Favorite things: February

Here are a few of my favorite things. ¬†To achieve “favorite thing” status, something fulfill certain criteria… said favorite thing must:

1) increase my general quality of life- if something makes me feel bad about myself, stresses me out, costs me a lot more than I want to spend, or requires unwanted responsibilities, it shall not be awarded “favorite thing” status.

2) Be beautiful (beauty takes many forms, and is proverbially, in the eye of the beholder (meaning me). ūüôā

3) Be a part of my life on a daily, or at least weekly, basis. ¬†If its something that I use infrequently, well then I’m probably not comfortable enough with said thing to deem it a favorite.

4) Must be associated with calm, peaceful feelings.  The thing should be comforting.

*Obviously, I don’t really think about all these things when deciding whether or not I like something. ¬†But as it turns out, all of my favorite things fulfill these criteria.

Without further ado, here’s favorites for February…

One: Essie nail polish in Lacquered Up. I love the bright color, probably because it makes me look girly even when I’m wearing my boyfriend jeans, grey zipper hoodie, and hat with the earflaps. ¬†Hidden bonus: it keeps me from chewing on my nails…for the most part and makes me look like a jcrew model. (ha!)

Two: Bare Minerals Make-up stored in purple satin bag. I LUUUUUV Bare Minerals, I’ve been wearing it since I was fifteen and wised up to the fact that drug-store quality liquid foundation with lip smackers just wasn’t for me…is it for anyone? ¬†I kind of think no…except ¬†for the Lip Smakers…I still love the mango lip balm…oh and the strawberry gloss…Anyway, Bare Minerals “foundation” goes on so fast (like in five minutes before I head out the door). ¬†It looks perfectly natural and has SPF 15 to boot. ¬†I usually brighten up my cheeks with a dusting of ___ blush and finish off my “look” (yeah right) with a few swipes of their black mascara. ¬†Its the perfect make-up for a not-so-girly minimalist. ¬†And the bag, well that just makes me feel elegant. ¬†Plus it cost me like 7 bucks and who doesn’t love a steal?

Three: Cherry Pie Larabars. ¬†I love all Larabars. ¬†I really don’t discriminate. ¬†However, this month I’ve been partial to the Cherry Pie flavor. ¬†Dates, Almonds, and dried cherries, nothing more…also appeals to my inner-minimalist.

What are your favorite things that get you through the dreary days of February?


Thursdays with Leonardo.

Thursdays, this semester, are pretty great. ¬†I wake up super-early, around 6:00 am. ¬†Then I pick-up M at 6:30. ¬†I drive him to the school where he works, then I drive to the school where I work. ¬†Two hours later, we’re both done with the morning shift. ¬†I back track, pick him up, and drop him off at his place. ¬†This is our routine Monday through Friday. ¬†Thursdays are different though because after all the driving and waking up early and dealing with kindergardeners, I get to go home and chill. ¬†I only have one class and its not til 11:30…and get this, I actually like this class.

I’m taking High Renaissance Art. ¬†I love art history, and the professor is great. ¬†He’s one of only 5 or 6 Michelangelo scholars in the world. ¬†I have no idea how you become a Michelangelo scholar, but I don’t care. ¬†He knows his stuff, and he speaks with inflection in his voice, like he actually cares, CARES, about the subject he’s teaching. ¬†Right now he’s lecturing on da Vinci. ¬†Da Vinci, as it turns out, is completely, mind blowingly, amazing. ¬†His drawings are so…fluid? ¬†They look effortless, and yet there’s no denying the amount of study that went into them. ¬†He did portraits, anatomical sketches, military designs, crazy inventions, plant life, and water studies.

Anyway, after class I have nothing else I have to do all day. ¬†Sure, I have a ton of work to do, and a paper due on Monday, and I need to get out the swiffer and do battle with the dusty wood floors in my apartment. ¬†But honestly, I’ll probably cook something instead, or do some yoga. ¬†Both of which will be a start to making good on yesterday’s post.

rethinking my resolutions

I made five resolutions on January 1st. ¬†I have been semi-successful in a couple of them and completely ignored the rest. ¬†I haven’t kept up with my Bible study and journaling much at all. ¬†I haven’t gotten back into yoga as much as I wanted. ¬†I haven’t started dressing better (yoga pants are really pretty wonderful anyway). ¬†I haven’t quit counting calories. I haven’t been dedicating much time to recovery…anyway, I want to rethink my resolutions. ¬†I think I was a bit too ambitious and unaware of what I really wanted (?). ¬†Now that all this stuff is going on with M, I’m seeing things, my whole life really, much differently than I was on January 1st.

Resolutions, Draft II:

1) quit counting calories.  fight the urge.  just eat.  eat well.  eat healthy.  eat dessert.  move on.

2) spend time reflecting, journaling, blogging, looking over counseling stuff, reading my Bible, and praying.  Do this at least 3-4 times a week.  As in sit down, eliminate distractions, and really think for at least 20-30 minutes.

3) Find a yoga studio and start attending class regularly, even if it is just once a week.  I want to find a yoga community.  I think I will really look forward to class each week if I can just get myself into the habit of going.  First step, find a studio.

4) Do one thing each week to move me closer to figuring out what I want to do with my life. ¬†That could be almost anything: going to a career fair, emailing someone for info, setting up an interview, researching culinary schools, cooking, studying new foods, recipes, or ingredients, journaling (maybe even the “inner-child journaling” J is so wild about), signing up for a class, etc.

So there are the goals. ¬†Resolutions if you will. ¬†Notice that school isn’t even mentioned? ¬†Yeah, thats on purpose. ¬†I considered making “get all B’s this semester” my fifth resolution, but I don’t want to push myself too far too fast. ūüôā ¬† So for now I’m going to really focus on these things.

4 cm.

M. has an Arteriovenous Malformation (AVM) in his right temporal lobe.  The doctors found it about three weeks ago.

Its giving him seizures.

It could hemorrhage.

It has to be removed.

Its 4 cm in diameter. ¬†That’s 1.57 inches. ¬†That’s about the size of a strawberry.

It has to be removed.

As in, M. is having brain surgery.

Brain surgery.

Truffles and Snow

It snowed all night last night. ¬†I went out for Valentine’s Day with M. ¬†I did the driving because he can’t, for a while. ¬†The roads were a mess. ¬†But, it was so beautiful I didn’t care. ¬†It was the best kind of snow. ¬†Big flakes at first, that got smaller and dustier as the night wore on and the temperature dropped. ¬†The sky was sparkling and the snow just floated down. ¬†It didn’t pelt, just flurried and fell and looked amazing. ¬†The temperature was still in the upper 20’s so its really bearable, enjoyable even, to be out.

The restaurant, Big Sky Cafe, was a last minute pick that was unique and cozy. ¬†And the food was a delicious contrast of rich v. light (think mashed potatoes with gravy and beet salad), seafood v. local produce (think crisp calamari, creamy crab cakes, and roasted brussels sprouts). ¬†We shared about five small plates, which was way too much food, but wonderful. ¬†Oh and the bread-basket had mini scallion cornbread muffins instead of your traditional rolls. ¬†That was an awesome touch. ¬†Really good red wine topped it all off. ¬†I had the McKinlay Pinot Noir (which actually got us our 7:00 V-day seating in the first place. ¬†Some gullible waitress assumed that M’s last name was in fact the same Mckinlay on the wine list. ¬†It went from “sorry we’re booked” to “we have a table for you at 7:00” with the mere mention of is name. ¬†He decided not to say anything and voila, last minute V-day reservations at an awesome restaurant!). ¬†M. had a cab of some sort that was equally awesome.

M. also gave me a box of chocolate truffles the size of my face.  I love V-Day!