Sunday, November 30, 2014

Dust of Snow

Thanksgiving has come and gone this year. Arriving with it, hand in hand, were frosts and flurries. Seemingly, winter has made it's presences known, perhaps earlier than most had expected or wanted. However, it is a truth universally acknowledged that we have no control over Mother Nature.  

As blankets lay along the land, we must adapt to her long winter's nap. As we tip toe around sheets of ice, we must gracefully move in this world that has become still. As we trek through the snow, we walk along with rowdy foraging animals, but are otherwise surrounded by silence.


Winter is one of those things that you either love or hate. For me, I really enjoy it.
 Here are some of the reasons why I'm fond of winter:
❄bundling up & enjoying the indoors
❄sipping hot chocolate by the fire
❄wearing bulky sweaters
 ❄shopping for gifts
 ❄wrapping gifts
 ❄spending time with family
❄jamming out to holiday tunes
❄wearing pjs whenever possible
❄bundling up & enjoying the outdoors
(yer never too old for it!)
❄ice skating
❄power outages
(a weird one, yes,
but I find them fun
{so long as everyone is safe and warm!})
❄jumping into a pile of powder snow
❄all of the trees are "frosted"
❄glistening snow
❄deer tracks
❄frost patterns
❄the simplicity of nature
 ❄simplicity in general

For many, winter is a dreary time; a time to just get through. I understand that completely. With grey skies, inclement weather, and the feeling that it keeps dragging on and on can make for a somber soul. Because of those reasons, I dreaded winter days at one point. I was never a fan of that attitude, though. I'm the type of person who wants to enjoy every moment. What helped to change my views on this time of year was actually making a list, like the one above. It's funny how purposefully finding the positives in anything can make it a million times better. This phenomenon is beautifully described in one of my favourite poems.

 "Dust of Snow"
by Robert Frost

The way a crow 
Shook down on me 
The dust of snow 
From a hemlock tree 

Has given my heart 
A change of mood 
And saved some part 
Of a day I had rued

Little things can always affect the larger scale. Even if a day seems dull, there will always be a flame ready to be stoked. It's up to us to choose if we want the light to outshine the dark. That's why it's important to be open and appreciate the little things that happen to us because they could end up brightening an entire day. How you look at a situation can make all of the difference. 

The other day was the first proper snowfall, so the sky remained on the darker side all day and it was freezing. It appeared to be the making of a cruddy day. But rather than thinking that, I only let myself be excited. Falling from the sky were one-of-a-kind ice crystals! How cool is that?! Maybe that's a childish thing to say, but frankly sometimes you need that childlike exuberance- that unjustified happiness.

I ended up having a lovely day enjoying several of the points on my list shared above. Towards the beginning I spent it outside, and eventually curled up by the fire. As the weather took a turn for the better, I visited family. Nothing major happened, but that's pretty nice sometimes. Sometimes simplicity really is best. :) 

Parka: Target
Tunic: Kohl's
Leggings: Nike
Boots: Target
Bag: Target
 Ring: Kohl's

What are you looking forward to this winter?


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

DIY: Leaf Bowl

Here in the USA we celebrate a holiday called Thanksgiving. This day, filled with stuffing our faces with turkey, potatoes, cranberries, and more, and spending time with family, is smack-dab between Halloween and Christmas. For people is many other countries, they can begin the transition into the festive times, but here in America, we have to hold onto autumn a bit longer. Sure it is still autumn everywhere in the northern hemisphere until December 21st, but honestly I'd like to start getting ready for the holidays and welcoming the winter season. However, I must restrain that urge for one more week until after Thanksgiving.

Though getting ready for Thanksgiving is enjoyable, it just isn't the same as Christmas time. This is probably because I tend to not decorate for Thanksgiving nearly as much as I do for Christmas. This year I've made it my mission to (pumpkin) spice it up by garnishing everything with autumnal pieces! Rather than just toss store bought items around my house, I've taken the initiative to create a few bits even. That being said, I want to share one of the pieces I made over the weekend, and steps so you can make it yourself! And if you don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, but live in the northern hemisphere, remember that it’s still autumn, so this craft is for you, too! :) 

Fake leaves
Matte Mod Podge
A balloon
Scissors and/or pliers
Foam brush
A bowl

1. If your leaves aren't already individual, cut them so they are, and then put them in a pile to the side. Use the pliers if there is metal within the plastic stems and scissors if not.
*Be sure to have plenty of leaves available. It's better to have extra than not enough! I gathered around 30 and used all but a few. My leaves were on the smaller size, too, so how many you use is dependent on that.
2. Blow up a balloon and place it in your bowl. The bowl acts as a place to keep the balloon stabilized as you're gluing the leaves together.
3. Begin gluing the leaves onto the balloon and to each other using the Mod Podge and foam brush. 
           *Note: I made the leaves appear ombred. I arranged them by having the darker ones at the bottom of the bowl and the lighter ones around the edge. Do as you please! 
4. If you end up being like me and use A LOT of Mod Podge, let the leaves dry for 2 days or until there is no white showing. (Unlike in the photo below :P)
5. Pop the balloon!
6. Trim the excess glue off with scissors and yer done!!
            *Here's a picture that shows the ombre effect better.

Hope you enjoyed this DIY! Let me know if you try it!

Have a lovely day and stay fabulous!!


Monday, November 10, 2014

Haul: Winter Athletic Wear//Motivational Monday

 As previously mentioned, I'm on a bit of a health kick. This year I plan to take skiing more seriously. In order to do so, I've been toning up. I also want to lead a healthier lifestyle. To be more dedicated to working out comes the need for proper garments. As the cooler days have become more frequent, I realized I was specifically in need of warmer athletic wear. Since last year around this time wasn't a big movement montage, I only had a few older pieces. In preparation of winter and the many ski trips I shall be taking, I needed to refresh my athletic wardrobe. Now I have a lot of quality items that should last a while and add a nice layer of warmth.

1. Under Armour ColdGear Fitted Crew//2. Printed my design at CustomInk//3. Nike Dri-Fit T-Shirt //4. Under Armour ColdGear Zip Top
Under Armour ColdGear Leggings//Nike Dri-Fit Leggings//Nike Pro Hyperwarm Tights
It's all well and good to talk about the fashion side of athletics, but that's a pretty minor part of it. The two main factors are mind and body. Our bodies are capable of a lot more than we think. Thanks to our minds, we tend to hold ourselves back. Honestly, exercising can definitely be one of those things that is difficult to muster motivation for when you're not in a routine, but to get going, you have to think of the end result. After any form of exercise, be it long or short, intense or gentle, it is always worth it. Though you may be short of breath after, the chemicals in our body make sure we feel great. If being out of breath, sore, or anything of that nature holds you back, push those thoughts aside. Think about that energizing feeling flowing through your body and sense of satisfaction after. Also, remember the larger goal as to why you want to exercise. Do you want firmer arms? A tighter core? Toned thighs? Or do you simply want to be healthier? Keeping your goals in mind will help you to succeed. 

Need more motivation? Read some of my favourite exercise related quotes below!

Since you may feel slightly motivated at this point, try some of the following workouts. The ones with *asterisks are what I do at least five days a week.

Gentle Exercises:
*Hula Hooping (10+ minutes)
Walking (10+ minutes)
Jogging in place (10+ minutes)

A routine I made:
Lunges {to the front & back} (x13)
Lunges Diagonally {to the front & back} (x13)
Lunges to the side {each side} (x13)
Stretch (30 seconds)
*Squat Jumps (30 seconds)
*High Knee Step Over (1 minute)
*Box Jumps {to the front} (x13)
*Box Jumps {side to side} (x13)
Stretch (30 seconds)
*Wall Sit (1+ minute(s))
Plank (30 seconds)
*Crunches (x30)
*Tricep Dips (x13)
Stretch (1 minute)
*Slalom Sprints (10 minutes)
Stretch (5 minutes)

For the routine above, adjust whatever you want. Add time, take away time. Add reps, take away reps. Repeat parts, take away parts. Make it work for you, so you'll actually do it!

One of my favourite workout videos:

Hopefully you're feeling motivated to be active now! I've presented you with quality clothes to wear, a bit of motivation, and at-home exercises. The ball is in your court now!

*Let me know if you enjoyed this fitness based post and would like more!*