Backyard Kind of Fancy

I have the very good fortune of having a sister who is in a culinary arts program. Any time she needs us to try something for her I am first in line! She also likes to throw dinner parties a few times a year. This year’s Spring dinner was epic!

 

 

Nothing brings people together more than good food and my family and I really take advantage of this time. I remember when I was little, dinner time was sacred; no books (the equivalent to iphones now) allowed at the table-everyone needed to be present and engaged. I am so grateful that my parents instilled this in us so that now when we have the chance to get together and enjoy a good meal we take it.

The art of sitting down to a meal together and really taking the time to visit is still alive and well in many cultures, countries, and families. If this is not something that is a familiar look in your house take some time to figure out how to make it work-it is worth it!

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{My} Minimal Wardrobe Essentials

Just thought I would throw back to minimalism month, and keep the love going. I feel that it also fits with our “Live Like A French Woman” month, as French women seem to have quality, timeless pieces for their wardrobes (generally speaking here).

Disclaimer-your essentials might look completely different! If you are looking to minimize and simplify your wardrobe, there is no rule that says to stick to blacks and other neutrals like I have. This is just what I like, and feel comfortable in. But if you like teal and pink, with fun patterns, by all means go for it! You still can pair down your wardrobe to your most worn, and favorite pieces, to create your minimal wardrobe essentials.

What would you put as a “must have” on your list?

minimal essentials

PANTS: Leggings*High waist light wash jeans*Black slacks*Dark wash jeans

TOPS: Striped shirt*White v-neck T* Black v-neck T*Gray tank*White Blouse*Chambray button up*Black silk blouse

OUTERWEAR: Trench coat*Leather Jacket*Heather gray crew neck sweater*Over-sized navy blue sweater*Black v-neck cashmere

DRESS/SKIRT: Little black dress*Black pencil skirt

SHOES: Patterned flats*Black converse sneakers*Gray suede booties*Chelsea boots*Black Sandals

ACCESSORIES: Baseball cap*Black felt panama hat*Patterned scarf*Black purse*Navy and pale pink nail polish*Gold jewelry

 

Comment below if you want any particular links or ideas for any items for similar items! Our current favorite brands are also listed here.

Food Feels

Me and food have had an interesting relationship over the years. I would not have called my five year old palet refined, I distinctly remember melting cheese in the microwave for a snack. My teen self would eat very little in front of others, because teen boys don’t like girls who eat right? College Kristin would bounce between eating way to much junk and then next to nothing diets to counter act the pounds that accompanied the junk food.

We come now to present day. I have done some soul searching over the years and I determined that what I want more than anything is for my life to be lived for me and my family. A big part of that is finding ways to balance my life (hence the “Balance Project”) and food is a big part of that. With the fun theme this month of “live like a French woman” I have been doing a lot of research into the lifestyles of past and current French woman. One common thread that I have noticed is that French women seem to have a very healthy relationship with food. There is a thoughtfulness in the way they prepare and eat food.  I am by no means the expert but here are five things that I have done to improve the way I view food and myself:

  1. I remember that the longest relationship that I have had is with my own body, I need to respect that.
  2. I eat my meals (whenever I can) at my kitchen table.
  3. I have learned to enjoy cooking.
  4. I have learned to respect where my food comes from.
  5. I don’t let one bad day (or carton of ice cream) get me down.

I am not perfect, and I never will be. But I have come a long way from the girl who did not want other people to know that she eats food (I literally now have a Pinterest board titled “I love food”). Above all we need to be kind to ourselves and a bit of chocolate every now and then to tell our bodies thank you does not hurt.

 

P.S. I went to an adorable local store called Honey Bee Produce Company and let me tell you I was in local cheese, fruit and honey HEAVEN!

Putting My Best Face Forward

It’s no secret that I’ve struggled with my skin for years. Off and on I’ve had acne, and have gone through the big treatments for it. I’m currently in a good spot for that particular problem, but years of acne have left me with some scarring. My dermatologist said he thinks it mostly all will fade over time, but I got impatient the other day, and went to see an aesthetic dermatologist for some options to quicken the process. Sadly it wasn’t the greatest experience, as the provider looked at my skin for about 7 seconds, and then quickly rattled off $3000 worth of treatments that would take a year or more, and boom, the provider was gone within minutes. The treatments certainly sound like they would help, but they came with side effects, time off of work, and a big price tag. Not to mention, I didn’t really feel like a person in her office. So, I humbly returned to my original dermatologist’s suggestion to be patient and do some simple things at home to help with the redness and minor scarring. I can be patient! (my constant mantra, as I am always working on it ;).

 

rachme, unedited, in all my glory 😉

I have recently made a plan to my skin, which if I am dedicated to, should help keep my skin looking and feeling healthy. I have found that consistency is key to see these results (just like with most things in life).

Here is what I’m currently doing to keep my skin looking as good as I can (talk to YOUR dermatologist before starting anything though):

  • Wash face daily–duh. Depending on the season and how my skin is, I swap between oil washing, and an organic facewash from Avalon Organics (you can get them at some grocery stores like Whole Foods and Sprouts, or on Amazon).
  • A topical antibiotic cream i was prescribed (usually every morning, or when I have little breakouts).
  • Retin-A. This I try to do nightly. It should help with light scarring and redness, and fine lines/wrinkles. Those sound like good outcomes; don’t mind if I do. It is not an overnight fix though, and should be continued long term.
  • Mandelic acid peels. I do a light version I get from MUAC. I love it. You do have to make sure to stop topicals like Retin-A a day or two prior. Don’t want to over do it on your sensitive facial skin! For me, mandelic acid keeps things clear, and gives me a fresh glow as it uncovers a new layer of skin. It’s not as harsh as some peels, and there is no downtime. I’m a fan.
  • Once every 2 weeks or so, I do a face mask. I like the masks from Eminence Organics, or sometimes I use a random one I picked up on a trip somewhere. Currently I have a stock of “snail juice” masks from a Korean beauty company, that I picked up in Thailand (random haha).
  • For moisturization, I currently am using Colonial Dames Vitamin E Cream. It is very thick and works well for my super dry Winter skin. The vitamin E in it should also help fade scarring. Sometimes I add a drop of pure lavender oil in it too, which is awesome for healing.
  • Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen. And a hat.

 

I have done most of the above interventions for a while, but haven’t been as consistent as I need to be. This month seems like the perfect time to really take the time and effort to care for my skin. After all, it will be with me for life.

 

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