Winter Feed

Keeping Cozy: Winter Inspired Decor

Winter Decor - Kitchen Island

Saturday morning I woke up rested and excited to spend a long morning in the quiet, drinking coffee and watching it snow. As the snow fell, I was inspired to update my space incorporating the beauty of winter.

January is the month of all things cozy. It feels so appropriate to spend the day next to a stack of books and a vanilla snowflake candle, with a mug of warm coffee. Since many of my cold January days will be spent cozied up, I made some modest updates my sanctuary to reflect the elegance of the season. 

Winter Decor - Dining Room Table

The dinning room table is decked out with white roses and silver tapers (Hobby Lobby). 
Fresh flowers keep my spirits in spring while our world is in winter. 

Winter Decor - Kitchen Island2

The kitchen island updated with a silver serving platter featuring a frosted feather tree and Posh.
Posh is my favorite red blend and she's styled with a mink stole plus a very "posh" pin.

Winter Decor - KitchenAid

Another wine bottle wears an ice skating ensemble stationed next to my Kitchen Aid.

Winter Decor - Bookshelves

Office bookshelves lined with journals and styled with a glitter-encrusted pinecone.

Winter Decor - Nightstand

Classic reads by F. Scott Fitzgerald (Amazon) and a bright winter candle (Bath & Body Works) warm up a chilly night. 

Winter Decor - Nightstand2

The nightstand picture is swapped in favor of a warm winter memory and white roses.

Winter Decor - Make-up Brushes

A Black Tie candle and gold polka-dot make-up brushes sparkle on the dresser.

Winter Decor - Vanity

A new pink polka dot mini-set of make-up brushes (Forever21) prepped for my upcoming trip to Portland.

Creating a beautiful life is our highest calling. It is in the details of life that beauty is revealed, sustained, and nurtured. Outside, winter's darkness closes in. Inside, you have found your own Light. - Sarah Ban Breathnach, Simple Abundance

Hope you're staying warm, wherever you are.

January: The Glam Life

January The Glam Life

Outside my window clean white snow falls silently into into the pool and onto the rooftops of the cabanas surrounding it. I'm wrapped up in a faux-fur blanket, with hot tea reading Simple Abundance.

January, the month of new beginnings and cherished memories, beckons. Come, let winter weave her wondrous spell: cold, crisp, woolen-muffler days, long dark evenings of savory suppers, lively conversations, or solitary joys. Outside the temperature drops as the snow falls softly. All of nature is at peace. We should be, too. Draw hearthside. This is the month to dream, to look forward to the year ahead and the journey within. - Sarah Ban Breathnach, Simple Abundance

Simple Abundance makes me grateful I moved to a state with seasons so that I can read passages like the one above and feel a part of the magic of winter. The writing captures life's beauty in all its sparkling grace. Writing that leaves me grateful to be here in this simple moment, sitting above a pool while it snows, with a mug of tea. 

Life is sparkling. It's the dead of winter but it feels like spring. I finally understand Albert Camus when he said, "In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer." It's funny how as soon as we stop waiting for life to "get good again," out of nowhere, and for no particular reason, it gets good again. As P!nk sings, "it's a long way to happy."

I'll keep rolling down this road
I've got a bad, bad feeling
It's gonna take a long time to love
It's gonna take a lot to hold on
It's gonna be a long way to happy.

The whole of my twenties have been the long way to happy. My twenties so far were a couple thousand long workdays, hundreds of late nights, books read, and prayers said. It took the breadth and width of my twenties, and I'm almost afraid to say it...but, I think I finally made it to happy. 

There's a passage in the Bible when God's people are wandering around in the wilderness, and God tells them, "I am going to come to you in a dense cloud" (Exodus 19:9). A dense cloud? Can you think of a less glamorous way for God to come? But that's exactly how He came to me.

My twenties have been a time of wandering in the wilderness under a dense cloud cover, full of questions, seeking answers before their time. 

Do not now seek the answers which cannot be given because you would not be able to live them and the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. - Rainer Maria Rilke

What good are the answers if we're not ready to live them? If I could send my twenty-two year old self a letter, I would say live the questions. "There are years that ask questions and years that answer" (Zora Neale Hurston).

On a resolution note, if you've already broken one or more of your New Year's too. Fret not, the first week is ramp up. It's nearly impossible to go from holiDAYS of indulgence and interpret freely schedules to clean eating and resolution-compliant living. My Christmas trees are still up and Saturday and Sunday marked my first runs at fitness this year. The first week is a practice run, today the real fun begins. Give yourself some runway on the resolutions, kay?

Sometimes I Feel Like Giving Up{photo credit}

If you're on the prowl for a new workout mix, here's mine if you wanna use it to shut down a health club near you. 

Screen Shot 2014-01-05 at 9.54.04 PM

Today, remember it's a long, long way to happy...and we wouldn't want it any other way.

When I look down our cherished path of everyday enchantment, I see delightful days ahead. Time is the New Year's bountiful blessing: three hundred sixty-five bright mornings and starlit evenings, fifty-two promising weeks; twelve transformative months full of beautiful possibilities; and four splendid seasons. A simply abundant year to be savored. Blessed are we among women, and how wonderful that, finally, we know it. - Sarah Ban Breathnach, Simple Abundance

State of Grace

Sprit of Certainty

What does winter represent for you?

For me, winter represents a season of waiting. Winter promises the dawn of spring but recedes on it's own time. We can wait through Winter because we know with complete certainty that spring is coming for us.

What if we approached life like spring is coming?
What if we approached life like God is coming for us?

It would be permission to live fully in a state of grace, trusting that what is the very best for our lives is coming for us. 

"Those who are certain of the outcome can afford to wait, and wait without anxiety."
{Marianne Williamson, A Course in Miracles

I don't want to be a girl that wakes up in the morning and asks, "Am I happy?"

I want to be a girl that wakes up in the morning and thinks, "Look at that sunrise! Wow, that puppy fur is soft. I love coffee. It's time to workout! This button-down from the dry cleaners looks so fresh, I missed pastels. Oh, it's time for my next meeting, game on."

I want to celebrate life and really mean it. Not ceremoniously celebrate to keep up or convince myself and everyone else that I'm ok and my life is really great, but genuinely, and honestly celebrate. I want to admit when it hurts and laugh when life surprises, and be real and live authentically.

When we rejoice and celebrate we fully live by living full. Full of the right things. Full of God's grace that comes from turning inward to Him, instead of turning to the world and attempting to fix an inside problem by filling up with outside things. 

"Anything you get won't solve your problem. The problem is alway in our minds." 
{Gabriel Bernstein, Spirit Junkie}

When I'm forcing my way through life with a contingency plan for the contingency plan, then I'm holding on too tightly and I need to give myself back to God. I have an ongoing group text with five beautiful girls, and this week I surrendered in the middle of the day and asked for prayer.

Group Text - Meredith Andrews

Within fifteen minutes I felt energized, strengthened, and loved; not from a change in circumstance, but from a change within myself. I surrendered and cleared space for God.

Surrender is the sacrifice God desires most. When we surrender to Him we can detach ourselves from the present moment and rest in the knowledge that He has only His best for us. Resting in that truth, we feel complete and free.

Life is bittersweet and every fresh start comes from an end of something that made room for a new day, a new season, or a new relationship. The best memories come from moments that have past and every sunrise shines from a night of rest and waiting for morning.

Today is the gateway to God and His joy. God is in the future, but we can only meet Him in the present. We can't give today back to God because we refuse to live fully until a circumstance in our lives, or a condition within ourselves is "fixed."

Candles, Books, and Flowers

"Let's be careful that in the midst of all that accomplishing and organizing, we don't bulldoze over a world that's teeming with beauty and hope and redemption all around us...To choose to celebrate has the potential to return us to our best selves, to deliver us back to the men and women God created us to be, people who chose to see the best, believe the best, yearn for the best. Through that longing to be our best selves, we are changed and inspired and ennobled, able to see the handwriting of the holy God where another person just sees the same old tired streets and sidewalks."

{Shauna Niequist, Cold Tangerines}

Let's live fully today, in a state of grace based not on an outcome but on a truth. The truth is that you are deeply loved, fully accepted, with a future guaranteed. 

What could you not risk if you knew the future was guarenteed?

What could you not take from God and celebrate, if you knew with absolute certainty He was using it to secure your future?

"For we know that all things work together for the good of those who love God."
{Romans 8:28}

Live free, love wins.