run away with me: beatrix potter’s hilltop cottage

beatrix potter fell in love with the lake district and in 1905 bought hill top, a 17th-century farmhouse. everything from the cottage itself to the garden, which is described as a “haphazard mix of flowers, herbs, fruit and vegetables” sounds completely charming.

i’ve only been to the lake district once the first time i was in england but my silly 18 year old self was too cool for things like cottages… or maybe we just ran out of time. i don’t really remember but i would love to visit it the next time i’m in the great britain.

you can read more about hill top at the national trust.

images: levens garden, village england, make, do and push

moving

so i just recently moved to la. and by recently i mean i got here last night. i hope i like it here because i never want to move again.

i’ve moved quite a bit in my life, both around the country and overseas, but i’ve always been able to stuff everything into a couple suitcases or into my car. i’m not sure how i accumulate so much stuff over the last 3 years that i’ve been in utah but there was barely room for harlow in the car on the drive out here.

last night, sleeping on the floor of my almost empty little house, i thought of some tips that will hopefully make moving a lot less painful for you.

1. start early. like the day you decide to move. packing and sorting and cleaning will take longer than you think.

2. ask for help. you might think, “well, i’m just one person living in a tiny house with a tiny dog and i don’t have that much stuff.” you have more than you think you do. you will need help or at the very least someone to keep you motivated.

3. accept offers for help. when people offer to help you move or clean LET THEM. see above.

4. stick to your plan. i flipped flopped from driving a uhaul, to renting a pod, to making multiple trips in my car (it’s a 10 hr drive one way. this was a stupid plan. also this was the option i chose.) but however you decide to move your stuff determines how you’ll need to pack so pick one and go with it.

5. bags over boxes. when trying to squish everything into one smallish car, trash bags are the way to go for soft things like bedding and clothing. sure, you won’t feel super fancy when you’re dragging garbage bags of your stuff into your new place but you’ll definitely be able to fit more into tight spots.
6. be crazy organized. i think this is more important based on how much you’re moving so make lists, label boxes, pack in some sort of logical order (whatever works for you.) there was a point last week (around 2 am) when i was tired, frazzled and had lost my sharpie and just started piling things in boxes. whatever fit went it. half of my boxes went into storage and i’m pretty sure thats where all of my socks are.

7. don’t get a storage unit. (unless you really, really need to) for me it was just to delay making decisions. and now i have a storage unit in another state that i will have to deal with at some point.

8. show your appreciation. say thank you! to everyone – the people that helped you move, clean, babysat your dog (or kids), let you crash at their place while you were bedless, loaded your car, brought you snacks for the drive… it all deserves a big, fat thank you.

basically i am the worst at moving but maybe you can learn from my mistakes?? do you have any moving tips? horror stories?

trash is for tossers

i very recently came across a blog called trash is for tossers. i loved it so much i read her whole blog. in one day. the whole thing.

when i moved to salt lake at the end of 2012 my new year’s/new house’s resolution was to stop buying paper napkins and paper towels. i did buy these paper towel alternatives and loved them. i didn’t think twice about buying paper products. for 2015 my plan was to stop buying disposable plastic – specifically ziploc baggies. i have some plastic containers that i can wash and reuse and eventually replace with something like these stainless steel lunch containers.  researching more sustainable ways of living was how i came across trash is for tossers.

i read about lauren before i read her blog. i had sort of heard of the zero waste movement but not really. i’ll be honest my first thought when i heard “zero waste” was of an episode of extreme cheapskates i’d seen. i mean i had no idea what her blog was going to be – did she make her own reusable toilet paper and find salvageable food in dumpsters and share bathwater? i was a little nervous.

but as i started reading she just seemed like a fun, personable girl who is conscious of the way her lifestyle impacts our world and is trying to live what she believes. she buys groceries in bulk or at farmers markets with her own reusable jars and sacks, she recycles and composts, she plans ahead, she shops second hand and says “no thank you” to things she doesn’t need. she uses toilet paper.

i think what i admire most about her lifestyle is the thoughtfulness that it creates. i’ve been thinking a lot lately about how we live in such a disposable world (and i’m just as guilty as the next person.) when you can buy a pair of jeans at old navy or wherever for under $20 it’s easy to throw them out if they get a rip or a stain. i’ve been going through my closets as i’m getting ready to move (and still attempting a capsule wardrobe) and surprising how much i have. do i need 6 pair of the same jeans? or 5 of the same white tank top? no i don’t.

anyway back to trash is for tossers. i’ve read other zero waste blogs that tell you how to redo your whole house and what you need to buy and not-so-subtle links to their own book but lauren’s blog (i say “lauren” like we’re friends but i secretly think we would be… haha.) is so genuine and relatable. she’s open and honest and admits it wasn’t an overnight process to change her way of life.

if you follow me on instagram you’ll know i recently attempted my own zero waste shopping trip and i’m happy to say i was successful. i took some cloth bags for bulk granola, french bread, and veggies and some glass jars for bulk olives and quinoa. when i got to the store (whole foods) they weighed my empty containers and i wrote on the bottom of them with a sharpie so i didn’t pay for the weight of the jars. it took a little planning but it was kind of fun. plus there’s no impulse buying when you are limiting yourself to buying bulk. there was no bulk chocolate and no bulk coke zero (ugh). so maybe this will be a good thing for my own health as well as the environment.

oh the other thing i loved about her lifestyle was that she lets her fridge go bare. i always hate cleaning out my fridge and seeing all the unused, spoiled food i toss out. since i bought very few perishable items i’m going to see if i can actually use everything up before i go shopping again. i’ll let you know if i’m successful.

i don’t know if i’ll be able to do this all the time but i think i’d like to try. i mean, it’s worth trying right? and i’m not going to go through my house and toss all plastic items and replace them with metal and glass – that’s hardly environmentally friendly but i can see myself making some changes.

one funny story from my shopping trip: i was checking out with all my jars and cloth bags and the guy was pretty cool about it even though it took a little extra time and so i was telling him about trash is for tossers and how amazing lauren is and i said “she hasn’t produced any waste in two years!” there was major awkward silence and he gave me a very strange look and said something like “what? is that healthy?” or something like that and then i was confused and after some more awkwardness i realized i think he thought i was saying she hadn’t pooped in two years… what? ugh. no. major awkward. sorry, lauren.

the roses of chanel no. 5

i read this beautiful article in lonny magazine and keep going back to it so i thought i’d share it here. 

joseph mul’s farm has been in his family for five generations. the farm located in the south of france, 4 miles from grasse  near the côte d’azur. this beautiful farm is where the may roses (rosa centifolia) that go into every bottle of chanel no. 5 are grown. each may, for approximately three weeks, the farm harvests approximately thirty-five to forty tons of may roses. each rose is processed within an hour and twenty minutes of being picked. isn’t that incredible?
each bottle of perfum has twelve may roses and one thousand jasmine flowers. legend has it the the perfume’s name comes from the fifth of six batches originally created for chanel. five was also her favorite number. if you head over to the original article on lonny there’s a beautiful video about the making of the perfume. according to the article a bottle of chanel no. 5 sells every thirty seconds. 
i’d love to visit this farm one day… and maybe leave with pockets full of roses.
original article for lonny magazine by irene edwards
photography by genevieve garruppo

a girl’s gotta eat / thai quinoa bowl

if i had to choose one recipe to make for the rest of my life it would be this recipe from how sweet eats. it’s that good. 

i came across it on pinterest (where else?) and it had so many of my favorite ingredients: cilantro, lime, coconut milk, and ginger. and quinoa since i’m always looking for quinoa recipes that have a lot of flavor. also, i leave out the chicken because i’m trying (emphasis on trying) to eleminate aminal products from my diet. but also buying and cooking meat stresses me out. so instead i just double the veggies and add extra peanuts. it’s delicious. 
also i learned an amazing secret for light, fluffy, non-mushy quinoa: when you add water to your pot of quinoa add boiling water. it makes all the difference – no more quinoa mush. you’ll see.
now i’m hungry.

my personal theme

i was just reading stephanie’s posts on their family themes and this quote came to mind.

there’s no going back. no matter how hard i pray and cry and wish.

all that’s left is to move forward.

and i’m trying. sometimes it’s fearfully, ungratefully, haltingly, stubbornly, slowly, and painfully but “even those who limp go not backwards.” (gibran)

getting a little off topic, but not really… have you read the great divorce by cs lewis? it’s one of my favorite books. in the book the inhabitants of hell get to visit heaven and, if they choose, can stay there. there’s nothing in the world stopping them. but most of them don’t. they choose to go back to hell. the ghosts talk of their lives and sorrows and injustices and at one point in the book the author is told “heaven, once attained, will work backwards and turn even that agony into a glory.”

i think that’s true. it’s a tall order but i truly believe it’s possible. whatever the details, the whole can still be beautiful.

do you have family or personal mottos?

i don’t know the source
for this image… help?

take care

self care.

 

i don’t know why in my mind self care has a negative connotation. maybe because i associate it with other self words like self pity, self-centered and selfish.

when i went into the rape crisis center the woman there cheerfully chirped, “take care of yourself. have a bubble bath… get a pedicure!” and i wanted to hit her. hard. in the face. with a chair. (to be fair i’m sure she said more than that but i don’t remember.) i was scared and angry and my brain latched on to what seemed the most ludicrous statement and i vowed to never get a pedicure or take a bubble bath again. after the miscarriage i was told basically the same thing. “just relax. try taking a bubble bath.”  by that point my head was in such an awful, messed up place that the last thing i wanted was anything to do with myself. i wanted away from my self, out of my body, far away from this life.

the other day when i was at a very low point i shared some of the feelings i had about myself… and they weren’t the great. it was pointed out that if i said the things i say to myself to another person i’d be a bully and a kind of a jerk. ugh.

i feel like i see and hear the term self care all over the place lately. i’m working on finding the balance between self pity and self care.

“Self care refers to actions and attitudes which contribute to the maintenance of well-being and personal health and promote human development.”

i guess what i’m finally realizing is that i am still here. that life is stubborn. it goes on. it’s going to go on. it goes on whether i’m curled up on my bed hiding out or trying to put the pieces of my life back together and keeping enjoying life. if it’s going on go on it may as well be enjoyable. it’s worth trying, right?

things to start:

buy myself fresh flowers
prepare little meals, even if it’s just for me
wear a bright lipstick
keep my desk tidy so it’s a place i want to be
download some new music turn it up
be diligent with my personal prayer and scripture study
spend time with friends
use exercise to work out some of the nervous tension
get my eyebrows done every once and awhile
stop using the word fine – good or bad, be authentic
start a photo challenge: nature/self portrait/ whatever
go to the temple
take deep breaths

things to change:

take my prescriptions without calling myself weak
cry when i need to without calling myself a baby
say no when i’m overwhelmed without calling myself selfish
reach out when i need to without calling myself pathetic
search for a new job without calling myself a loser
spend time with people i love without questioning my worth
forgive myself when i slip without beating myself up

“Therefore, though ours is a time of conflict, quietly caring for the ‘life of the soul’ is still what matters most.” – Neal A Maxwell
 
what are some ways you care for yourself? how do you fight back against your own inner bully?
beautiful image by olga bennett