Thinking Out Loud

Again! Again!

twins-in-san-francisco-_-image-by-victoriamstudio

I enjoyed writing our last interactive Thinking Out Loud post so much, that I thought I’d pop in and do it again! It was really fun hearing from all of you, with all that’s on your mind. Let’s make this a semi-regular thing, ok? Fair warning that this edition has a mix of light things, and some heavy things too. It’s rare that I’m this publicly opinionated about certain cultural and political issues, but in the interest of truly thinking out loud, I wanted the mix to reflect what’s really happening on this side of the screen. Let’s do it:

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Making Me Happiest So Far in October

I think the satisfaction of having a full life at the moment. Maybe that sounds corny (maybe it is?), but it used to be that this much activity and “stuff” going on would stress me out. Alright, it still does a little bit, but when I step back and look at the bigger picture, I can definitely see that the flurry of activity is attributable to evolution in various areas of my life. Work has exciting new projects and collabs on the horizon (a new intern/mentee, a growing part-time Art Director role with a local company, interesting new clients and ideas for the start of 2017). Two good friends recently got engaged; I spent last weekend in Lake Tahoe amongst women and conversation that were good for the soul; this coming weekend I get to see old New York friends for the first time since moving away in 2015. And a real vacation at the end of this month, with Joe! There’s just a lot of good stuff happening, and I can’t help but feel grateful.

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Current Favorite Part of My Daily Routine

It’s a toss up between reading the news on my phone every morning, and washing my face. Let me explain. So, the news should come as no surprise — I’ve talked about this habit a lot before. I acknowledge I’m fully addicted to the pleasure of that first digital hit of info each day, but what can I say? I really, really enjoy seeing how all these stories and narratives develop every day (and when I allude to stories, I mean both the serious, light, sad, ridiculous, upsetting, and funny. All of it.).

The other thing I’m really enjoying is the simple pleasure of cleansing my skin. I recently bought my second bar of Herbivore’s Pink Clay soap. I’ve been using it since the middle of the summer (part of that whole rash thing), and I adore it. It might be my mind playing tricks on me, but I feel like my skin is softer and more moisturized when I use it. It’s so gentle and pleasant! Ok, that probably sounds nuts to get that much pleasure out of a soap, but it just makes me happy. It also doesn’t hurt that I keep the soap in one of the hand painted antique saucers from my tea cup collection, so I start my mornings looking at a personal treasure that brings joy.

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Thing I Can’t Stop Worrying About

How to get everything done this month amongst all the fun. October = prioritizing at its finest. Recently, I’ve noticed I’ve been waking up earlier or waking up in the middle of the night, and I can feel the adrenaline coursing through my system again. I’m taking note and making sure to not overdo it like last year. But, I’m still a little worried. I’m trying to remember that adage that goes something like “worrying is praying for what you DON’T want.” It’s all going to work out, one way or another.

It should also go without saying that I’m worried about the election and the current political climate in the country. I think it’s on everyone’s minds, no?

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What I’m Watching Right Now

I’ve been watching less TV given said prioritization. But, there are a few things I manage to clean out of the DVR each week.

Light shit: The Real Housewives of Orange County (has this season jumped the shark?); Below Deck (no joke, probably my favorite reality show ever. It always makes me laugh); Million Dollar Listing: LA (fun to watch and makes me glad I don’t still live in LA). I also sometimes watch Property Brothers: Buying and Selling while eating lunch. I can predict the script before it’s even said, but it’s an easy way to relax mid-day.

Quality shit: Last Week Tonight (duh); South Park (no really — didn’t you know it’s the great satire of our time?); Real Time with Bill Maher (a weekly thing since 2006). Masters of Sex a little bit, though we’re behind a few episodes and decided we’ll just binge on the whole season over the holidays. I also DVRed the new nightly Vice news show, which is premiering tonight.

Yeah, not a ton of serials at the moment (I gave up on Shonda Thursdays). I’m mostly holding out for Game of Thrones and Homeland in 2017… What are you watching right now?

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Something That (Maybe Pleasantly?) Surprised Me

Light thing: how easy and well designed the entire Instacart experience was. I personally love to grocery shop. When at various points I ceded control of this task to random Whole Foods shoppers in New York City, the results were hilariously questionable at best, infuriating at worst. I’m not kidding when I say that the difficulty that was grocery shopping in NYC is probably 5-10% of the reason I couldn’t wait to leave. But adventures in Manhattan grocery shopping is a post for another day.

Anyway, as the whole Instacart service has really blown up in SF, I was staunchly against it. Early last week, off the heels of a busy weekend and with no food in the house (and a schedule that wasn’t going to make it easy to get the store), I caved and gave it a try. I must say, I was pleasantly surprised by how easy it was to communicate with the shopper, get substitutes for things that were out of stock, and be super particular about what produce the shopper selected. Don’t get too excited, Instacart, this isn’t going to be a regular thing, because the produce team at my neighborhood Whole Foods legit knows who I am and gives me samples of new/interesting fruits that arrive each week. But it’s nice to know it is an easy to use platform, when you’re in a pinch. Have you ever tried it?

Deeper thing: This is a serious thing, and may seem weird in the context of a “pleasant” surprise, because it’s not pleasant at all. Recently, reading about the women who spoke out about their first sexual assaults, and also Asian Americans who spoke out about racism they’ve experienced felt really powerful to me. On the former, you always hear the stats (like 1 in 5 women experience some type of sexual assault or misconduct), but the sheer volume of stories that were told this week — many succinctly provided over social media, and similar to experiences I’ve had — was simply incredible. I don’t mean to diminish the stories by placing them in the category of something that “pleasantly surprised me”; instead, I guess I’m just saying that hearing people speak up, and seeing/feeling solidarity around saying yo, this is NOT okay, felt powerful in a positive way. In the last year, there’s been so much coverage around various sexual assault cases, but in this instance, hearing/seeing so many women talk about their stories felt very impactful for me personally. I hope that makes sense.

The other piece was this open letter written by a New York Times editor, in response to the woman who screamed at him and his children to “Go back to China” on the streets of the Upper East Side last weekend. We think of New York as this super metropolitan, culturally advanced place, and it is in a lot of ways. But I had similar things yelled at me in NY while I was living there, if you can believe it. His letter, and the response to it, made me tear up a little bit. Both because growing up in Texas, I experienced these types of stories from a young age, but also, I think hearing from others in the same situation made me feel less alone in the experience. Joe is the person who actually told me about the story yesterday, and he reminded me of the time this woman said a racial epithet to me literally outside my apartment in NY. I realized I had all but forgotten about that one experience, not because it didn’t upset me (I cried the day it happened), but that because it’s been relatively commonplace throughout life, you normalize it (when it’s anything but).

Perhaps that seems strange, that people say and do these awful things and hearing other people’s similar experiences makes you feel better, or is even in the realm of being “pleasantly surprising.” I think I’m saying hearing about all this made me feel less isolated, and that by speaking up, we can all talk about it and hopefully begin to change.

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Current Thoughts on the Upcoming Holidays

On to easier, joyful things. I’m really mystified as to how November is in our sights — it just doesn’t seem right. But, as we head into mid-October, I gotta say that this next stretch of calendar is my favorite time of the year. We’re staying in SF for both Thanksgiving and Christmas; my family is going to come out for the latter this year. I’ve never hosted everyone before, so I’m looking forward to decking the halls, making a lot of food, and taking some time off. I get a tiny bit stressed when I think about the volume of cooking I’ll need to do…but I figure that’s a problem for early December. Gifts? Oh. Yeah, that one registered in a “I should add this to the To Do list” brain wave last weekend. I feel like I should be planning and buying now, but that’s not gonna happen for a few more weeks, at least. Are you already buying gifts? Or does it still feel like June? (Note: I have been saving fun ideas for my annual holiday shop, so never fear — that’s still happening this year!)

Ok, your turn. If you want to participate in this Thinking Out Loud exercise, copy and paste the prompts into the comments below and have at it! I’d love to hear what you’ve been thinking about (and feel free to add your own if you need to get something off your chest!). Zero pressure to go deep…and at the same time I guess, zero pressure to keep things light if you really want to unload!

Making Me Happiest So Far in October:

Current Favorite Part of My Daily Routine:

Thing I Can’t Stop Worrying About:

What I’m Watching Right Now (light and/or quality!):

Something That Pleasantly Surprised Me:

Current Thoughts on the Upcoming Holidays:

Image Credit:

Photograph by Victoria McGinley Studio

Leave a Comment

30 Comments

  1. 10.11.16

    Making Me Happiest So Far in October: All of the quality family time I’m having. I recently decided to give up the blog & thought I’d miss it much more than I do- all of my blogging time is now open to focus on my kids. Or to read a book (I had about a 20 min break while both kids napped one day this weekend, but hey it’s the little moments!).

    Current Favorite Part of My Daily Routine: Reading before beditme. My son is 9 months old so our routines at night have been all over the map since his birth. We’re now back on a more normal schedule & with the weather cooling down crawling into bed with a good book is the best way to unwind.

    Thing I Can’t Stop Worrying About: Like you, the election. And all the ugliness that it’s brought up.

    What I’m Watching Right Now (light and/or quality!): Light- RHOC. I mean, it’s all over the map this season! And quality has been spare but we’ve been trying to catch up on Veep. And Last Week Tonight.

    Something That Pleasantly Surprised Me: Like I said, quitting the blog has actually been a breath of fresh air versus something I regret. I think I was more ready than I realized to move on & think that maybe I’ll use those blogging skills in a different way in the future (new blog?) but for now, it was time to move on.

    Current Thoughts on the Upcoming Holidays: I’m so excited! Besides getting to spend the first holidays with my son & seeing my 3 year old daughter really get it this year, we’re also taking our first vacation w/o kids to London! Right before Christmas, which is my favorite time of year in London.

    • 10.17.16

      Congrats on quitting the blog! And I really kind of mean that. I think after putting so much time and energy into something after so many years — especially when it is such a personal thing at times — can be hard to let go of. But it’s such a weird industry, you know? So I can imagine it feels really good to shift your focus away from worry about that and on to other things.

      Godspeed re: taking two little ones to London over the holidays (haha!).

  2. 10.11.16
    Catryn said:

    Making Me Happiest So Far in October:
    The change in weather. I LOVE when it starts to get chillier and I’m really hoping it snows here this winter. We moved into a high-rise downtown this summer and I’m really hoping to cuddle up and watch it snow on the city.

    Current Favorite Part of My Daily Routine:
    My morning workout. I cycle or do yoga almost every morning and without it I feel like I’m scatter brained the rest of the day. I have always been active and changing to being a stay at home freelancer has me looking for an opportunity to get up and move.

    Thing I Can’t Stop Worrying About:
    Business just in general. (Do you ever stop worrying when you own your own business?) And since I’m pretty new at running a graphic design studio, I don’t really have the client base to fall back on. It’s a little daunting just starting out.

    What I’m Watching Right Now (light and/or quality!):
    We’ve been going back and watching The Office (US version) because my boyfriend has never watched it. But I’ve also been catching up on Mad Men and Outlander, since I’m loving the book so far.

    Something That Pleasantly Surprised Me:
    Working at home. I always thought that I would love it, but have only recently taken the leap. All the nervous thoughts I had about it have totally been proven wrong, and it’s the happiest I’ve ever been in a work situation.

    Current Thoughts on the Upcoming Holidays:
    I’m heading back to the Appalachian mountains for a few weeks to see family and I’m so excited for it. I don’t see them often, so I’m glad to spend the holidays with relatives.

    Great idea for a post! I enjoyed reading and responding!

    Sweet Horizon

    • 10.17.16

      Watching the snow is for sure one thing I DO miss about NY — specifically when we can stay inside all weekend and do nothing. That lasts until I would have to venture outside and would inevitably step into a foot deep pile of slush. But it sure is pretty when you’re looking IN to the snow globe!

      To answer your question, I don’t know if I ever stop worrying about my business, but I have gotten used to the ebbs and flows. After almost five years, I’ve learned things always tend to work out. So worrying about the client I’m worried about or the contract I really want to get signed doesn’t really make a difference — it does all get done, somehow, some way!

  3. 10.11.16
    Alicia said:

    Making Me Happiest So Far in October: Taking out dog on walks and how her and my husband fall asleep on the couch every evening right next to each other. We’ve only had Kota (our dog) for 3 months but she’s already become a city girl! Also, her and my husband get tired in the evening and they just make my day on how she falls asleep right next to him.

    Current Favorite Part of My Daily Routine: Crazy to say but my commute on the subway. I’ve been listening to a ton of podcasts: So Money, Profit Boss, Being Boss, This American Life, JavaScript Jabber, CodeNewbie, The Big Payoff, Burnt Toast etc.

    Thing I Can’t Stop Worrying About: Changing Careers and everything that goes into it. I am taking coding classes and want to ultimately leave my current job to freelance or have a more flexible job but the actual act of doing that is freaking me out. From replacing my current salary with a similar one via freelance to healthcare to taxes etc all of the details are stressing me out.

    What I’m Watching Right Now (light and/or quality!): Just started Stranger Things – not sure if that’s a good idea with everything I’m already behind in! Superstore (definitely light), and super behind on my regulars The Blacklist and Blindspot.

    Something That Pleasantly Surprised Me: This is going to sound weird but how much I’m learning to not care at work and standing up for myself more. I care about the quality of my work, my name and reputation however I’m learning that it’s okay to stand up for yourself or to not check emails at night. Realizing that life is just as important as work and I can and should stand up for myself when I can see that I’m being walked over.

    Current Thoughts on the Upcoming Holidays: Excited/nervous. We are going to Spain for Thanksgiving and the airplane connections are stressing me out haha! We are also driving to Texas for Christmas and I’m extremely excited about that but nervous because that’s an epic drive!

    • 10.17.16

      Good for you for learning to stand up for yourself and knowing when to put yourself first! It’s wonderful to have that sense of confidence and know the difference between working hard and being taken advantage of.

      And don’t stress too much about figuring out freelance life. It’s a LOT to take in, and you’ll find your systems in due time. My best advice is to ask for help when you need it! I look back on when I first started out and realize how much I didn’t know — and how all these professionals really helped me fill in the gaps over the years!

  4. 10.11.16
    Lauren said:

    Making Me Happiest So Far in October:
    The cooler weather. Summer has never been my favorite season.

    Current Favorite Part of My Daily Routine:
    Watching some of my favorite YouTube channels (I’m addicted to all of the make up gurus!)

    Thing I Can’t Stop Worrying About:
    The New York Giants! What is happening to my team?! On a more serious note: my job. My team switched companies 2 months ago and I’m still getting used to the new system. I made 3 mistakes last week and I’m not too thrilled with myself. I’ve also put on about 4 pounds from the work stress which is driving me crazy!

    What I’m Watching Right Now (light and/or quality!):
    I don’t own a TV!

    Something That Pleasantly Surprised Me:
    I’m not too happy with the weight gain but at least my boobs & ass got a little bigger :) ha!

    Current Thoughts on the Upcoming Holidays:
    I’m excited! My family is bat shit crazy but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love cooking with my grandma.

    • 10.17.16

      I’m not a summer fan either! Cool weather all the way. I would MUCH rather be too cold than too hot. Who wants to be sweaty in nice clothes?

  5. 10.11.16

    Making Me Happiest So Far in October: I love the changing of the seasons.

    Current Favorite Part of My Daily Routine: Using my new Glossier highlighter. I am so not a makeup person but it makes me feel like one!

    Thing I Can’t Stop Worrying About: Work. Work. Work. Managing a team is hard work!

    What I’m Watching Right Now (light and/or quality!): Just started HBO’s Divorce and love it so far. I need a little SJP in my life.

    Something That Pleasantly Surprised Me: The Girl on the Train film version – actually as good as the book!

    Current Thoughts on the Upcoming Holidays: Cannot wait to head to Boonville (near Mendocino) for Thanksgiving!

    • 10.17.16

      Funny you say that about managing teams. I’ve heard that a lot lately! You never even think about that added stress when you’re younger and a minion.

      I started Girl on the Train a while back and never finished it. I have a feeling it’s coming with me to Hawaii!

      I LOOOOVE Mendo. Are you staying at the Boonville Hotel?

      • 2.23.17

        We have family RIGHT up the street so we stay with them but always visit the hotel for a drink at least. We had Thanksgiving dinner there this year!

  6. 10.11.16
    jess said:

    Making Me Happiest So Far in October:
    The crisp Fall air, familiar sweaters coming out of storage, my new supplements as recommended by you that are really working to change my skin. And finally, the knowledge that the holiday season is around the corner.

    Current Favorite Part of My Daily Routine:
    I am thrilled with my raw morning smoothie with schizandra root, coffee in a favorite mug and reading blogs in the early morning with my dog in my lap.
    Thing I Can’t Stop Worrying About:
    Trump

    What I’m Watching Right Now (light and/or quality!):
    Just finished Wallender and now I’m watching Chelsea Handler on Netflix
    Something That Pleasantly Surprised Me:
    That I could come out of a slightly depressed mood and feel a lightness again.
    Current Thoughts on the Upcoming Holidays:
    Worried about getting time off from my company and how that will affect things around Christmas.

    • 10.17.16

      Oh, I am SO happy to hear that the supplements are working well for you (with skin and perhaps mood too). Yay!

  7. 10.11.16
    India said:

    Gah, racism/racial slurs will always suck. Im in NY now, but as a black girl growing up in the south, I’ve heard it all. When I see racist things being said to or about someone else, it sits with me for days. I HATE that. Ugh. The one thing that’s said that I can’t let go of is when I hear people say that racism is over. How can you say that?! *screams*

    India

    • 10.17.16

      Preach, India. That one woman who was interviewed recently (can’t remember what network) and said that there was no racism *until* President Obama took office was like a serious LOL/SMH/want to scream moment. OMG. Having grown up in the south too, I feel for ya. Thank you so much for commenting on this specific thing I wrote about in my post, it really meant a lot.

  8. 10.11.16
    Erica said:

    Making Me Happiest So Far in October: the slightly cooler weather in Arizona! With 2 little ones, the 100+ temperatures were driving all of us a little mad. Oh and my little boy turned 1 1/2 on Sunday and “graduated” to the next level at swim tonight. Makes my momma heart proud. :)

    Current Favorite Part of My Daily Routine: Hmm, this one is tough. Our little girl is 6 weeks old so most of my day revolves around her – when she eats, sleeps, diaper changes, etc. I’m selfish with my time and it’s been hard to give up control to her. So maybe my favorite part right now is the days I actually shower and wash my face?!

    Thing I Can’t Stop Worrying About: Oh boy, I’m a master worrier…what I can do to help my little girl’s reflux (her screams when she’s in pain are heartbreaking), the presidential election (I am appalled by the daily Trump news, especially after having a little girl), why our son isn’t talking yet, what I want to do with my life. The list could go on and on!

    What I’m Watching Right Now (light and/or quality!): The Big Bang Theory and The Mindy Project. With all my worrying, I’ve got to keep it light. :)

    Something That Pleasantly Surprised Me: It isn’t really a surprise, but I’ve been in the post-baby funk lately and my girlfriends have been fantastic with offers to help out or just listen to me. I never realized how hard it is to have a newborn and toddler. It makes me wish I would have been a better friend to them when they were going through it!

    Current Thoughts on the Upcoming Holidays: We’re staying at home for both Thanksgiving and Christmas. It’s easier than traveling with 2 little ones, but I haven’t been home for Christmas in 3 years and I’m already a little sad to be spending it without my parents and brother. I’m also interested if our son will understand anything about it this year.

    • 10.17.16

      Oh no, I’m so sorry to hear about your worries with your kids. That sounds incredibly stressful. It’s wonderful that you have a tribe there that’s been there for you when you really needed it. That stuff shows you who your real friends are, which is one of the best feelings in the world! Keeping you in my thoughts and hoping your little ones are both well and happy.

  9. 10.12.16
    Meems said:

    Making Me Happiest So Far in October:
    The cooler temperatures and lower humidity.

    Current Favorite Part of My Daily Routine:
    We installed a free lending library at the corner of our house in June. (FreeLittleLibrary.org) We decided to do this to spark the spirit of community in our neighborhood that is filled with new neighbors and their littles. I try to check to see what books were taken and, pleasantly, what has been added each morning. People have been so generous.

    Thing I Can’t Stop Worrying About:
    The irony as I fill out this question at 2:30 A.M. because I am awake “worrying”. I worry about how to reenter the workforce after a serious illness. I need to find a new career less taxing yet my passions know no limits. I do not know where to begin. I need to play catch up with technology. I worry about explaining “why” I have a gap in employment. Should I begin classes in a Masters Program? How will we pay for it? How will we pay for a major household repair caused by simple neglect while I was sick?
    I am the first one in our group of friends to be afflicted by a disease and some have walked away. I do not blame them. I simply want to use what I learned to help others in my age group regardless of the type of chronic illness.

    What I’m Watching Right Now:
    I don’t watch TV but recently discovered You Tube and Instagram. I love watching the beauty tutorials and clothing hauls. #OOTD

    Something That Pleasantly Surprised Me:
    Gourds. Yes, you read that correctly. I composted gourds from last year and discovered in August we had numerous vines trailing up our pine tree! Nothing like seeing yellow and orange gourds hanging from the green branches. My husband needed a ladder to cut some off the vine. We even have a few white mini pumpkins. Anyway, we do not need to buy gourds this year and literally get the giggles when I offer our surplus to anyone walking by… ;o)

    Current Thoughts on the Upcoming Holidays:
    They scare the s*it out of me. I want to be well enough to enjoy them for the first time in four years. I do not want to be sick again over the holidays. Dreams of dusting off the mixer and baking cookies…

    Thanks for letting me share!

    • 10.17.16

      Sounds like you are in a transition in life — but with lots of positive things on the horizon and lots of wonderful things happening now. Can I just say I LOVE the Free Little Library you created. How awesome is that?!?!

  10. 10.12.16
    Sarah said:

    Making Me Happiest So Far in October: our new pup, growing and learning and learning to behave (for the most part)

    Current Favorite Part of My Daily Routine: actively putting a little more thought into my wardrobe, i’ve been a little lazy this summer, recycling the same outfits for work each day, but I’ve been enjoying mixing in a few new basics (new jeans, new loafers), with some older pieces in new ways. it’s crazy how far a few new pieces of clothing can go to making you feel better

    Thing I Can’t Stop Worrying About: the new puppy (where will she stay for all of these upcoming trips? is she on schedule training wise? is she getting enough exercise?), finding a weekend to devote to cleaning out our laundry room/storage unit

    What I’m Watching Right Now (light and/or quality!): Divorce (the new SJP HBO series!), This is Us, Real Housewives (always)

    Something That Pleasantly Surprised Me: some key Republicans denouncing their support of Trump

    Current Thoughts on the Upcoming Holidays: feeling relieved that we have decided to stay in SF for Thanksgiving and wondering if we should go ski in Tahoe to escape for Christmas (we’re Hanukkah people)

    • 10.17.16

      So true on adding a few new basics to a wardrobe! I found that continuing to build a capsule wardrobe gives me endless combos, and it always feels fresh somehow. Nothing like new kicks to put a pep in your step.

      I feel for you on the new puppy! That was me when Lucy was a baby. It really is the best introduction to having kids. I hate to say, but you kinda never stop worrying, just like a parent. I worry about that munchkin all the time!

      After getting back from Tahoe a few weeks ago, my friends and I decided to go back again in Jan for the snow. I’ve NEVER been to Tahoe when there was snow on the ground (crazy, huh?), and I can’t wait!

  11. 10.12.16
    Meghan said:

    Love this post, Victoria and just did something recently on w&w – so nice to start a conversation!!

    Making Me Happiest So Far in October: Pumpkin EVERYTHING! October is also my favorite month for weather in NYC.

    Current Favorite Part of My Daily Routine: Mornings with no meetings when I can make coffee at home, curl up in comfy clothes and sit at my desk feeling fulfilled, determined and happy.

    Thing I Can’t Stop Worrying About: Client work! Looking for more clients for my consulting business – the hustle is real!

    What I’m Watching Right Now (light and/or quality!): Loving This is Us on NBC so far!

    Something That Pleasantly Surprised Me: Seeing random acts of kindness around New York. I’ve witnessed a few in the past weeks and it always warms my heart to see people being selfless rather than selfish.

    Current Thoughts on the Upcoming Holidays: Cannot wait! Means many memories are ahead and some quality time with my family in my favorite place (Rocky Mountains.)

    • 10.17.16

      I totally feel you on the fave routine piece. The BEST feeling is waking up with no meetings scheduled and a day you can power through and GSD. I try to not schedule meetings for Mondays and Friday mornings, so I can at least have those days to get a little of that feeling in every week!

  12. 10.12.16
    Rebecca said:

    Making Me Happiest So Far in October:
    –Pulling out my favorite coats (an obsession) and booties. I JUST bought my first pair of short UGGs, a trend I never jumped on when it was popular in college, but I’m really loving them on my days off now. Cozy feet = happiness. Also, I’m a year-round hot coffee drinker and now that it’s cooler, I don’t feel so ostracized walking around with my steaming cup.

    Current Favorite Part of My Daily Routine:
    –I love when I put on my makeup in the morning. The routine of it just calms me. It’s a little oasis of me-time. I didn’t start wearing makeup until my early/mid-twenties so my routine is still pretty simple but a day doesn’t feel like its starts off right until I’ve gone through “putting on my face.”

    Thing I Can’t Stop Worrying About:
    –I’m getting married in a few weeks- the first weekend of November- and I started getting wedding dreams these past few days about something going wrong. I also worry about the weather and about whether it’ll be too cold or be too rainy. I’ve been a very relaxed bride for most of the planning thus far but now that it’s nearing the end and realizing how much money has been put into one day…I’m starting to feel the pressure. I pray it turns out nicely and everyone has a good time!

    What I’m Watching Right Now (light and/or quality!):
    –Just started watching Stranger Things…I usually hate thrillers/scary movies/shows but my S.O. and I decided to be brave last weekend and try it out. We only made it through 2 episodes before deciding together that we needed a break. During tense scenes, I cover my ears and he covers his eyes, so watching it together actually works perfectly.

    Something That Pleasantly Surprised Me:
    –Brussel sprouts!! I used to think that I hated them but after trying an Ina Garten recipe (with lots and lots of bacon fat!) I’ve discovered that I’m obsessed with them. Turns out I’m so in love with them that I’ve made them three times this week alone. My S.O. has already made a request for a “different vegetable, please.”

    Current Thoughts on the Upcoming Holidays:
    –Mulling over how to convince my future-husband that spending the holidays with just MY family is the greatest idea ever.

    I’m a huge fan of your work and thank you for allowing us to participate with such a fun exercise!

    • 10.17.16

      Thank YOU for participating, Rebecca!

      I feel for you on the wedding worrying. About 3 weeks before my wedding (also the first weekend of November, like you!), the forecast was rain, all weekend. I freaked. At our venue, in order to get a tent over a small area where the ceremony was going to be, the tent vendor needed 2 weeks notice and was going to charge THIRTY THOUSAND DOLLARS. That was not really in the budget — much less so close to the end date when payments to vendors were basically all already done — so we went tentless and prayed for good weather. It worked out great! But I will tell you that I have been to weddings where it was absolutely pouring outside, and those are sometimes the most fun. Everyone makes the most of it, and the joy of seeing all these people you love together, along with the couple so happy and in love, creates this sense of family. A few years ago a friend’s outdoor wedding had to be completely moved into a barn a few hours before the ceremony due to rain, and seeing how the guests came together to move everything in not only made for a great story, but we were super cozy in there and had the best time! I promise, it’ll be amazing no matter what.

  13. 10.13.16
    Rachel said:

    I’ve been following your blog since your vmac & cheese days. Your blog never gets stale, ever. It bums me out to see so many bloggers I’ve followed for years fall into the trap of making every post an ad in some way. If your posts are ever sponsored, you are the MASTER at concealing it! Go girl! OK, just needed to tell you that. Keep it up.

    Making Me Happiest So Far in October: The cool mornings. I live in New Orleans so a break from the heat makes me giddy, even if it’s only in the seventies.

    Current Favorite Part of My Daily Routine: Using my new Rodin face oil every night before bed. My skin is incredibly sensitive and acne prone but my skin seems to love this stuff. Plus its magical lavender scent puts me right to sleep.

    Thing I Can’t Stop Worrying About: The future of our country, no matter which candidate wins the election. How did we get here?

    What I’m Watching Right Now: American Horror Story (the current season), Divorce on HBO (I don’t care about the mixed reviews, SJP can do NO wrong in my book. It’s so good to have her back on my screen!)

    Something That Pleasantly Surprised Me: The way masses of Louisianians rushed to help rescue people trapped in their flooded homes in Baton Rouge.

    Current Thoughts on the Upcoming Holidays: I have a feeling that this holiday season could bring life changing news, but I don’t want to jinx it – fingers crossed!

    • 10.17.16

      Rachel, thank you so much for your comment and the kind words! It really, truly means a lot to me. In the interest of being totally real, I *do* use affiliate links within some posts (though other times not). Sponsored posts are super rare around here nowadays (I say no to most everything), but if you’re ever curious, just check the post notes at the bottom of each post — I would always call it out there if it was sponsored.

      Whatever you’re hoping for this holiday season — I really, really hope you get it! Fingers crossed for you too! xx

  14. 10.17.16
    Jill said:

    Thanks for the link to the NYT open letter and response. I’m so sorry that you have had those experiences in the past and that ANYONE has them. Ugh. I think it’s always a good reminder that racism is more than just black and white.

    • 10.17.16

      Thank you, Jill. It really means a lot to me that you’d take the time to write and to sympathize with the experience! And thanks for reading the article and thinking it over — I think hearing other people’s experiences is how we create a dialogue, and movement forward. xx

  15. 10.21.16
    Donna said:

    Making Me Happiest So Far in October: The stunning fall colours! Most weekends I’ve been going on long walks along the trails in my neighbourhood to soak up all the fall foliage. I feel as though we didn’t have much of a fall in Toronto last year (I remember spotting ONE orange tree in my neighbourhood. Or maybe I just wasn’t paying attention!) My favourite place is Sherwood Park (pretty much a forest!) which is 5 minutes walk from my place. I go there whenever I’m in need of some peace and quiet.:)

    Current Favorite Part of My Daily Routine: Hmmmm. Reading has become a part of my daily routine and I couldn’t be happier! I’ve been reading at least 2-3 books a week. I set a goal for myself at the beginning of the year to read 100 books. I am currently on book #64!

    Thing I Can’t Stop Worrying About: I’m actually not worrying about much right now. When I find my mind going in that direction, I immediately pray!

    What I’m Watching Right Now (light and/or quality!): I’m doing way more reading than watching TV/movies right now. But I’ve been catching up on Homeland (currently on season 5) and I started watching the Netflix documentary series, Chef’s Table. I am hooked! I also recently watched Miss You Already and I can’t recommend it enough!

    Something That Pleasantly Surprised Me: I’m drawing a blank on this one. Ha… I blame it on the fact that it’s Friday!!!:)

    Current thoughts on the upcoming holidays: I’m not thinking about the holidays yet. I’m making an effort to live one day at a time!

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