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7 for seven

7forseven_key-and-arrowLet’s face it // Mondays stink. Or at least we typically expect them to stink. That is why, every Monday, I post seven positives from the previous seven days of the week as a reminder of what I have so that the week starts out on an upswing. There is much truth in the belief that happy people attract good things, so it is important to start the week out right. Sometimes it’s the more grand, but other times, it’s the simple things.

1. Home for the HolidaysAfter another short time away, my guy flew back to Austin late last Tuesday night. It’s the little things I miss sometimes — like how much he takes care of me in small ways. For example, he noticed I like a certain lotion from a sample I dropped in his wastebasket. He took it out to take to the grocery store so he could buy that exact kind and leave it at his house for me. And like just now — he came up from downstairs while working in his workshop to check on me. I told him my writing was slow-going because I was feeling a bit light-headed and lethargic, and he came back with more water, a bottle of kombucha, and almonds. These things are so little, but he does them all the time, and I can’t help but fall a little more in love with him each time. It’s hard when he’s away because these little ways he takes care of me become so much larger when they are farther away.

2. LaLa Land & Lick. The day after he returned, my guy and I went to see this musical movie that pays homage to all the great classics. This movie was so, so good, and surprisingly — for two people who enjoy movies so much, this was our first movie date since we’ve been together. Being the trained jazz brass man he is and the theatre nerd/dancer I am, it couldn’t have been a more perfect choice for us. We walked away from that movie feeling a bit lighter and joyful, and we pranced over to the nearby ice-cream parlor, Lick, and enjoyed ourselves a holiday inspired scoop.

3. Impromptu Shopping.  The next couple days before Christmas, we enjoyed some impromptu holiday shopping, despite the maddening crowds. We picked up a couple of holiday and jazz records at our favorite record store, some spirits to add to our booze library, and a couple good (and cheap!) finds at a thrift store to put away for our future together.

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4. Pre-Christmas Dinner.  My guy’s cousin had us over for dinner the day before she left for her family Christmas, and afterwards, we drove downtown to attend the annual Holiday Shopping Bazaar. Even though we didn’t find anything worthy at the Bazaar, we enjoyed spending time with his adorable cousin and friends.

5. Christmas Eve.  Even though I would have loved for my man to be able to spend time with his family over the holidays, selfishly, I was happy to keep him here and have him spend it with mine. We had a nice dinner together, opened a few gifts from the family, and then he and I stayed up after everyone went to sleep and had our own Christmas gift exchange with some holiday records playing in the background. I had previously mentioned to him that I once made signs for my family during every holiday, including birthdays and signed them “The (Insert Holiday Here) Fairy” and left them all over the house in sneaky places. He insisted we bring it back, so we had fun making signs and posting them around the house after everyone went to bed.

6. Hand-Made.  I WISH I HAD  TAKEN A PICTURE! I’ll have to do this when I’m back home, but I received the most beautiful hand-made gifts from my soul-mate. He is quite the talented craftsman. He carved me some gorgeous spoons and spatulas, as well as trays to go with this set of gold/ceramic dishes I had been coveting for a long time (I had mentioned it once around him), and they look so good together. He also bought me a couple of glass decanters and carved a wooden stopper for the top that match the spoons and trays he made. Unbelievable! I can’t believe he made them (I mean, I can), but I’m so happy to be the recipient of his labor of love!

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7. Christmas.  After my family had our traditional Christmas morning full of Scandinavian breakfast and opening presents, we went to my sister and brother-in-law’s new home to enjoy a nice Christmas dinner. Their new home is so beautiful and warm, and it was fun to spend it there this year as something new and special. Of course, it was great to spend time with my family as well, with my favorite guy by my side fitting in perfectly. I even got to FaceTime with his family a while and meet some more of his relatives over the phone and tell them I’m excited to finally meet them in person this summer. As the holiday season is coming to a close, I’m feeling so blessed and warm with all that I have to be grateful for this year — some of them unexpected, and some of them a renewed gratitude.

I hope to inspire you to reflect on all you have to be grateful & that your week brings you even more positivity + balance + bliss!  Feel free to share your seven with me as well / or even just a couple!

Have a wonderful week! — And HAVE A HAPPY NEW YEAR!

xo,

Lauren


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7 for seven

7forseven_key-and-arrowLet’s face it // Mondays stink. Or at least we typically expect them to stink. That is why, every Monday, I post seven positives from the previous seven days of the week as a reminder of what I have so that the week starts out on an upswing. There is much truth in the belief that happy people attract good things, so it is important to start the week out right. Sometimes it’s the more grand, but other times, it’s the simple things.

1. Strolling with my BabyMonday night, my guy and I took a nice, long walk together. We often toot our own horns and relish in the fact that we never have lulls in our conversations, and it’s true. Even during three-hours phone conversations or long walks, our connection has always been easy and never forced. I knew this since day one — on our nine-hour early-day-to-night first-date (not exaggerating), and I am so grateful to have someone who so quickly and irrefutably became my best friend. He picked a rose for me on our walk (it was reaching off  and beyond their property — technically it became public!), and I’m currently peeking over at it, in the glass cup he placed it in, and smiling like an idiot.

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2. Christmas at the Capitol. Wednesday, my 7th grade team of teachers and I took our students to the state capitol building to see it while it’s decorated for Christmas and to talk about all they have learned in their Texas History class. Never fail, I always enjoy seeing how adorable the students are when they get excited to share what they know with their tour guide and to see them acting like kids, rolling down the leafy hills and climbing the statues (eek! – oops!).

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3. Small Victories.  While at my sister’s house last weekend, a friend of hers told me about a new cookbook she bought and was cooking through with some friends. Immediately, I jotted it down in the notes of my phone. It sounded right up my alley — a cookbook for novices that are intrigued by recipes and intimidated by them at the same time. Without wasting much time, I went to the bookstore and purchased it. On Saturday morning, I spent hours flipping through it with a tall cup of coffee and sticky flags for my favorite pages. I love that each recipe has a small victory/technique/trick that can be applied to other recipes. I often say that I enjoy cooking but that I only know a few recipes, and therein lies my problem (and apparently I’m not alone). Luckily, Julia Turshen, the author of this cookbook, believes that if you know one recipe, technically you know about 500 recipes. She helps the novice cook to become more aware of variations and to apply what they know and to feel confident enough to explore while cooking. This is the recipe book I’ve been waiting for, and I’m so excited to work through it with my guy (who is much more of a cook than I am!).

4. Catching Up.  After a half-day of work on the last day before winter break, my coworkers and I went to a happy hour on the lake, after having not done one in far too long. It was nice to catch up over a drink on matters outside of work. We spent most of the time fawning over a baby my coworkers brought (don’t worry, she was theirs!). Then, afterwards, I caught up with a good friend over dinner. It had been far too long since I had seen her, and as we often do, we vowed to not let that happen again. It was a great night of catching up with friends, and I’m reminded of how truly lucky I am to have such fantastic people surrounding me in my life. Ah bliss!

5. Christmas Vacation. Wahoo! These last couple of difficult, busy work weeks of students desperately wanting out for the holiday (and teachers, too!) is over, and now I get to enjoy a couple of weeks vacation with my family and my boo. Sooooo excited!

6. The Girl.  This weekend was just plain cold. I’m currently living in a house that has no insulation, and the house simply doesn’t heat up when it’s this cold, so I decided instead of beating it, to just join it. I holed up in my room with the door shut, a space heater directed toward me, and I curled up with a good book. I’m often one who shies away from fads, so I just now read The Girl on the Train, and I have to say, I couldn’t put it down. I love the thriller genre, and I was happy that as an added bonus, the characters were for the most part, not flat. Love a good character study and it kept me guessing until a good part of the novel! Now I want to see the movie, as it seems perfectly cast.

Also, this girl, who never sits down to watch TV, spent some guiltless time watching her school district’s high school football team become state champions and then a Sunday evening cuddled up watching The Sound of Music — one of my favorites over the holidays.

 

7. Phone Calls.  I’m so proud of how talented my guy is, and I wouldn’t change that for the world, but it’s hard when he is gone! He’s been away in LA working this week, but I’m so grateful for long phone conversations. I had a bit of a down-day this past cold, dreary, Sunday, and he picked me right back up so easily. I often get complaints from my friends that I’m difficult to shake out of a funk — admittedly, not many people can do it, but he does. He gets me, and I’m fully aware I am gushing, but I’m so happy he’s here in my life. Finally!

I hope to inspire you to reflect on all you have to be grateful & that your week brings you even more positivity + balance + bliss!  Feel free to share your seven with me as well / or even just a couple!

Have a wonderful week!

xo,

Lauren


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7 for seven

7forseven_key-and-arrowLet’s face it // Mondays stink. Or at least we typically expect them to stink. That is why, every Monday, I post seven positives from the previous seven days of the week as a reminder of what I have so that the week starts out on an upswing. There is much truth in the belief that happy people attract good things, so it is important to start the week out right. Sometimes it’s the more grand, but other times, it’s the simple things.

1. Short & SweetI’m going to keep this post short and sweet, as I had a long week in front of the computer, grading essays and projects before the upcoming end to the quarter — so emphasis on short but nothing short of sweet. 😉 The silver lining — the quarter is almost over, and the holiday is approaching. I can do this — one. more. week!

2. Cooking and Jamming. The boyfriend camped out at my place for the week, primarily as a means to get some practice in for his upcoming first solo show. Bonus: He was here to bring a smile to my face every day after a particularly draining work week. While I was at work, he enjoyed playing his brass instrument and banging around as loud as he wanted without his roommates around, but I also secretly enjoyed listening to him play while I cooked us dinner — I could really get use to that. I even joined him, jamming with some of his cool handmade instruments. I’m no musician but he makes everyone feel like they are capable of making some noise!

3. Apis.  After a week of staying at my place, he treated me to a nice dinner and cocktails at a cute new restaurant we had been wanting to try near my house. It was a perfect close to a long week, and a great start to a wonderful and memorable weekend with him.

4. Omelets, Pops, and Bubbly.  Sleeping in is the perfect way to start a Saturday but it’s made even better with brunch and good company. My guy and I made an omelet together while listening to Boston Pop’s Orchestra Christmas album, a source of nostalgia for the both of us. Then I drove into town to visit my twin sister and see her (finally!) finished home. We sipped on champagne, caught up, and admired her beautiful new digs. It was so great to spend some gal time with her.

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5. Saturday Dinner and a Show.  I joined up with my guy again later that night in town, and he took me out to a delicious Italian dinner downtown and then to his friend’s concert. I finally got to meet one of his good friends and his wife, and once again, I am so happy (though not surprised) to know how great the people in his life are. Not only are they all super talented, but they are warm and genuine people.

6. Slow Sunday.  After a busy week, it felt good to take it slow on the weekend. Sunday was slow and easy, as my man and I sat and looked at catalogs and dreamed of our future together in a totally dorked-out but of course, loving and honest way.

7. This Last One is a Secret.  I’d be lying if I didn’t mentioned it, but I’d be divulging too much at this point if I did. I hate it when people tease like this, but this is mainly just for me to look back on a remember. Although it was a tough week, it was one I will always remember.

I hope to inspire you to reflect on all you have to be grateful & that your week brings you even more positivity + balance + bliss!  Feel free to share your seven with me as well / or even just a couple!

Have a wonderful week!

xo,

Lauren


Leave a comment

7 for seven

7forseven_key-and-arrowLet’s face it // Mondays stink. Or at least we typically expect them to stink. That is why, every Monday, I post seven positives from the previous seven days of the week as a reminder of what I have so that the week starts out on an upswing. There is much truth in the belief that happy people attract good things, so it is important to start the week out right. Sometimes it’s the more grand, but other times, it’s the simple things.

1. Mid-week EscapesI’ve been taking advantage of the fact that my boyfriend has been in town for a longer stretch of time than he has been in the months we’ve dated, and it has been exciting for me to be able to spend multiple days with him in the middle of the week without him having to take off for a work trip or go on tour. It put my mind at ease during a busy week, knowing that at the end of it, I’d have a smiling face and open arms greeting me at the end of the day. Bonus: He cooked for me each night. Le sigh.

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2. Career Day. Even though he was nervous to step outside his comfort zone, my boyfriend knocked career day out of the park. His career entails several things, so naturally, he wanted to piece each of these things together for a more cohesive presentation. He is both a musician, a craftsman, and an artist, so he encompassed all these things by introducing himself as a storyteller. My students loved this concept, and as their teacher, I loved the fact that Language Arts suddenly became more relevant to my musicians and artists. ;). My students wrote him letters at the end of the day, and without any convincing on my part (promise!), most of them decided to write to him as their favorite presenter. Their favorite parts were the interactive parts, where he asked some students and I to take part in an impromptu jam session with his made instruments. They also enjoyed, of course, the music he played for students as they entered the classroom and the message he gave them about music as a means to express oneself and to connect to others. I couldn’t have been prouder of how well he did and how much he inspired those kiddos!

3. Rainy Saturday.  Not much beats a rainy Saturday with time to sleep in. I was looking forward to getting together with a couple of my boyfriend’s friends that we haven’t seen in a while for dinner, but I can’t say it wasn’t nice to stay in instead, as one of them cancelled the last minute. Rainy days are meant for staying in, staying snug, and watching a good film.

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4. Oh, Christmas Tree!  The boyfriend and I bought our first Christmas tree together this past Saturday. We threw on our rain jackets and braved the cold rain to pick up a tiny, crooked living Christmas tree (I told him I’m a fan of the underdog – thus, the wonky tree was ours!). I don’t pride myself on being very crafty, as I’ve always taken a backseat to my talented mother and sister, so I’m thankful that he brings this out of me and tries to show me that indeed, I can do these things after all. I’m getting there! Ha! He helped me make ornaments and made some beautiful ones of his own, while we sipped on whiskey and listened to Christmas tunes. Bliss.

5. Burgers and Nina Simone.  Saturday night, after the friends cancelled dinner plans last minute, the boyfriend and I grabbed a couple of burgers and vegged out while watching “What Happened, Miss Simone?” I’ve always been a fan of Miss Simone, and I know I’m a little late to the party, but OH MY GAWD, go watch this documentary. It’s beautifully made, and it paints a picture of her that is dynamic instead of flat, not to mention, it will make you appreciate her immense giftedness that much more.

6. Rainy Sunday.  Earlier, when I said not much beats a rainy Saturday — I lied a little. There’s always a rainy Sunday. Sundays are for savoring and slowing down, and rain makes one feel less guilty about that. 😉

7. And That’s a Wrap!  Sunday, I finished wrapping all the Christmas presents to my family, and tucked them away under the tree. Feels good to have one more thing checked off the list — especially when my family jokes with me that I’m the world’s worst present wrapper – ha! I did it, though! Phew!

I hope to inspire you to reflect on all you have to be grateful & that your week brings you even more positivity + balance + bliss!  Feel free to share your seven with me as well / or even just a couple!

Have a wonderful week!

xo,

Lauren