Category Archives: Life

Life

2017

January 3, 2017

2017. Boy am I happy to see you! Like most of the world, I thought 2016 was a pretty shit year. But I’m not here to dwell on the past year (although trust me, I could write a pretty lengthy post on how hard it was). I’m here to look ahead for 2017 and share my goals with you! If you’ve been here for some time, then you know how much I enjoy making resolutions. I look forward to new beginnings and fresh starts. And although I’m not perfect at following through with them throughout the whole year, I still love starting off the year with good intentions.

Here are some goals for 2017:

Be more independent and self-driven. So often I’m inspired by the people around me and the people I follow online (which can be really great), but this year I want to push myself to be more self motivated. To do things because I want to do them, not because other people around me are doing them.

Listen to my intuition and ignore my ego when it tells me I’m not good enough. This is going to be a tough one, but it’s probably the most important resolution I’m making this year. I want to stop listening to the voice in my head that tells me I’m not good enough, deserving enough, smart enough, etc. etc. I think that in 2016 I let fear (and my ego) get the best of me. I listened when it said I couldn’t do something. This year I want to push past that and listen to my intuition and follow those goals that really scare me. Starting the Graphic Design program at MCAD was the best thing that happened last year, and it’s also intimidating to put yourself out there with a new skill. I’m still very much learning design and it’s scary to share the things I’m working on because they are far from perfect, but I want to push past that and ignore the fear and the voice that tells me “no” and go for it. And be proud that I did.

Create my online portfolio and begin doing graphic design as my career. This goes along with my resolution above, but I want to set up my online portfolio and begin looking for jobs (even if they’re just little freelance jobs) for design. My ego flares up when I think about getting paid for design work.. but I’m excited to put myself out there and start doing the work that really excites me.

Stop caring so much about what other people think. Instant feedback from social media (mostly Instagram) really gets to me. I’m excited when the number of likes and comments I receive are high, and when they’re not as high I’m discouraged and wonder why people don’t like what I’m posting. It’s crazy and definitely something I’d like to work on this year. I’ve already turned off the “push notifications” for Instagram, so I’m hoping that helps. I also want to apply this to “real life” as well. I worry a lot about what other people think of me and the things I’m doing. Too often I seek people’s approval about the choices I make, when really I should think about what’s best for me and Sam. This again ties into the ego/fear thing. There’s a lot to work on there 🙂

Constantly work on my mental health. Make time for yoga, meditation and eating healthy. It’s good for my soul and overall health. Stop using the excuse that there’s not enough time. Mental health is the most important thing.

Whoof.. those are some heavy resolutions! They are tough, but I’m up for the challenge and so, so happy for 2017. What are your resolutions for the year? I’d love to know.

Read my resolutions from past years:

2016
2015
2014
2013

Life

Familiarity

August 31, 2016

It’s really crazy how things come full circle in life.

We’ve been in Minneapolis for one month now, and it’s been a crazy, fun, wonderful, exhausting, tearful, joyful 4 weeks. I think any and all adjectives can be used for how I’ve felt in the past month. It’s been a rollercoaster to say the least. But I’ve always been a fan of rollercoasters (especially the really scary upside-down-ones), so here I am.

Today, I was thinking back to when I first moved to Chicago nearly three years ago. And if you’ve been coming around this-here-blog for some time now (first of all, thank you) you may remember this post from 2014 – I had been in Chicago for a few months by that point and I wrote about wanting to go to Costco, because it would remind me of Salt Lake and I was craving some familiarity.

Although I haven’t craved a trip to Costco since moving to Minneapolis, there are definitely things that I crave day-to-day that are familiar and normal. Things that are easy and comfortable.

For the past few weeks, Sam and I have been watching Friends re-runs. Even though we’ve both seen the show multiple times, I think subconsciously we decided to watch it again (for the umpteenth time) because it’s familiar and easy. We know we like it, there’s not much we need to pay attention to, and it feels good. When so much else is new and uncertain, it’s nice to have something really familiar to look forward to.

There’s something really comforting and beautiful about familiarity. From a person who loves new things and new places, occasionally I’ve gotta back away and appreciate those things that are so often labeled “boring” or “been-there-done-that.” Among all the new new new, it’s nice to have an old favorite to come back to after a long day of meeting new people and getting lost coming home from an interview.

Looking back on that post from 2014 in Chicago makes me so happy and hopeful. I remember writing that and feeling unsure if Chicago would ever feel like home. And it’s funny because really shortly after that, so many things came together in that wonderful city. I met Sam, I made some amazing friends and more and more Chicago truly felt like my home.

It’s nice to know that the same will happen here in Minneapolis. I’ll find my routines, things will become more familiar and I’ll make great Friends.

For now, we’ve got Friends to help us get there.

Life / Uncategorized

5 Books To Read This Summer

June 28, 2016

There are so many good books that have come out recently, it’s almost overwhelming and I always seem to make a reading list that is far too long for the amount that I actually read. I have the best of intentions when making my reading lists, but then I’m disappointed in myself when a year goes by and I’ve only crossed a few books of the list. So, this year, I’m setting appropriate expectations for myself. There are five books that I’m dying to read right now (two of which I’ve already started). And I know that I’ll be able to cross these babies off well before Labor Day. Here’s what I’ll be reading this summer:
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Eat Pray Love Made Me Do It
This year marks the ten year anniversary of the phenomenal book Eat Pray Love. Eat Pray Love is one of my all-time favorites, so I knew I had to pick up this gem in honor of the ten year anniversary. The book is comprised of true stories of people that were inspired to change their lives because of Elizabeth Gilbert’s incredible memoir. I just picked this book up and I’m already enjoying it so much.

51miICppIIL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_ The Girls
This book has been getting so much hype, I keep seeing reviews everywhere for it. Most of them raving. The story is about a teenager who is drawn to a cult in the 1960s, inspired by Charles Manson. I hear it’s gritty and dark, but also that it’s so good.

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Let It Out
If you read my latest post, you know that I’ve been journaling daily for the past few weeks. It’s been such a help for the busy, anxiety-inducing changes that are happening in my life. Around the time I started journaling, I randomly came across Katie Dalebout’s Podcast. I don’t know exactly why I started listening, or how I found it, but I think it was fate. Katie just wrote a book all about journaling and its benefits. I picked it up last week and I’ve been loving it so far.

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The Nest
Who doesn’t love a story about a dysfunctional family? This book tells the story of the Plumb family. The eldest brother blows the collective inheritance, resulting in the four siblings actually having to communicate with one another after years of not speaking. If you need a book that contains a character you can root for, this might not be for you. But otherwise I hear it’s a page turner.

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One True Loves
Sometimes you just need a good love story. This one is similar to the plot of Cast Away, but the Tom Hanks character comes home right before the love of his life marries another man. I think this one will be a bit cheesy, but a perfect guilty pleasure summer read.

What is on your reading list this summer? I always love to hear what other people are reading! Leave a comment and let me know.

xo, erica

Life

hey, hello. how are you?

June 23, 2016

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Woah. It’s been awhile. How the heck are you? I have been bussssy with a capital B. And I know it’s maybe uncouth to talk about how busy you are, but just let me be that annoying friend for a sec, okay?

Work blew up and a week-long trip to New York was at the center of it all. Shorty after work blew up, life did the same. We’re in the beginning stages of putting together the pieces for our move to Minneapolis. Which I don’t think I’ve mentioned on the blog before. So, SURPRISE! We’re moving! All the emotions are happening over here. Overwhelming excitement for a new adventure but also fear for the unknown. As of right now we don’t know where we’ll be living and I have no idea what I’ll be doing for work. Luckily Sam and I are going to Minnesota this weekend to look at places (I think we have seven apartment tours on Saturday.. holy moly). It’ll feel so nice to cross “find a place to live so you aren’t homeless” off the to-do list.

So, yeah, things are a-changin’ over here. But it’s all good and I hope it doesn’t come across like I’m complaining. Because seriously, how lucky am I to go on an adventure with the person I love most in a fun, new city ? The answer is so lucky.

Along with all these changes unfortunately (for me) comes anxiety. You’d think that I’d have this whole moving thing under control by now, considering I’ve moved to a new city about five times in the past ten years, starting with moving from Vermont to Park City at 16. But even though after that initial move, all the moves I’ve made have been my choice, it doesn’t get any easier. And I’m starting to think that maybe subconsciously I get so anxious about these big changes because I had such a terrible time with the first move and I fear that I’ll have the same experience all over again. Even though I know that’s not possible. The mind, man.. sometimes it’s so hard to control it.

For the past month or so, my anxiety has looked like a lot of different things. It’s looked like extreme sensitivity. It’s looked like wanting to spend a lot of time alone. It’s looked like grinding my teeth so much that I wake up to a jaw that is so stiff and achey.

But something has changed over the past week and it’s kind of so crazy simple that I need to talk about it.

So before the whole “work blew up” bit, back in like March, I was in a really great routine of meditating and journaling. I would wake up about 30 minutes earlier than I normally would every morning and meditate for 15 minutes and write in my journal. Usually jotting down what I’m grateful for and the goals I have for the day. Before bed, I would do the same. I had this routine for about six weeks and I felt so great. My head was clear. My relationship with Sam was better. My relationship with myself was better (eye-roll, I know. But it’s true).

But then, along came the shit storm that was May and June and away went all those good practices. I felt like I had no time to do those healthy things for myself.

But then about a week ago, I decided to get back into my healthy routine. I’ve been meditating and journaling daily and I truly believe that because I take 30 minutes to do these two simple things every day, my mood and headspace is incredibly better. I’m calmer, more understanding, less antsy. And although I am still in the thick of making these huge decisions and life-changes, I feel good. Which is definitely not how I would have described my mood a month ago. And although I may still be busy (aren’t we all) I’m now able to handle it much more gracefully.

It’s wild that when we’re in the midst of so much anxiety we stop doing the simple things that can calm our minds and help us navigate through the change and uncertainty.

So, yeah, that’s basically what’s been going on. I’m hoping that I can update more on here and keep you posted on the move. It feels good to blog, and making the time for things that fill me up is so important. I hope you’re taking the time too! You’re never too busy to do what’s best for your mental health.

xo, erica

main photo via: http://shannonkirsten.blogspot.com/

Life

Favorite things from March

March 31, 2016

Can you believe that March is over? 2016 is officially 1/4 of the way through. Holy smokes. I’m so excited for the next few months as it warms up in Chicago! I can’t wait for walks after work and patio eating.
March was pretty good to me. I went home to Park City to visit my favorite family and I discovered a few new favorite things. Let me tell you about them..

4f9c1d6230e0bbc952115c3e027adbbdSome mindful things..
The Mood Cure. My nonfiction book of choice this month. I’ve been enjoying it so much that I’ve been highlighting and detailed taking notes. I spent one Friday evening on the couch with tea and this book and I didn’t even feel one ounce of twenty-something-guilt or FOMO. Oh yeah. It’s that good. Recently I’ve been really interested in how the food we eat affects our moods and emotions. This book dives deep into emotions like anxiety, depression or even just “blahs” and how our eating and drinking habits could be a culprit to our bad moods. The Mood Cure describes how we can easily have better days by changing our diets and possibly adding supplements and vitamins. It’s been fascinating, eye-opening and I highly recommend it if you feel like your overall mood could be better and you’re willing to slightly change your eating habits to help your emotions.
Hot water with lemon and mint. I’ve been really enjoying this beverage every morning with my breakfast and at night before I go to bed. It’s not only refreshing and tastes delicious, but it’s also really good for your digestion. It’s also a really soothing way to wake up and get ready for bed. I’ve been craving it in the morning even more so than coffee – and that’s really saying something! You can use any amount of mint and lemon that you’d like, but I usually use two mint leaves and a thinly sliced piece of lemon, cut into fourths.
The True Cost and EverlaneSam and I watched this incredible documentary on Netflix this month called The True Cost. It’s all about where the clothes we buy from “fast fashion” stores are really coming from AND where our clothes actually end up after we donate them. It brought both of us to tears and has made me so much more mindful about how my buying habits affect people all over the world. After watching the documentary, I was inspired to support a company that makes clothes responsibly, enter Everlane. Everlane makes beautiful, minimal clothing that is produced in safe factories. I purchased a white t-shirt and tank top and have been loving them!

d97e583336bea2d4a65a53c78102af15 Some fun things..
Glossier products.
I started a new face care regime this month and have been seriously loving it. I ordered the Milky Jelly Cleanser and Priming Moisturizer from Glossier and my skin has been thanking me! I have not had a breakout all month and my skin has been oh-so soft. Also, Glossier packaging is so perfect and simple which may have sealed the deal when deciding on the order. I highly recommend these two products! The cleanser is a genius at getting off eye makeup. I haven’t had to use an actual eye makeup remover all month! This baby just takes it all off. huzzah!
United States of Tara. After seeing Room (if you haven’t seen it, stop everything you’re doing and GO SEE IT!) I have been obsessed with Brie Larson and want to watch every single thing that she’s in. My friend JT recommended that I watch United States of Tara, where she plays the daughter of a woman who suffers from multiple personality disorder and it is just incredible. It’s somewhat of an older show (started in 2009) and only had three seasons, but all are on Netflix and you should watch. Trust me! Thank me later. You’re welcome.
How I Met Your Mother. I know I’m like five years behind on this trend, but Sam and I have been binge watching How I Met Your Mother for the past three months and we finally finished! Wanna know how much I cried at the end? Way more than I’m proud to say. I also find myself missing the characters (specifically Marshall and Lily) #couplgoals AM I RIGHT?! It’s such a well written show. I don’t think a show has made me laugh that much since Friends.

There you have it my friends. Some of my very favorite things from March. What have you been loving recently?? Let me know!!

xox, E

// floral images from here + here

 

 

Life

Weekend Recap

March 21, 2016

Hi friends. How was your weekend?? I hope it was great and restful and fun. All the good adjectives.

Mine was perfect, here’s why:

SATURDAY. I woke up early on Saturday, which some of you might think is not so great, but I loooove waking up early, especially on the weekends. It adds SO much more time to your weekend. I was up by 7:00. I had a slow, easy morning with some coffee and my new favorite book. Sam and I were to the gym by 9 and done with our workout and off to brunch by 10! It was so nice to be out and about and done with our workout so early.

For brunch, we went to one of our go-to neighborhood spots, Fork and we both had bagel and lox, one of our absolute faves.

After brunch, I had my nails did, because WHOOF did they need it. I love the place I got to get my nails done because they always have Friends playing. Get a manicure whiling watching Friends? Win-Win. I chose a milky-light pink OPI color that I think is super girly and perfect for spring.

Later in the afternoon we headed to Hyde Park, a neighborhood in the South Side that neither of us has explored before. It was a good hike from our apartment (about an hour on the El) but so, so worth it. We walked around the University of Chicago’s campus which was breathtakingly beautiful. the buildings had a Gothic vibe and were covered in vines. Walking around on campus made Sam and I excited about some upcoming changes that we have in the works! Hint Hint. More on that another day!IMG_2094 After walking around we grabbed a much needed coffee at a really cool bike/coffee shopped called Ancien Cycles. It made me want a bike so badly! Specifically one that’s cream with a brown leather seat, like this one. We walked around 53rd street and hit up come cool shops. One of my favorites is Modern Cooperative. A store that has a great mixture of things from local artists and vintage furniture with a mid-century, art deco vibe. It’s real good, friends. IMG_2074IMG_2095 After our shopping escapades we ate at A10. It. Was. Incredible. The vibe of the restaurant was on point and the food was mind blowing. The cocktails were served in the prettiest glasses I’ve ever seen (see photo below) and the menu is packed with so much Italian goodness. Sam ordered the gnocchi and I had Carbonara (my Italian go-to). Both were delicious, but the gnocchi was definitely the show-stopper. I wish there was an A10 on the North Side, because I want this food every week. It’s that good.IMG_2090IMG_2098IMG_2096IMG_2097

After dinner we headed to The Promontory, which was the whole reason we traveled to Hyde Park in the first place. Do you listen to The Moth Podcast? It’s one of my very favorites and The Promontory was hosting a Moth Story Slam, where you listen to people tell short, personal stories. Most of them are hilarious and some heartbreaking, but all are incredibly captivating. The theme for Saturday’s slam was “Progress.” Everyone had such a unique take on the theme. Sam and I loved it. They host these story slams all over the country, so definitely check out the events page to see if there’s a slam coming your way soon.

After the slam (and after multiple cocktails) we headed home and fell asleep with smiles on our faces.

SUNDAY. Always a funky day that I don’t usually love. Often it’s filled with chores and to-dos and I find myself with the Sunday-blues. Do you feel the same?

I think this Sunday was different because we had such a jam-packed Saturday, so I was okay with a Sunday dedicated to getting ready for the week. We had a slow morning with coffee and lots of sunshine coming through our windows. I took my laptop to the coffee shop and enjoyed a chai latte. I grocery shopped, did laundry and other chore-type things that I won’t bore you with.

It was a good balance of fun and organization. A happy medium. Ying and Yang.

Now, tell me about your weekend. What was the best thing that happened? Did you have an amazing meal? Tell me all about it.

Have a great week, friends.