Rose: Chevron Curtains

I’m pretty sure I lost several readers with the title. The first one being M. But hey, curtains are important. (*Please excuse me as I write the girliest blog post ever.)

In keeping with operation bedroom overhaul, I bought new curtains. I have to give a shout-out to Elisabeth Michael‘s Etsy shop. These curtains are exactly what my room needed to feel lighter, brighter and more spruced up.

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I was having a bit of a quandary over what curtains to order. My last Etsy purchase didn’t go quite as planned; the curtains were pink, not purple. I didn’t want to waste more money on curtains, which are already somewhat unnecessary. I thought of a couple options: create my own roman shades, re-do my roller blinds or try to find a valance that would match. In the end, it came down to which option was easiest (#3), and the curtains were on sale, so I went with it.

And while I’m giving Etsy shout-outs, I also want to applaud The Pillow Fight shop. Through them, I bought these delightful little pillow cases (but note: they only come with cases, not forms.) These really tied the entire room together, creating a cohesive gray-yellow-purple color scheme.

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Operation bedroom is nearly complete! All that remains is dying some lampshades … If I ever find the time.

Jenna: Yoga at the Pier

One of my favorite things about the city is all the exciting things that start to happen when the weather gets warm. I start searching a few weeks out, and get really pumped for all this city has to offer once you aren’t required to have a heavy coat on.

This year seems to be shaping up to be better than ever. In addition to some pop up parks, festivals, and races there is FREE outdoor yoga at the Race Street Pier 6 days a week!

I got to bed pretty early Friday night, and planned to get up, walk the dog, and bike my happy butt to outdoor yoga. In true Jenna fashion, I was way too early. When its the first time I’ve gone to a fitness class, I try to get there  early to scope out the scene and get my spot. Well, there was literally no one there yet. But check out this amazing view? Couldn’t really complain.

RaceStreetPierWithin 15 minutes, people started to show up. The instructor was actually already there, but he had been stretching on a different part of the Pier. I really enjoyed him a lot. It would not have considered it an all levels class (I think it may have intimidated some beginners), but he did a great job joking around and making everyone feel really comfortable.

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Since I was early, I had a few minutes to sit there on my mat and relax in the sunshine. There was a good breeze going too. I remember just feeling so lucky to be able to have this experience. Lucky for the ability to ride my bike. Lucky to live in a great place with so many amazing free things to do. Lucky for my health, and to have the ability to get on the mat and thank myself for treating my body with kindness.

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Before the class started, our teacher shared this mantra: “When you replace expectations with appreciation, everything changes instantly”. That really hit me, and seemed so fitting. I try to reflect often, and have an attitude of gratitude. However, we are all human. A lot of times things don’t seem fair. I’ts now Tuesday, and I can tell you I’ve felt stressed and overwhelmed many times since this yoga class. I need to carry this more with me throughout the weeks. Maybe I’ll even get to one of the 7am classes before work 🙂

 

 

Rose: On Dying my Hair

I’ve been wrestling with the notion of dying my hair. My hair has been untouched most of my life, and I’ve preferred it that way. I like the less-is-more approach. But lately, a lot of gray hairs have been sprouting. I’m either stressed, or at the age. Either way, it’s become quite noticeable, and I’ve grappled with whether I should take the plunge.

I bought a box of color for $8, just in case. It’s been sitting in the backseat of my car for over a week. My friend Jenn volunteered to help me dye it over the weekend. Of course, she gave me a solid pep talk beforehand. My biggest fear was that it would be too dark. I just wanted something that would cover the gray and mostly look the same. So, we removed the dye after just 15 minutes.

The result was fabulous.

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I was amazed at how transformed I felt after dying my hair. It was like I was a new person. I felt instantly more confident and younger. I guess this is why women dye their hair–huh? But seriously, I was surprised at how happy it made me. I didn’t feel like a sell-out for giving up the gray. Instead, I felt beautiful.

You see, I always grapple with the idea of beauty. On one hand, I don’t want to be so focused on my appearance, and so I try to use little products. On the other hand, I like feeling confident, and beauty products seem to help with that–whether it’s make-up, hair dye or clothing. There is a nice middle ground between the two. Some days, I present myself in a more natural way. Other days, I get dolled up. I like that this gets to be a choice.

Regardless, I’m glad I took the plunge. A new confidence for $8? Totally worth it.

Do you dye your hair? Why or why not?

Rose: Somewhere in the Swamps of Jersey

The other night, M and I went on a mini hike through the swamps of Jersey. And now I can see why he loves it so much.

There’s something special about going off the trail, to a place feet rarely touched. Unvisited nature. It’s amazing how a patch of grass can look so new, especially if you’ve never been there before.

I’ve been feeling overwhelmed most of this week. I am not doing a very good job at balancing my life, and soon, I’ll need to make some tough decisions. In a world where we feel like we can do it all, it’s important to realize when we can’t. And so, this walk in the woods gave me the time and space to wonder about such things.

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In book club, we talk so much about being present. It’s really hard, and our society is making it even more difficult. The technology created to make our lives simpler has complicated things. With phones, you are always on call (even when you aren’t). With email, you are constantly being questioned and asked to respond quickly. Sometimes I feel like there’s no room to breathe or think.

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I like exploring nature because it gives you that uninterrupted time. The world in its natural habitat tells a rich story, but it also leaves room for the imagination. It’s like reading a book. You’re not sure which event will unfold over the next chapter, but you keep on marching through, filling in the gaps.

I’ve been writing my own story for years now. The paths I’ve taken, the choices I’ve made. It’s all led me to a pretty perfect now. In the voom voom whirl of life, I tend to forget that. I start thinking I’m not where I should be. But this is all part of the story. And I plan to keep on wandering.

Jenna: One Year Car Free

I can’t believe it! It’s officially been a year since I took the plunge and sold my car. It was a huge decision, but I couldn’t be happier with it. I was paying about $550 a month to keep it, and used it less than once a month.

Granted, I live in one of my most walk able cities in the US. So, if you are thinking of taking the plunge here are a few things I’d consider:

  • Cost: If you’ll need to rent cars, use car shares or fly places instead, be sure it is cheaper on an annual basis to ditch the car.
  • Bike: Get one. You won’t die, I promise. It is scary at first, but memorize the bike routes on google maps and start during non rush hour times. Wear a helmet!
  • Access to necessities: Be sure these places are easy to get to with out a car (work, grocery store, doctor, gym…). I can walk to each of these in 10 minutes or less.
  • Public transportation: With some planning, are you able to take advantage of public transportation to get where you need to go?

 

The only time I’ve found it to be a pain is when I want to get out of town. Thankfully, Philadelphia is well connected by train to a lot of places. I’ve only had to rent a car once. Lucky for me, I have a few friends with cars that like to take adventures, so we’ve had some great times together.

 

Would you ever consider getting rid of your car?