being at home in yourself


No, not by: in. The news has brought body dysmorphia into frame because of how much time we spend staring at our own faces on Zoom. I knew this was affecting me personally, so I turned off the function that lets me see myself. But even so, it can be difficult to stay in the present moment and be confident in your own body. That’s why I’ve started a personal practice to be at home in myself.

What Does It Mean?

You’ve probably heard the phrase, “my body is a temple.” My freshman year geometry teacher used to say it, and she added “friends” at the end (because that’s just how she talked). It used to annoy me. What does this have to do with geometry? Spoiler alert — it had nothing to do with geometry. But there is a bit of truth to it.

Of course, I take care of my body and treat it with kindness. I eat whole foods (for the most part) and do yoga and all the things I should be doing. But I’ve been thinking about this idea of what it means to be whole, and to be home. What does home mean to you? Is it a place? Is it a person? What if, instead of any external thing, home is yourself?

Let that marinate for a minute. No matter where you go, you can always find home, because home is you. Home is wherever you are. I don’t know about you, but I find that idea insanely comforting. Even if you’re far away from your physical house, or from the person you feel most comfortable with, you can still be at home.

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Temporary

We don’t treat our bodies as our permanent homes. Our bodies take care of us, remind us of what we need, teach us to listen, to pause, to move… Our bodies are so smart and intuitive that sometimes, we forget we even have bodies. We’re so caught up in the day-to-day movements that we forget to just EXIST. Feel your muscles and bones shifting. Feel your lungs expanding to take in oxygen. Feel your stomach digesting food or your throat swallowing water. Feel your feet on the ground and know that you are home.

It doesn’t matter if people come in and out of your life. And for someone who’s moved around quite a bit lately, it doesn’t matter if your physical space changes all the time. You are home at any given time, with any given person, at any given place. And you should be thanking your body for the privilege to live in it.

Some days, I find it hard to be in my body. But that does not mean I am any less grateful to have it. Because there are so many things I couldn’t experience without the body I have — rollercoasters, the ocean, hiking, a warm cup of coffee, a fluffy cat… Count your blessings today and remember that your body is something to marvel at. Not just because it’s a body, but because you are in it, and you make it beautiful.

What Do I Need for At-Home Yoga?


Yoga newcomers, it’s easy to get lost in the sea of fitness gear out there. Maybe you’ve never taken a yoga class, or maybe you’ve gone to a few, or you might even be a seasoned professional. Creating a yoga practice at home, though, is different from going to a yoga studio. That being said, you can create your very own home studio with just a few practical things… and maybe a few extras for the atmosphere. Everyone’s practice looks a little different, so pick and choose what works for you. Let’s get into it.

Yoga Mat

This is the first and most obvious item on the list. Finding the perfect yoga mat can be a challenge, so think about what kind of support you need, what materials you’d prefer, and what colors you like. If you need a little more support, you might opt for a more plush yoga mat. If you’re vegan, you may want to stay away from more luxurious suede. Vinyl is the most common, and its eco-friendly cousin is recycled rubber. Consider thickness, portability, and how well you stand on the mat itself. You want it to have some grip. Additionally, some mats are pricier than others. Decide what’s most important to you and go from there.

Popular retailers are Gaiam and Manduka, but there are some newcomers like Popflex, which carries a vegan suede mat (on the pricier side). Weigh the alternatives, or look into other brands. This is where you’ll be doing all your moves, so really take this into consideration!

Props

This is where customization of your practice comes in a bit more. The use of blocks helps fill gaps — if you can’t quite reach the ground, for example — and makes sure you are supported. Blocks can also be used to make other poses more challenging. Most blocks are the same and can be found on the same links as above, but Yoloha Yoga carries a cork block instead of traditional foam ones.

Then there are straps. Straps are used much in the same way blocks are, only to cover longer distances for poses that require a great amount of flexibility, like scorpion pose. It is a length of durable but flexible material that can be used to carry your mat as well. These are fairly uniform and can be found on the links above. They’ll usually have some metal rings that lock together, so the strap doesn’t slip.

Cushions are great for poses and positions where the mat isn’t quite soft enough. They can also provide support for seated meditation or even for yin yoga, a form of yoga that involves lots of blankets and pillows. (Cozy, right?) You can simply use pillows from home, but most yoga cushions are firmer than home pillows and have a sturdier feel. They are round and designed to be sat on. Verywell Mind determined this one from Amazon as the best overall.

Yoga wheels are a little advanced, but they’re great for deepening stretches like the splits or relieving stress in parts of the body. It’s essentially just a round plastic or wooden wheel lined with a more comfortable material like foam or cork. They’ve definitely caught the attention of mainstream media, but keep in mind that most high-quality wheels are upwards of $60, like this one from Yoloha Yoga. If you want a cheaper option, check out the Seigla wheel.

Mat Care

Most mats are easy to clean with a little warm water and dish soap (just stick it in a bathtub), but you may want to invest in a mat cleaner to get extra grossness/odor off your mat. In that case, find an essential oil-based spray and wipe it down with a towel after each session to avoid needing to clean your mat so often (or, in case you have a Popflex mat that really shouldn’t get wet). This mat cleaner on Amazon is perfect for that.

Atmosphere

Let’s face it: there’s nothing quite like the feeling of stepping into the yoga studio. There are a few ways you can curate those peaceful vibrations in your own home, starting with having a designated yoga space. You might want to take your mat outside, bring it to the gym, or take it on a trip with you. But having a designated space at home (if that’s possible) will get your mind in the right place for all those good stretches. Many yoga spaces have plants nearby because the greenery has a calming effect and promotes better air quality. It’s all about what you want in your space.

Lighting can also be a factor. My personal favorite is this set of warm white curtain lights, which can make a room feel instantly cozier. Perhaps you’d rather practice near a big window as the sun comes up, or you want to light candles on your windowsill. You could even add a salt lamp like this one. A good rule of thumb is that you should be able to see what you’re doing, but you should feel at ease when you walk into the room.

Essential oils remind me of a yoga class as soon as I smell them, so a diffuser and oils might be a good investment. Note that some essential oils are not good for pets, so here’s a list of oils you shouldn’t have if you’re a cat or dog owner. The Spruce called this diffuser the best overall and this one the best for a budget. (However, they don’t have much of a price difference.) Some excellent oil brands are Now, Saje, and doTERRA. You’ll be smelling good in no time.

Clothing

The most important thing when choosing clothes for your yoga practice is this: can you move? If the answer is no, whether it be that your outfit is too tight or too heavy or too whatever, don’t buy it for yoga. Your practice is about form, not fashion… but thankfully, there are some lovely combinations of both out there! This pair of leggings from Madewell got a big thumbs up from Refinery 29, while this pair from Lululemon is one of the best for yoga specifically. However, sometimes the best yoga outfit is just a pair of shorts and a tucked t-shirt or a sports bra if you wear them. Choose what makes you feel the most comfortable and free.

There are a lot of things to think about, so let’s recap: mat, props, something to clean your mat, atmospheric additions, and clothing. Remember that a yoga practice is curated to each individual, so you may only need a mat, or you might want to add things not listed here. Whatever you choose, I wish you a happy and healthy home practice.

Much love,

-el ❤

some positivity for your feed.


I just wanted to bring attention to some of my favorite things about the internet lately. Thank you and have a wonderful day.

  1. Someone knitted Bernie Sanders in his mittens and sold it for thousands of dollars and then donated the money to a charity food bank.
  2. Elon Musk is encouraging everyone to short stocks and buy cryptocurrency. Robinhood is furious, but no one cares.
  3. In that vein… DOGE is going TO THE MOON!
  4. You can buy a deed to Mars, and I have one acre of it. So does my brother.
  5. Spoon is probably one of the coolest apps ever — you can livestream audio, and people send you money for it. It’s not much, but still, it’s pretty cool.
  6. There are apps that pay you for listening to music and playing video games. Again, not much, but still awesome.
  7. ColourPop released an Animal Crossing inspired makeup collection (you best believe that I ordered one of the palettes).
  8. Weezer has a new album.
  9. More and more people are getting the vaccine. I got the first dose, and I’ll get my second on Star Wars Day.
  10. Film festivals have been… awfully different. But that means they’re more accessible to people who can’t make it because of x, y, z. I’ve seen some epic films because streaming services are sharing them for a limited time!
  11. I might have plans to start a podcast lately… 😉
  12. JoJo Siwa and Lil Nas X and Demi Lovato and and and… it’s so good to see so many queer people in the media.
  13. Spring is here, and my feed has been filled with flowers!
  14. In Lawrence, KS, legislators are talking about banning conversion therapy. Finally.

I hope this little dose of positivity does you good. I know I’ve been swamped in the massive pile of garbage that is the internet at the moment. Just remember to take time, smile, and remember that the world is beautiful when you look around! Have a wonderful weekend.

-el ❤

holidays for one (ways to make the season merry and bright alone)


Due to COVID-19 restrictions across the globe, many people will be spending the holidays alone this year. Whether you’re celebrating Hanukkah, Christmas, Yule, Kwanzaa, Festivus (for the rest of us), or some other wintry holiday, here are some ways you can make it feel festive inside to celebrate the wintertime.

  1. Warm beverages: I try to make this a daily ritual for myself and myself alone. A nice warm cup of coffee, tea, hot chocolate, cider, chai, or any other deliciousness can make you feel cozied up and festive. It’s cold outside, so warm up inside with something hot. It’s a lovely bit of self care that I think everyone should indulge in daily, but it’s up to you.
  2. Fire: One of the best ways to feel cozy during winter is to bring fire into your home (safely). A fireplace isn’t practical for everyone, but if you’ve got one, start it up! Otherwise, maybe you can have a bonfire outside with some blankets. Or, the easiest way to get fire (and my favorite way) is to light a candle or seven! Always make sure to monitor your candles and put them in safe places, but a hot cocoa and cream or peppermint bark scented candle makes me feel instantly more holiday.
  3. Scented things: Soap. Room sprays. Wallflowers. Potpourri. Incense. Anything that smells like those traditional wintertime scents, bring it on! Here are the best ones in my opinion: cinnamon, teakwood, clove, apple, peppermint, and cedar. You can pick what’s right for you (and be careful if you’re sensitive to certain fragrances).
  4. Lighting: Those harsh white lights that are almost blue? They hurt my eyes. It’s great for focus during the day, but at night, not so much. Switching your bedroom and living room lights to those warm yellow bulbs can make a big difference in the cozy feeling of your home. Adding lamps and a heavy dose of string lights to your space can also change the vibes instantly, along with candles (of course). Something about being surrounded by warm lighting makes me super joyful.
  5. Music: Just about any kind of music can be holiday-ed up. If you’re trying to get work done, YouTube has some 24/7 live feeds of lo-fi music in any scenario, be it lo-fi christmas, lo-fi coffee shop, lo-fi study… I bet you can find something. Not a lo-fi fan? Warm, festive classical music like cello or piano gives me a classy and cozy vibe. Some people like christmas rap, holiday blues, or even traditional celtic carols (my favorite). I even made a playlist of anti-Christmas songs. If you’d like to see that, follow me on my moodboard Instagram so you don’t miss when that post goes live. I’ve already posted some anti-Christmas* films.
  6. Movies: What’s the holiday season without holiday films? Maybe you’re super traditional with movies like Miracle on 34th Street or A Christmas Carol. Or, maybe you go for National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation and The Grinch. You might even be one of those “Die Hard is a Christmas movie” people — I’ve only just recently been convinced, so I still feel a little resistance to the idea, but knock yourself out. And again, go to my moodboard Instagram for some anti-Christmas films.
  7. Decorations: Don’t get me wrong, I know this is obvious. But the decoration process can be daunting, especially if you’re used to trimming the tree and the mantelpiece and lighting the candles with your family and friends. Turn on some jams, light a candle or two, or put on a movie, and get decorating! Whatever decorations you like. You could even craft some of your own with a family member or friend on Zoom! My sister and I made some sweet crafts out of socks, glue dots, buttons, ribbons, and all the fun crafty stuff. Try a DIY snowman or decorate a yule log.
  8. Reminisce: My mom suggested this one — look over old holiday photos! You can use Google Photos to piece together a memory book that you can mail out to loved ones later. Or, you can pull out the old photo books, scan images, and post them on Facebook for a good time in the comments. Even if you can’t have a gathering now, you can remember the old times. Maybe call some family and ask them for their favorite holiday memories… write them all down and share the document.
  9. Get festive in the kitchen: Who doesn’t love a warm soup and hearty homemade bread? Ask your great aunt if she’d be willing to part with a recipe or two. As with Thanksgiving, you might not be able to enjoy the recipes your relatives always bring, but you can recreate the same flavors at home! Hop on a live and ask for instructions in real time (just make sure you do your shopping beforehand). Maybe try something new. Plus, making some festive dishes and putting them in Tupperware for later is a great way to meal prep without feeling like it’s too much work!
  10. Cozy up: Invest in nice sweats, thick blankets, a heavy coat and boots for winter walks, knit socks/hats/scarves/gloves, and maybe a rug or some wool sweaters. Flannel is also an excellent choice. You’re going to be home anyway, so why not make yourself as comfortable as possible?
  11. Try handmade gifts: This year, your gifts might not be so traditional. I read on the news that hand sanitizer and masks are popular presents! If you’re going to order gifts online, try to get them from Etsy shops or your favorite small businesses. Or, pick up tins for homemade candies, wrap handmade ornaments in craft paper and twine, and get painting on cardstock to send to loved ones. Become a subscriber to get a list of 10 gift ideas for a pandemic.

Well, there are 11 holiday hacks for one! I hope you have a wonderful holiday, and remember, you’re never alone. ❤

*Note, I don’t have anything against Christmas. I just know that it’s not the only holiday people celebrate this time of year, and it’s nice to include those people in festive posts!

—ellynn ❤

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media consumption and health


For those who’ve been following me for a while, you might know that I’m mid-way through my first semester of university. My primary area of study is in mass media and communication, and lately, I’ve done a lot of thinking on the kind of media I consume and how it affects me.

Every part of my education is completely online. Yes, I’m living on campus, but I’m going through posted video lectures, PDF readings, zoom discussions, and countless links every single day. I never realized how much of my education up to this point had been through face-to-face interaction.

I’m an independent learner. I like to take home information, sit with it, analyze it, and come back having understood it. From there, I can work with it and answer questions about it. I find it strange, though, that I’m struggling to do that same thing when all of my work is online. I feel that now, the only way I learn is by internalizing all of the media my professors and instructors throw at me. When you’re taking 15-17 credit hours, that can be quite a lot dumped on you.

Some of the positives, though, outweigh the negatives. Because my courses are loosely related, I’m able to link topics like identity to leadership practices and media studies. A documentary I watched for my American Identities class helped me communicate in a discussion led on sexual assault awareness. Online/synchronous learning allows you to do something we don’t have time for in physical classes: I can absorb the information, reflect on it, and apply it to the rest of my knowledge.

Every day, we’re spinning a web of the media we consume. How we feel about the information in our minds shapes how we perceive the world. If I only read my Twitter feed, my world will be all about Donald Trump (if you looked at Twitter right now). If I only watch Ratched on Netflix, my world will be spooky and badass.

But something I haven’t been doing, and something a lot of my fellow students aren’t doing, is stepping back from the media. How much can you consume before it becomes your whole world? Am I going to return for winter break, only to lecture everyone on how to diagnose a conflict and conjugate French verbs in imparfait?

There’s something to be said for academic immersion. I cannot relay how grateful I am to be in an environment where everyone’s priority is on learning and becoming better versions of themselves. My friends have big dreams, and they want to make the universe better, and I have so much respect for nearly every person I meet here. But we are not just our studies.

Social media targets mental health in such a positive way right now. It’s great! You can find any number of resources for hotlines, or how to practice non-fluffy self care, or mindfulness activities. What’s missing from the conversation is how the best course of action regarding mental, emotional, and dare I say physical needs is to rest. It might sound silly, but resting is the one thing we overlook when we ask, “how do I feel better?”

Current society (in broad terms, yes) prioritizes doing. Doing anything. So when faced with an issue regarding our health, our first reaction is probably, “what can I do?”

Listen well: there is nothing you have to do. Humans are so bad at intuitive healing these days. Honestly, sit down, feel your body, listen to your mind, let your emotions sit. Slow down. Ask yourself these questions:

  1. What is my body saying I need? How can I manage that right now?
  2. Are there thoughts in my head? Is there a way I can organize them?
  3. What am I feeling?
  4. Why am I feeling this way?
  5. Is there something wrong?
  6. Am I just fine, and this is a check-in?
  7. Have my habits changed lately? Is this positive or negative change?

If you don’t think you’ll answer these questions without biased, consult someone close to you. Often, the people who love us are the people who notice the most minor changes in demeanor. Maybe they’ll have something to offer about concerns or triumphs in your life.

Give yourself respect and love in trying times. Remember that it’s okay to feel kinda crappy. It’s okay to have things to celebrate, too. Allow yourself to feel and just exist, because you are human, and that’s all you can do sometimes. Much love.

-ellynn ❤

what 2019 taught me about time.


As my first post of the year, it’s a raw one. It’s honest. I hope you enjoy it and take it to heart, and I’m excited to show you what I have planned for 2020.

This has been a year of lessons, and I’ve decided that the most important one I learned was how little time we truly have with the ones we love.

Before I elaborate, I did not lose a loved one — that’s not what I mean, although you could see it in that sense. Time slips through our fingers, and there are periods in our lives where we have good relationships with people, and sometimes, those relationships have to be taken from us. The universe does that sometimes. I know, it sucks, right?

I’ve been writing a lot about college, and one of the super hard things about leaving my hometown is saying “see you later,” when I know I probably won’t see a lot of those people ever again. I’m being forced to choose what relationships I truly value. If I decide that I want to keep ties with every single friend from my life right now, I will never keep up. I can’t remember them all. It’s hard. How do you decide who to let go of?

That’s one of my issues with life. Priorities. They’re something I’ve never been able to set, and I think that’s something I’m slowly learning how to do. I realized what my burnout point is as far as commitments to activities/clubs. I realized what I need in my social life. What’s hard is, after realizing what those limits are, I actually have to pare down now. I have to sit and ask myself, “what really matters? who do I really care about? what’s going to be important to me five years from now?”

It’s a process, but by choosing my path of study, I’ve already narrowed down my career priorities. Writing and foreign language. Those choices are leading me to become more active with my blog and start working on relations on social media related to writing. I also just took a test to obtain the Seal of Biliteracy, which sounds super fancy but really isn’t. Underneath that layer is the desire to travel, to interact with other writers, to understand other worlds. So that’s settled: I know what I want to do with the rest of my life. Right? Let me bookmark this post and revisit that in a few years.

But with relationships, it’s much more difficult. Yoga can handle it if I decide to make it less important than my other interests. Fashion can deal. But a companion actually has feelings. I can’t dismiss a person as easily. Not to say that prioritizing people you love has to mean dismissing other people. It’s not that at all. We need to choose first and foremost the people who deserve our attention, letters, facebook messages, emails, texts, coffee dates. We only have so much time, so we have to choose between visiting a childhood best friend or some girl with whom you cracked jokes in Chemistry class two years ago. Who matters? Who affects your daily life, emotional well-being, and your health?

Deciding what (and who) you want to stay isn’t selfish. On the contrary: it’s a kindness to the people around you. There’s no sense in spending time with people who you don’t feel are terribly important to your own happiness. And in my opinion, if someone isn’t dying to spend time with me or show that I’m valuable to them often, then I would rather they simply move on. Our time on Earth is way too short to have half-assed relationships. If you care, let them in. If you don’t, be honest and let them go.

One more thing, though. Don’t just randomly delete people and things from your life. It’s not like taking out the trash. This reflection, this change? It’s going to take some time, and it’s going to have repercussions. You can’t suddenly tell a friend you don’t want to speak to them ever again. You have to handle it gracefully, honestly. And even if you think you’re ready to let go, be prepared to feel a loss. Even if you’re the one cutting ties, you may still feel a pull at something that used to be there. It won’t be easy, but shedding what no longer serves you, like a snake in its old skin, is better for everyone and everything.

Much love, and happy new year.

-ellynn ❤

reflection of self . . . and its ripples.


Make this assumption:

We see ourselves in many ways, but the method by which we see ourselves is that of a pool of water. Nothing else: it’s a pool of clear, pristine, pure water.

In purity:

On a perfect day, how does the pool appear? On a hypothetically perfect afternoon, the pool appears undisturbed. It is peaceful, and not even the tiniest wind shifts its liquid. This is the ultimate utopia in regards to the reflection of self.

In distress:

How does the pool appear when distressed? There are creatures there, wandering and playing rowdily. An ill-willed ivy or bacterium may find itself creeping into the waters. Gusts from all sides bluster against the surface, causing waves to jump around. This is the definition of our often unclear state or the unbalanced reflection of self.

Difference:

What is different between a pool and a human being? One would say many things, but the main importance here is that a pool can do nothing for itself. A human being has the power to affect physical change. You and I can move or not move, think or not think, smile or not smile. We have energy. And we decide how we use it or not use it.

What can be done:

How does one achieve a perfectly smooth reflection? Let us examine the disturbances I described earlier.

  • Creatures are comparable to people or activities in our lives. They take our time and use our precious energy. Well, imagine that instead of a pool, you are a garden. Some creatures are helpful: they fertilize your soil, eat the weeds around you, and simply enjoy your oxygen. Those are the people and activities that should stay. Some creatures, however, are unhelpful: they eat your new buds, tear up the fencing, and eat the fruit of your labors. Those are the people and activities that should be sent away.
  • Ivy or bacteria are considered the thoughts which we feed ourselves. They could be positive or negative, but the thoughts we carry are the kind of energy  we use on a daily basis. The energy that feeds or weeds the gardens we grow within ourselves. And that energy is passed on into the creatures around us. The creatures drink from the water at our pools. You see: it is all a cycle. We are the water, the ivy grows in us, and the creatures drink us up because we are infused with nutrients. Whether this helps us to grow or not is up to us. Whether the water is healthy or not is up to us.
  • The wind or waves are what I like to call the outside forces. These are things we cannot control. We cannot control how it affects the water, the creatures, the ivy, the bacteria of our minds. We cannot control the way it sends our surfaces rippling outward. This is what rocks us; this is what changes us permanently. Wind blows things away, brings things in, and alters the feel of things.

What to do:

Build your ivy and plants within yourself by allowing the right creatures to fertilize your garden. Choose to grow and hold only plants that are peacemakers, lovers, and protectors. Choose to invite only creatures who will not disturb those growing things, but rather, help them flourish. Be sure those living things are in harmony in your personal pool. Feed yourself positive thoughts and welcome positive people so that when the winds come in, you are properly equipped to handle the rippling effects. Let your thoughts be firmly rooted; let your company be supportive.

Create within yourself a nurturing, loving ecosystem.

giving yourself a fresh start.


I’ve noticed recently that there are signs around me. Signs that tell me to restart, renew, refresh. This might be a sudden urge to decorate my room differently (i. e. Shifting furniture, making a vision board, changing the lighting) or a theme I repetitively see in the media (such as meditation). I think that we as people, in a great big world with lots of messages from everywhere at once, need to become excellent at deciphering which ideas are hodgepodge and which are really destined for us.

So, if you feel that the universe is calling you to change things up, I have a couple decent ways to do that. That’s right, it’s Sunday, and we’re getting into the juicy stuff.

Changing your space.

You might feel cramped, cluttered, uninspired, or just downright depressed about your space right now. Or perhaps you haven’t associated any of those feelings with a certain issue, but you’ve just been noticing them. Take a moment to think about if this is your issue. Is your space too dark? Is it dirty or messy? Does it have a certain smell, a certain feel that you don’t particularly like? Or is it uncomfortable? Maybe it’s not your whole living space, but just a part of it, such as the office. Is the desk by a window, and if not, could that change? If any of these questions strike you, your stress might be coming from a place in your home. My space is most definitely the way I get my energy. I have a couple ways you can fix this.

  • Play with lighting. A new lamp, moving, the main furniture to a window, softening the lights (string lights or salt lamps), or brightening the lights (new ceiling bulbs perhaps?) can all change your environment. I put a disco ball in my bedroom and I’ve never looked back.
  • Aromatherapy. Scent can spark a lot of energy in the human body. Today there are hundreds of ways to scent your space, including candles, incense, diffusers (oil or reed), mists, wax warmers… Pick one or more that you like and use it when you need a pick-me-up! *side note, if you have pets, always check that the things you are using are suitable for them! essential oils and incense especially.
  • Hygge. This is seriously an umbrella term, but it’s sweeping the nation! It’s the Danish word for that feeling of cozy and comfortable. Hanging out by the fire with a cup of peppermint hot chocolate and a book on Christmas Eve. On a hot day, chilling in a hammock with a cold drink under the shade. Laughing with friends and family on a road trip, getting fresh flowers from the city… You get it. Find ways to import this into your daily life. Have fresh foods and plants in your apartment, keep the windows open, have friends over more often, dim the lights a bit, play jazz music while you soak in a bath… Aaahhhhh.

Trying something new.

Really! Our souls are just dying to explore and learn. I don’t care what your age is. There must be something you haven’t done. Even if it’s not your idea of fun. What could possibly go wrong? Maybe finding out the answer to that question will be fun! Get some real good adventure in your life.

  • Move your body. Anything from cross fit and surfing to low-impact stuff like Pilates (check Blogilates) and yoga.
  • Study a new topic. Always wanted to know about minimalism? Do your research. Really interested in environmental science? Hit up a library. Want to explore some religions around the world? You know what to do.
  • Eat a new meal. Some people go head-first into a new eating habit, while others prefer to try a new food (maybe a simple vegetable or spice) with the already-familiar. I’d suggest that to start slow, you should try a new meal every three days. Rotate the time of day you try one. Your taste buds would like change too.

Go back to the basics.

After a hard few weeks, what better way to cheer up and get inspired than revisiting an old, timeless thing? It’s homey, it has good memories… Priceless.

  • Mom’s (or other guardian’s) cooking. When I think comfort, I think of those super amazingly fluffy dumplings my mom makes in her soup. What do you think of? If you can’t have the comfort of a relative’s cooking, try to recreate the classic the best way you know how. Grilled cheese that’s not quite how aunt Suzie used to make it is still grilled cheese, right?
  • A movie you loved. Disney princesses are still awesome, you still know all the words, you still love the heroes. Enough said.
  • The place you always used to go. This could be anywhere. Maybe it’s as grand as a family road trip every year to a specific spot, or it could be as small as a weekly date with your older sister to that diner. Did you always order the same thing? For me, I loved playing in this creek in our backyard, and a specific corner of the library always felt like home. Books and nature. Go there, you guys. Even if just to remember.

If you’re still feeling unmotivated or uninspired, I totally get it. And it sucks! But I hope a new breath of fresh air gets inside your creative lungs soon. Good luck.

-rachel ‹3

making your dreams appear.


Everyone has a dream, and I don’t want to get into the nitty-gritty hippie stuff (although I can if you want me too), but I’m gonna guess you want that dream to come true. I know I do. But you know what? Sitting here and wishing on that dream doesn’t make it any more real. It actually makes it less real. Because we’re wasting precious time. We could be running our business right now! Writing that book! Campaigning for president! I mean seriously, there are a lot better things to do with time than sit and wish.

So let’s find somebody else’s dreams.

Legit. Go on Pinterest or Tumblr or Instagram or whatever you use and print out the dreams others have that are similar to yours. Except the difference? Those photos are real. (I think.) The people who took those photos made it to that dream. So don’t sit here and tell me, as you scroll hopelessly in the feed, that YOU can’t make the dream happen. They did, right? And they aren’t you; only you are you. So you’re the only one who can make your dream a reality.

Now cut the crap. And cut out the photos too. Stick them somewhere you’ll see them every freaking day. Great. How does this help you? Eh, I haven’t figured it out either. U n t i l.

Sitting, waiting. Staring at an empty wall. Wait, no, that’s a wall with pictures on it. To be totally authentic it’s a cork board against a wall, but whatever. Those pictures are things I want! Seriously, I want that stuff. Those people have it. Why don’t I? I could have that. But I’m sitting here on my butt, staring at the board of someone else’s dreams. Why’d I make that? So dumb. I need to go do something to achieve that.

Oh yeah! That’s why I made it. So don’t give me excuses, and have fun with your dream board.

-rachel ‹3