Everyday Inspirations

 
 

~ small inspiration ~


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Have you noticed how you sometimes try to rush your life? For example, I've spent the weekend wishing for Monday evening so I no longer have to worry about moving another box or a bed.

I have a tendency to want to rush through days when I'm determined to get to the next chapter of my life. I've become more aware of this impatience and have consciously tried to slow myself down, to appreciate today in all its chaotic glory. I have learned that this moment, this very minute, is one I will never get back. The key is to live it, love it, and learn from it.

Last September I was fortunate to attend the local YWCA's LeaderLuncheon, a wonderful event that celebrates influential Salt Lake women. The keynote speaker was Susan L. Taylor, editor-in-chief emeritus of Essence magazine and founder of the Essence Cares mentoring movement. During her time at Essence magazine, Ms. Taylor wrote In the Spirit, an inspirational monthly column. After her heartwarming speech, I ran to the lobby to buy All About Love, a collection of those columns. I began reading it the minute I got home. I still cherish that book.

The other day I was flipping through the pages when I found a piece that discusses how we should be "like water, not stone, flexible and limber in ... living and giving." I've often thought about these words this weekend. They remind me that the beauty of living is in enjoying today. Like water, we must be flexible and remember that small, everyday moments (be they boring, slow, or painful) are forever shaping us.
 

~ our world ~


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{angie}
Alright so this edition of ~our world~ is not focused on the usual travel, culture or even the environment. Today I am focused on exactly what is going on in my world and that is cleaning. It all started this afternoon when the toilet flooded. I know. Gross. Wasn't it so much nicer when scary things like were handled by your mother? Well this morning we had the Foul Flood of 2010 at the Fairbanks residence. My husband and I tackled it as a team which ultimately spurred a cleaning spree. The bathrooms all got a nice deep clean, then the garage, now we are onto the basement. As much as I feel totally gross and am more than ready for some sustinence, my world is starting to look so beautiful and slowly but surely it will be organized. I guess Ash must have inspired me with all that purging of old stuff. Now that I work from home, even more so my house is my world and cleaning my surroundings always makes me refreshed and relaxed. Alright! Off to clean!
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~ food ~


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{ash}

Oh, my darling readers. Every post from me this week has been focused on The Move. The Move... can't get it off my mind. There are a zillion and one things to focus on and most things happen the exact opposite way I want. Isn't that life, though?

Big transitions mess with your sleep, your schedule, and your nutrition. The kitchen is a mess, you're working late -- the easiest thing to do is grab something fast and easy. Unfortunately those meals are not good options. In the long run, they actually hurt you more than they help you. That said, here are a few of my tips for eating healthy while your life is going crazy.
  • Make fresh food your best friend. You know what I love about fruits and veggies? They are low key. Yeah, it takes a lot of effort to prepare, say, an artichoke, but apples, bananas, tomatoes, carrots, grapes... those are simple. Give a piece of fruit a rinse and you're ready to go. Plus, you can have fun with fruits and vegetables (slather peanut butter on a crisp celery stick or cut up and salt a juicy tomato). Eating fresh without turning on an oven or even pulling out a plate? Sign me up.
  • Stock up on healthy snacks. Ignore the fried chips and reach for whole wheat crackers or trail mix when you need a little something extra.
  • Drink water. If you're like me, chaos makes you want to reach for junk food. I'm the queen of mistaking thirst for hunger or snack food cravings. I usually grab a glass of water when I feel that way. Nine times out of ten it does the trick.
  • If you must order out, order smart. I loooove a big ol' unhealthy pizza or burger for dinner when I've been working all day, but it is NOT something I want to be eating every night during a move (my wallet agrees). Take time to learn what healthy options are available near you. For example, if you're eating Chinese, go for a lo mein loaded with veggies instead of the deep fried, sauce-slathered chicken dish.
 

~ a better you ~


Burt's Bees
{angie}
First may I disclose that I am in no way being paid or compensated to endorse this product. I divulge to you my favorite cleanser--Burt's Bees Soap Bark and Chamomile Deep Cleansing Cream. Being in my 20s, I'm in that weird stage between acne and wrinkles. That is to say, I worry a little about both. For years I searched for a good cleanser and tried everything from the drug store to the department store until I started using this a couple years ago and fell in love!

With natural ingredients like soap bark to cleanse, chamomile and aloe to soothe, and rosemary and echinacea to reduce inflammation and renew your skin, this cleanser gives me everything I need. It's creamy texture removes make-up (I even use it on my eyes) while moisturizing your skin. My favorite thing about this product is how it tingles. I'm not talking about the itchy, stinging sensation like you felt from the cleanser you used when you were 14. With Burt's Bees you can feel a cool, tingling sensation as it cleans your pores and rejuvenates your skin. My skin has never been clearer or more moisturized since I started using this. Thank you Burt's Bees!
 

~ home ~


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I parted with quite a few things during the Great Clean-Out of 2010, but I still had trouble with one thing: my collection of books. I gave away a few old novels from college that I knew I'd never read again, but I kept nearly everything else.

I love having books in my home and adore how a shelf of books looks in a room (I may or may not have had a minor stress moment when I questioned whether the bookshelves would fit in the new apartment). I also always have a few books near my bed. I love ending the day snuggled under a blanket, reading until I can't keep my eyes open (by the way, this is why a bedside lamp is a necessity). I don't know if I could ever love an e-reader. Sure, there's convenience and the fact that I could download a book in no time at all. But I've gobbled up traditional books for so long that nothing can ever replace the feel of pages turning in my fingers, the smell of paper, or the crack I hear as I break into a brand-new novel.
 

~ fashion ~


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{angie}
Who says dogs can't be fashion fabulous? This is Daisy's new dog tag bling we got at Petco. Inscribed with her name and encrusted with hot pink rhinestones, what's not to love? 
 

~ how to ~


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I'm getting ready to move, so I spent yesterday cleaning and organizing. I firmly believe in the power of a big clean-up at least once a year. It's astounding how much you can accumulate over just a few months. Organizing belongings greatly improves your state of mind (and the space in your closets and drawers). Once you train yourself to remove unnecessary clutter from your life, I guarantee you'll be happier. You'll enjoy what's really important to you (and will no longer have to maneuver around stuff that isn't).

Trust me. This is coming from a former pack rat (just ask my mom). Here are a few tips that help me:
  • Begin with an organized state of mind. I don't know how you clean, but I tend to make a mess in the process. I keep that fact in mind so that I don't feel discouraged when I'm surrounded by piles. I designate certain areas of the room to bring order to the chaos. One pile is recycling, another is for donations, and one is for documents that need to be shredded. I always have a trash can handy and empty it as I go.
  • Don't clean in silence. I don't like organizing in silence. It's too easy to get bored. I put on a DVD or my iPod for background noise. Listening to something other than my own protests ("But I've had that since 1995!") makes me much more efficient.
  • Say goodbye to static crap. You know that t-shirt you never wear but that sits in your drawer because represents an event in your life (for me, it was the "I Skiied the Bird on July Fourth" tee from 2005 and a U2 tee from a 2001 concert)? Or that card your friend wrote for your birthday back in high school that you feel guilty about tossing (even though all it says is, "You're the best. I love you!")? You also know that feeling that comes every time you encounter one of these items? That tight chest feeling of "OMG-I-totally-don't-want-this-but-I-feel-guilty-for-keeping it"? Time to say goodbye. You have the memories. You have the pictures. You have the yearbook entry that says the same exact thing. Give your mind a break and let that stuff go. 
  • Donate items to a good cause. You have the power to make someone's life better. Yeah, that sweater is still nice, but you don't wear it. Someone else can put it to good use. Set aside your old clothes to give away (toss anything that's torn, stained, or full of holes). I loaded my car with piles of clothes, a couple of stuffed animals, and books for the local chapter of Big Brothers Big Sisters (find donation bins on their web site). Think of it as a deposit to your karmic bank account.
  • Go to battle with the bathroom. Ah, the bathroom. My former nemesis. Those cupboards could be a scary place. Girls understand. We know what it's like to receive bottle after bottle of lotion around the holidays, the thrill of purchasing yet another tube of lip gloss, the necessity of owning all those hair products. For some reason (at least for me) this stuff is the hardest to deal with. It seems to multiply on its own. For years I would be picky about what I tossed ("My coworker gave me that!" or "I know I don't use it, but it does smell nice"). Yesterday I gave no such excuses. Out went the old lotions I never use, the headache medicine that expired in... 2007? Are you kidding me? Now I love my bathroom. It's clean and glorious.
  • Make some cash. You will probably find stuff that you don't want but that isn't appropriate to give away, such as nice jewelry or clothes you haven't worn. May as well make some extra cash. My personal favorites are KSL (local) and eBay.
 
down time
{angie}
I'm not good at down time. I spent my whole Saturday off working editing photos and prepping stuff for clients. What can I say? I guess I just have good work ethic, a passion for everything I do and don't need much sleep. But tomorrow I'm prescribing myself some relax time. It's my occasional down time that gets me from one work-a-holic week to the next. Tomorrow will bring sunshine, fun, playing in the park, and time with my loved ones. Now it's in writing so there's no backing out. Have a relaxing weekend everyone!
 

~ our world ~


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Late summer at Snowbird.
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Growing up in the Salt Lake valley, I have always lived with a view of incredible mountains. You'll quickly discover that many of the people in this area take pride in the mountains. It's easy to fall deeply in love with their rugged shapes and amazing colors. They are a constant companion and a definite perk to living in Utah.

I've always grown up with Little Cottonwood Canyon in my backyard. This canyon, home to the incredible Alta and Snowbird ski resorts, is, in a word, gorgeous. I've spent countless days of my life there, skiing, hiking, and enjoying views of the valley. I even worked at Snowbird during college. Every weekend, I would drive six miles up the canyon to the resort, and I can honestly say I never got tired of it. Each season offers a new view and a hundred new inspirations.
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~ food ~


Blueberry Peach Cooler
{angie}
As this hot summer is coming to a close, this blueberry peach cooler is a refreshing and healthy treat. Loaded with fresh fruit, blended to creamy perfection and a mixed with bit of rum for a zing, it is the perfect end to a warm summer's day.

{Blueberry Peach Cooler}

1 cup frozen blueberries
1 cup frozen peaches
1 ripe banana
1 cup water or juice
3 ounces Malibu rum
sugar, to taste