it comes to working on large-scale projects. The weaving itself is complete, now I just need to find a branch long enough and strong enough to mount it on! Additionally, I’ve been working on a small-scale moon series, which have been bringing me so much joy!
I wrote a post earlier this month about our day spent at The Rose Bowl Flea Market in Pasadena, as well as a day spent in Venice! With so many traveling plans in our future this year, sometimes it’s just nice to spend some weekends at home.
February just seems like the month of love! Obviously I’ve been loving my Valentine, Al. But I also took some time to send some love to all of my Galentines this year! For those of you not familiar with the Galentines holiday (made famous by the sitcom Parks & Rec), it takes place on the day before Valentines Day…and it’s basically a day spent honoring all of the strong ladies in your life whom inspire you daily! I’m lucky to have a lot of them in my life 😉 And I mean, how great is snail-mail, am I right!?
I’m dreaming about a magical weekend spent in Sonoma with my gal pals! We’re only two weeks away!
This month I have not been feeling my best! Low energy and loads of back pain have caused me to take some time off from lifting and straining my back, and instead, slowing down a bit. I’ve been focusing on longer walks outside, getting more veggies into my life, keeping track of how much water I’m consuming, and Al even scheduled us for massages! This was my first massage, and it was magical, to say the least! I’m looking forward to going into this new month feeling refreshed and recharged!
I’ve really been into letting Spotify choose my music for me this month. Playlists I’ve been enjoying are the curated Daily Mixes based on what you’re currently listening to on a daily basis, the Good Vibes playlist, and the Confidence Boost playlist. A new artist I’ve come across is Dermont Kennedy, and he kind of has a Marcus Mumford sound to him, in my opinion! When I’m creating, I love putting on Bon Iver, and Ed Sheeran’s new hits have been good too! If we’re having trouble falling asleep, we like to put on The Meditation Zone playlists and drift into a relaxing sleep…
This month we celebrated Julie’s birthday with a girls night out to dinner and drinks! We watched the Superbowl (and that killer Lady Gaga performance) with homemade guac, burgers, and buffalo chicken dip! We celebrated Valentines Day with coffee in bed and handwritten cards. And we celebrated one year of Engagement by purchasing our wedding bands and going out for lunch! I always forget how short of a month February is, but man we sure were able to jam a lot of things into it!
What have you guys been up to this month!? Any good recommendations out there??