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Nature Love

I just have to share this photo of something I stumbled upon yesterday while out doing dog walks:

snow heart

A beautiful, perfect, heart-shaped hole in the snow.

Mother Nature is so awesome, isn’t she? I absolutely love when she sends me neat little things like this.

<3

If you want to see some more really cool, natural hearts, check out all the lovelies on this Pinterest board.


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Inspirational Ish

I have some freaking amazing news to share!

My life is about to change completely.

No, we’re not having a kid; WE’RE BUYING A FARM!!!!!!!!!! 

I kind of just want to shout it from the rooftops (well, not literally — I’m pretty terrified of heights!) and tell the world. “Hey world, we’re buying a farm!! It’s only been my dream for about forever and it’s finally, finally coming true! Do you hear that world? MY DREAM IS COMING TRUE!!!”

Would strangers care about my announcement? Probably not. And that’s okay. But what I really wish I could get into people’s heads is that last part. That dreams really do come true. They are for me and they can for you. I absolutely hate that people give up on their dreams so easily. Sure, they take a lot of work and you may have to wait what seems like forever to reach them, but they’re worth it. They’re so worth it.

Since I’m feeling uber inspirational lately (and too excited/distracted/busy to actually sit down and write a “real” post), I figured I’d share some of my favorite inspirational things. They’re little tidbits I’ve come across and have saved, printed out or just pondered over at one point or another. They’ve spoken to me and I hope that some of them speak to you, as well.

inspiration 1

inspiration 2

inspiration 3

inspiration 4

inspiration 5

inspiration 6

inspiration 7

Not my hand, by the way. Thinking I want a thumb ring now, though. Isn’t it cute?!

inspiration 8

inspiration 9

inspiration 10

My favorite at the moment.

inspiration 11

inspiration 12

 

inspiration 13

inspiration 14

inspiration 15

All. The. Time.

inspiration 16

inspiration 17

Imagine what the world would be like if more people took this one to heart.

inspiration 18

 Enjoy!!!

Oh, and if you want to know original sources, I have no clue. (I know, I know — I’m breaking a cardinal rule of blogging!). Just about all of these were pulled from Facebook … and who knows how stuff ends up there!?

What’s your favorite inspirational quote?


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DIY Scrap Ribbon Garland

Most girls do their damage in shoe stores or at the makeup counter.

Not me.

Let me loose in a bookstore or a craft store, though, and things can get a little crazy! However, in craft stores, I do have remarkable self-control when it comes to stuff I can easily DIY at home.

And that’s how this project came to be.

DIY Scrap Ribbon Garland

This is a super easy (and when I say easy, I mean EASY! If you can tie a knot, you can make this!!) way to add a little whimsical flair to your home and my DIY version is a whole lot cheaper than the $14.99 it would have cost at the craft store. If you’ve got a lot of left over ribbon lying around from old projects this is a great way to use it up!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • twine, string or ribbon cut to desired length of garland
  • ribbon in varying textures, colors and styles (I used 5 (3-5 yd.) spools for my 6-foot garland)
  • sharp scissors

To assemble:

  1. Tie a loop into each end of your main piece of twine, string or ribbon to allow for easy hanging.
  2. Cut scrap ribbon into lengths of about 3-4 inches. Don’t worry about keeping them too uniform. Variations in ribbon size give this garland its flair.
  3. Tie ribbon scraps onto main garland string. Don’t aim for perfection! The less perfect you try to make it, the better it turns out! It’s foolproof, really!
  4. Adjust spacing of ribbons. They can be tight together or spaced far apart. It’s whatever look you’re going for (or however much ribbon you have on hand).
  5. Hang and enjoy your work!

That’s it! I said it was easy, didn’t I?!

I love this garland so much, I may have to make one for every holiday!

garland mantle

Happy DIY-ing!

 


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Three Things: February

three feb

February’s here! It’s the shortest month of the year, so be sure to make it count! Here are my “three things” for this month:

  • Read a classic novel. With this recent news, I’m thinking it has to be To Kill A Mockingbird. I don’t know how I made it through school without reading it!
  • Prepare/try a new food
  • Declutter (in more ways than one)
let it go

My current mantra.

 

What are you working on this month?


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Roasted Cauliflower with Smoky Dipping Sauce

 

Roasted Cauliflower with Smoky Dipping Sauce

 

I love me some cauliflower!

It hasn’t always been that way, though. It’s not something I ever really ate, growing up, and my passing encounters with it were limited to the occasional raw veggie platters at parties and gatherings, where I picked carefully around the odd, white, broccoli-wannabe for my more familiar favorites. Eventually, I decided that maybe cauliflower deserved another chance from me and the rest, as they say, is history.

I think part of the reason I like cauliflower so much is that it’s so versatile. You can mash it, you can “rice” it, you can turn it into a soup and you can roast it, which happens to be my favorite way to enjoy it.

Although it’s super delicious on its own, you can bump up the “wow!” factor of a simple batch of roasted cauliflower by pairing it with a lip-smackin’ dipping sauce. This one, which is a bit tangy, a little spicy and has a bold, smoky undertone, is my favorite go-to. (This dip is also delicious as a spread on a sandwich or atop a baked potato.) It only requires a few ingredients and is a cinch to make.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika*
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper*
  • salt and pepper, to taste

To prepare:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°.
  2. Wash cauliflower thoroughly and chop into bite-sized segments.
  3. In a large bowl, combine cauliflower, olive oil and a dash of salt and pepper.
  4. Transfer cauliflower to a baking dish and roast for about 35 minutes, or until edges begin to brown.
  5. While cauliflower is roasting, combine mayo, vinegar, paprika and cayenne and mix well. Add salt and pepper, to taste.
  6. Allow cauliflower to cool for 5 minutes, then serve immediately with sauce on the side.

 

*I tend to be a bit heavy-handed when it comes to spices. If your tastebuds don’t like heat and smokiness quite as much as mine do, add a bit less paprika and/or cayenne.

Makes about 3 servings.

How do you feel about cauliflower? What’s your favorite way to eat it?


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Three Things: New Year’s Edition

word three

Happy 2015!! I hope your holidays were full of happiness, love and laughter.

January 1, 2015 marked a new chapter in each of our lives; a blank slate; a chance to begin anew.

Although I’ve never really been one for making resolutions, I have really been enjoying my monthly goal-setting initiatives, so I’m going to continue doing so into the new year. As we roll into 2015, though, there are three specific things I’d like to try to focus on in 364 days ahead — my ‘resolutions,’ if you will:

  • eat cleaner
  • write more
  • bump up my activism

Whether or not you made a resolution this year, I invite you to share your own goals for the month or the year ahead in the comments. I think it’s important to always maintain a list of goals and I believe that it’s one of the best ways to ensure continual personal growth. I can tell you from experience, that when you share your goals with others, you’re much more likely to stick with them and see them through. And remember to always strive for progress, not perfection. We are all works in progress and need time to evolve into the best versions of ourselves!

Happy New Year, everyone! May 2015 be the best year, yet!

P.S. — If you’re hoping to dip your toes in the vegan waters this year, or maybe you just want to eat fewer animal-based products, check out the awesome vegan resource round-up that Melissa from It’s Got Vegan In It put together. Her list takes a lot of the guesswork and mystery out of the vegan equation.

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