Everyday Inspirations

 
 

~ a better you ~


tea and honey
{angie}
My husband has been sick this last week with a sore throat and a horrible cough. I have been doing all I can to save myself while still taking good care of him. I'm not big on medication, so with cold and flu season upon us (already!), here are my favorite home remedies and tips.

Gargle hot salt water. My daddy always told me as hot and salty as you can stand it. The salt draws bacteria and germs out of the cells in your mouth and the heat helps clear your throat and soothe you pain.

Drink tea with honey and lemon. The heat will soothe your throat and energy or calm you down depending on the tea. Honey helps has antibiotic properties and also coats a soar throat. Lemon has antiseptic properties and has vitamin C. I'm always amazed how much better I feel after a mug of tea with honey and lemon.

Avoid sugar and eat garlic. If you have the cold or flu virus they won't help, but on the off chance that you have a bacterial infection too it never hurts to be safe. Bacteria feeds on sugar so that is the last thing you want to do. Garlic has antibiotic and antibacterial properties that will help kill bacteria that could be infecting you.

Eat spicy food. It's actually due to having strep throat that I started liking spicier dishes. Spicy food helps relieve sinus pressure when they are swollen from a cold.

Drink water and get plenty of rest. Just like mama always said, but it's that simple. If you are fighting a virus your immune system will be working hard to defeat it so water and rest and the key.

Remember to do what you can to keep from spreading germs and be proactive in staying healthy so your body is prepared to fight an easier battle should you get sick. Stay healthy this season!
 

~ home ~


Picture
{ash}

For as long as I've known Dan, he's wanted square plates. Every time we were in a kitchen store, we'd gravitate toward the dishes, checking them out, wondering whether it was time to purchase some. 

You can imagine our delight when my grandma gave us this awesome (red!) set of large and small plates, bowls, and mugs. They add a nice, bright punch to the kitchen. You know you'll be seeing them on some future "Food" posts!
Share |
 

~ fashion ~


fashion accessory
{angie}
Headbands can add that extra touch to a simple hairdo. I often wear my hair down so they are one of my favorite accessories. Love the soft detail with the little bit of sparkle of this headband. I dressed this up for a wedding and then later wore it with jeans and a beaded tee. Perfect as a dress-up or dress-down accessory. 
 

~ how to ~


Picture
{ash}

To begin with, can I just say how odd it feels that I'm voluntarily writing a post about plants? I mean, seriously? When did I start caring about plants? It's one of those adult desires that sneaks up on you when you're not paying attention. One day you could care less, and the next you're suddenly interested in things like plants. And vegetable gardens. And washers and dryers.

Anyway. For a long time I was convinced that I could never own a plant. Ever. Back in college I managed to kill a succulent. A desert plant. I tell you, it takes a special person.

Last week Dan came home with this cute little Bonsai tree and I immediately took a liking to it. I'm no expert on anything plant-related, but I was told this tree isn't very high maintenance, so it scares me less than most other plants. I still mostly just observe its care, occasionally stepping it to moisten its leaves with a bright blue spray bottle. Mostly I just admire how cute it looks in the living room as it soaks up sun from the open window. It brightens the space and brings a nice, natural feel to it.

This particular plant was bought at Paradise Palm in downtown Salt Lake City. I recommend picking a plant from a local shop where there are experts who can give you specifics about types of plants and their specific care. You don't have to devote hours and hours to research, but make sure you do some. If you're gone 12 hours a day, you definitely do not want a high maintenance plant. Also, make sure you give your particular plant the right amount of sunlight and water. It's really sad to drop your dried up succulent in the trash. Trust me.
 

~ small inspiration ~


Picture
{angie}
The last several days were complete insanity. The fact that I survived them was even crazier. But after the sore legs, my melted brain, and my general sense of complete exhaustion there is a grand sense of accomplishment. My days felt impossible and yet I survived them accomplishing all I needed to and then some. I won't lie--there were swear words, moments where my heart beat frantically with stress and thoughts of discouragement as my already busy plate got stuffed with more. I took a deep breath, told myself I could do it (sometimes out loud), and got down to business. This morning's sunshine blasting (yes blasting) through my windows as I bring you your small inspiration a day late (sorry about that) was just what I needed. I can't help but celebrating that I made it to Sunday. Have a wonderful, restful day. Bring it on world!
 

~ our world ~


Picture
How easy and simple it is to live enjoyably when the simple, interminable blue of the sky, with its long wisps of white clouds, becomes a pleasant thing to behold, a thing of beauty that thrills you every time you care to look skyward.

- John Schindler
{ash}

At this time of year, when I'm completely charmed by changing leaves and cooler air, I like to remind myself that each new season brings new possibilities. Life is an ever-evolving roller coaster ride that, like the earth, is always transforming. The natural world is there to amaze, to bring us to a quiet place, to provide inspiration.

Have a beautiful weekend!
 

~ food ~


Autumnal Equinox
When you're done balancing eggs for the autumnal equinox, use them to whip up some delicious tiramisu. I made this as a treat for my mom's birthday last week remembering that the first time I made it, it was sort of a challenge and I wanted to make something special. I don't know what I was thinking of because the recipe is totally simple and fairly fast to make (not that it made it any less special for my mama). I used the recipe from my favorite Italian goddess, Giada de Laurentiis, who I aspire to be when I grow up.
Picture
{Tiramisu}
*6 egg yolks
3 tablespoons sugar
1 pound mascarpone cheese
2 cups espresso, cooled
3 teaspoons dark rum
48 ladyfingers
1/2 cup bittersweet or semisweet chocolate shavings

* When consuming raw eggs, only use fresh, properly refrigerated, grade A or AA eggs.



Picture
Start by brewing your espresso. I prepared mine the night before so I could chill it in the fridge. I used my Bialetti moka which is much cheaper than an espresso maker, but makes it just as delicious in my opinion.
Separating eggs
Separate your eggs, add to your mixer with sugar and blend until thick and pale, about five minutes.
Mascarpone cheese
Add mascarpone cheese and 1 tablespoon espresso and blend until creamy and smooth.
Ladyfingers
Tiramisu
In a separate bowl, stir espresso and rum together. I like having a separate shallow dish for soaking the lady fingers because they are less likely to get soggy a break apart than a big shallow dish.
Espresso soaked ladyfingers
Espresso soaked ladyfingers
Soak the lady fingers and fill out the bottom of you dish cutting some in half as needed.
Tiramisu recipe
Because of the trifle dish I used I was able to make three layers of lady fingers with three layers of mascarpone cheese mixture. The original recipe calls for a 9x13 pan with two layers. Spread one third of the mixture across the first layer, add another layer of ladyfingers and repeat with all three layers.
Dark chocolate
Using a grater, shave chocolate on the top for garnish. Cover and refrigerate at least two hours before serving.
Tiramisu recipe
Tiramisu is creamy, not too sugary, and delicious with a cup of hot espresso.
 

~ a better you ~


Picture
Go to your happy place. Negative thoughts can't have your energy!
{ash}

I was at a work retreat today where we did some team building activities. One point that really stuck with me was the importance of stepping back to focus on what is going right in your life.

Too often we become caught up in things that are not going so well: misunderstandings, shortcomings, inadequacies. It can be so easy to get obsessed with negative thoughts. Isn't it more worth it to focus on blessings instead? I think so.

Today, I challenge you to name off five things in your life that are going well. I guarantee you can think of more. Remember, you are awesome and deserve to spend your energy on good thoughts. 
 

~ home ~


Picture
{angie}
As fall has finally arrived, it's time to get that autumn decor out. Cinnamon spice candles, pumpkins, leafy wreaths, and bowls of abundant fruits and veggies. I got the contents of this centerpiece on sale at the craft store for only $6 (I still don't understand why they are 50% off at the beginning of the season) and put it in this gorgeous wooden bowl I have from Sundance. It makes a festive accent to my side table for fall. Now bring on the pumpkin bread!
 

~ fashion ~


{ash}

Dan and I have recently become obsessed with the yumminess known as Mad Men, devouring at least one episode on weeknights or going full-on marathon style on the weekends (but don't spill secrets, we're only on season two).

I'm most definitely not the first woman to fall completely in love with the show's fashion. But I blame no one for this obession. I cannot get enough of it! With every episode I find myself wishing we still dressed up 60s style. I want to wear gloves! What about those elegant up-dos?

Luckily, the classic shapes found in the show can still be worn today. Here are three of my top favorite fashion statements on Mad Men.
Picture
Red, red lips
So. Delicious.

I've always shy been when it came to lip color, but I'll tell you -- watching Joan waltz around with those pink and red lips has cured that shyness. Lately I have found myself reaching for colored gloss or lipstick. Bring it on.

Picture
Curve huggin' dresses
I'm a short woman, but I have some fabulous curves (and I'm not afraid to admit that I love them!). Mad Men is definitely your show if you're a fan of curves. Those women are beautiful. And those dresses! Made to hug and love curves. I tell you, every time I watch an episode I want to go out and buy a new outfit that will beautifully show off my natural shape.

I specifically bought this dress (waaaay before I even knew about Mad Men) because it made me think of dresses from my mother's or grandmother's youth. There is something so timeless about this shape.

Picture
Hats, hats, hats!
Over the summer we visited an antiques shop in Lincoln City, OR, where they had TONS of hats. I HAD to try them all on. I was thisclose to purchasing this pillbox hat -- you know, because I'd wear it so often back home in Salt Lake.

But seriously, all I could think at the time was, "Whatever happened to the hats?" I drool over the variety of hats worn by women in Mad Men. They totally make an outfit. I need to ask my grandmother all about fashion back in the 1960s... specifically the hats she wore. I think we need to bring them back. Ladies, who's with me?