It may have taken me a year and two months to put our wedding book together, but I finally made it happen! Our photographer gave us over 500 photos from our special day and it was quite a feat to select, resize, and organize some of our favorites into a memory book. I hope one day our kids stumble across this book in a similar way that I stumbled across my parents’ wedding album when I was a little girl. I remember that moment feeling completely magical- like I had found some secret treasure where I could visit that day and imagine what it must have been like. I know that’s totally the romantic side of me talking, but how can you not get a little over sentimental when you’re talking about weddings and love? Gah! ;-)
I used Artifact Uprising to pull this book together. I loved how easy the website was to use, how personal the whole experience of using this company felt, and of course how the end product turned out. My completely honest opinion- two thumbs up!
There are many things to love about Zion National Park. I love the fact that one can get an overall sense of the park and see a lot of the scenery by just spending an hour in the car driving through. However, if you’re more of an adventurer, there are also many areas to explore on foot by way of trails. Omar and I had read that the traffic and parking within the park can get pretty horrible (there’s only one lane with very few pullouts) which is why they have a tram to take you into the park. We found that traffic was minimal during the early morning hours in the off season. It’s pretty cold, but still bearable ;-)
On our short trip we tried to do a little bit of everything. We took a drive into the park before sunrise so we could watch the sky change colors against the massive canyon walls (fyi- it’s really hard to find a good place to watch the sun come up when you’re in a canyon! Ha!). Then we took some time to drive through the whole canyon, stopping along the way to take pictures and touch the canyon walls. We also went on a hike after getting some advice from a local shop clerk (and avid hiker!) as to where the “if you could only hike one trail in the park it would be ___” trail was.
Taking a trip through Zion is a really fun experience. The natural setting is eye candy and you just might see a deer on the side of the road if you’re lucky :-)
Cheers to this Monday morning, when I’m celebrating the fact that I have a new laptop power cord and trying to forget the fact that I missed out on a day’s worth of work because my computer couldn’t charge. Cheers to writing a real time blog post because I didn’t have something ready to go this morning due to previously said fact. Cheers to waking up at 5:30am and celebrating with a girlscout cookie. Cheers to being okay that life is never a smooth course, but you can learn to kick butt at taking on the bumps . . . that sounds like a quote I read somewhere. I think everyone needs their own personal cheerleader on Monday morning saying, “it’s Monday, but you got this!” Let’s find little ways to celebrate this Monday. You got this!
January is flying by! Did you make any New Year’s resolutions for 2015? Mine always seem to be similar generic goals: be more food conscious, be more green (use those darn reusable bags!), and drink more water. I just can’t seem to lock in specific goals for the first month of the year. Maybe I’ve been jaded over the years because I always hit burnout by March. My enthusiasm for setting specific goals usually hits right around my birthday . . . there’s just something about realizing that I’m a year older that gets me wanting to accomplish some big things in the next year.
Last August I set 27 goals for myself and shared them on the blog. Now, after about 5 months of having this list, I’m ready to discuss what’s been crossed off (and reveal the things that haven’t!). Also, I should mention that this list has been so much more to me than just a handy checklist where things can get crossed off. Truly, this list has pushed me to do things that I normally would have either put off or changed plans on. I love having a focused list that moves me towards my goals.
1. Take a Photography Class
2. Visit a new Country: We traveled to Canada in December and had such amazing experiences! Part 1 is here and Part 2 is coming soon.
3. Improve my wardrobe: Working on it. In mid-October I created a capsule wardrobe (and talked about it in this post) in an effort to better define my style and invest (rather than waste) money on really good clothing that I can wear again and again. So far I feel like I’ve been doing a really good job with this.
4. Simplify the items in my life (embrace minimalism): This is a constant effort. For anyone interested in approaching minimalism, this blog is a fantastic resource.
5. Sign up for a kickboxing class– So far I haven’t found any classes nearby. I might have to adopt a good workout DVD to work on this goal.
6. Practice yoga more frequently– It hasn’t become a regular thing, but I’ve definitely started doing it more frequently and found a couple of classes I really enjoy. I’ve also determined that yoga instruction by way of DVD just doesn’t work for me.
7. Set up an Etsy Shop
8. Start Juicing
9. Host an awesome Friendsgiving: It really was awesome, and hopefully a new tradition :-)
10. Continue to work on Project Life Consistently: FAIL
11. Make a vacation video-Footage has been captured. The making of the video is in progress and will be shared on the blog soon.
12. Make a video tutorial
13. Make time for reading– Almost every night- even if only for 15 minutes.
14. Set large financial goals– It’s an ambitious one for sure. Now I just need to flesh it all out.
15. Improve Snowboarding Skills– Check! Thanks to the Canadian ski slopes!
16. Weave something awesome
17. Become fluent in Spanish– This is probably my most ambitious goal. I practice with O when we remember to do so. Remembering seems to be the problem.
18. Learn how to drive a manual car
19. Go kayaking or canoeing
20. Make Curry
21. Go to three concerts: One down . . . two to go!
22. Have a picnic
23. Go camping– I got as close as I’m going to get for now with a trip to Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks in Utah. The only thing that was missing was . . . well, the camping (ha!). I just can’t convince the hubby that sleeping on the ground really can be fun. I’m giving up on this battle- for now ;-)
24. Take a cooking class
25. Worry Less: This is really hard to determine, but I really like that I included it on my list. I feel like I’m constantly reminding myself to just take things one at a time and focus on the present. Sometimes I’m successful, and other times are just really tough.
26. Go to a comedy show: Check. Jeff Dunham is a riot!
27. Be more kind to my body: Heck yes. I’ve modified my workout routines to be a little less strenuous (yet still challenging), and have started to eat more healthy. This for me has been a HUGE change. I used to think I could eat anything I wanted if I could kill my body working it off. I’ve slowly been changing my mindset.
There were a few things that intimidated me about traveling to Canada in December. Get ready for some pretty lame (yet very real to me!) fears. First, I didn’t know how I was going to get along in the cold weather. Anyone who knows me knows that I’m ALWAYS cold- even in the summer when the air conditioning is hitting me too long. Omar and I joked that I might return to California as his “wifesicle.” Second, I knew I was going to be snowboarding. I wasn’t about to let Omar have all the fun in Whistler, but snowboarding is something that both excites and terrifies me despite the fact that I’ve practiced several times. And thirdly, the general intimidation of traveling out of the country (a first for both of us!) . . . even if we weren’t going that far!
How I created my capsule: I started by removing everything from my closet and dresser (gasp!) Yes, the gigantic pile of clothing on my bed . .. and the floor . .. was very scary, but it had to be done! I had a donation pile, a pile I wanted to save for another season, and the pile I wanted to use for Fall. For my fall capsule I selected mostly neutral colors because I know they can be easily paired and accessorized (especially with colorful scarves!) The donation pile went out the door, and I’m currently storing all of my “keep for another season” clothing in a giant tub at the bottom of my closet. It was really important for me to get my non capsule items out of sight because I knew I would grab for them if I saw them which would defeat the purpose of this exercise. If you don’t have another closet or storage space to move your “keep but don’t use” items to, I would recommend hanging them up and putting a plastic/garment bag over them. This will keep them separated and out of sight, but still accessible when you need them for the next season.
I was able to make some obvious observations through this process, like the fact that I own too many cardigans and striped tops and have only one pair of jeans that I truly love, but I also reinstated some facts that I already sort of knew about myself but hadn’t called out any proof on, like the fact that I gravitate towards quality over quantity (it’s taken A LOT of time to get to that point). By making those two simple observations, I have something to work with while moving forward with clothing shopping and the way that I think about my wardrobe. I know that I can invest a little more money on a good pair of jeans or a nice cardigan because it’s something I’ll grab for year after year. I also realized the pieces I need to stay away from like basic tops that lose their shape/shrink after two or three washes . .. you know what I’m talking about- totally not worth it! Or the uncomfortable shoes that I think I’ll break in but always give up on when I realize its not worth the pain. Moving forward I hope to only purchase items I know I’ll wear for a long time and minimize the clutter. It’s a process, but I feel like I’m going in the right direction.
How about you? Have you ever put together a capsule wardrobe? Or this something you would ever want to try?