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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. Reminder. Sometimes reminders come in surprising ways. After a stressful week of prepping for my evaluation, preparing for a presentation in February, etc., etc., I perhaps needed the reassurance just as much as the student I gave it to. I’ll keep the details between us, but a student and I had a heart to heart about a serious issue involving a boy, and at the end of it, she reached out and gave me a hug. I can’t describe how happy that made me, to know (or hope) I somehow made a difference. Sometimes I see a lot of myself in my students, and I always wish I had a teacher to guide me at school in a way that didn’t see me as just a report card. It reminded me that my job is so much bigger than evaluations, presentations, and paperwork, and it brought me back to feeling more grounded and balanced than before.

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2. New Album. My boyfriend and one of the bands he plays in just released a new EP this past week. The second song on it was written and played (all instruments) by him, and it’s stunning! Check it out on Spotify or iTunes. He reminds me constantly, that in a time that feels dark in our country, creating art that brings light is so important.

3. Fish Tacos + Tequila.  My boyfriend and I made fish tacos from a recipe he found at Food52 for a dinner with his cousin Saturday night. As a marketing professional, she joined us to chat business and hash out a logo. She did such a wonderful job, and we are super excited moving forward with this project. I can’t wait to share more!

4. Early Valentine.  I’m the worst at waiting to give presents I’m excited about, so when packages hit my doorstep, I immediately asked Patrick if he wanted to exchange Valentine’s Day presents with me. Of course, he said yes, being the eager gift-giver he is himself. I gave him a nice yoga mat, copper tumblers, bitters, and a book called The Drunken Botanist, and I’m the proud new owner of a KitchenAid extension to spiral veggies! I’m such an adult. Of course, he’s not as bad as me, and he is waiting until at least February to give me the rest.

5. Pasta!  I’m trying to eat healthy, but Friday has been my cheat day, so I made homemade crock-pot meat sauce to bring to my coworkers with some pasta, garlic bread, and ice-cream. Then, I took the remainder of the sauce home and made my man a savory lasagna. How’s that for cheating?

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6. Sunday Stroll.  One of my favorite things to do to unwind is take a long walk on a sunny day. My boyfriend and I started a new Sunday tradition of taking a walk to a food truck court, ordering juices for a rest on the swings, and then walking back to his place.

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7. Dad’s Birthday.  Although of course I wish I could be with him instead, my dad is celebrating his birthday tonight in Dallas, Texas. He has almost exactly one more year until he is able to retire and move out here to Austin, and I’m stoked!

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.

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1. The Shape of Things to Come. The man — Patrick, and I are making things for a new collaborative project, and the above picture is just one small sneak peek into what we’ve been up to!

2. Friday Cheat Meal. After another clean week of eating, and losing six 1/2 pounds in two weeks (woot!), I enjoyed my first cheat meal. Patrick and I guiltlessly gorged on Tex-Mex and knocked back martinis at one of my favorite Austin hot-spots.

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3. Saturday Photo-shoot.  Soon, Patrick and I will launch a COMING SOON campaign for our new project, and my sister and her husband so graciously loaned us their home for some shots. We can’t wait to share them with you!

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4. Women’s March.  For me, and millions of other women, this march was a moment where we could embrace our similarities and differences and unite, and at a time when the nation feels divided — it feels dire. The women across the globe who marched and supported the march represented peace, unity, love, and regardless of political views, a vow to move forward in our quest for equal treatment and opportunity. For those of you who feel differently about the march, I urge you to read the purpose behind the march cited on the organization’s website found here. I also found the following media links to be particularly articulate in describing the intention behind this large movement, or in marches/peaceful protests in general: You Are Not Equal. I’m Sorry. and Why Does America Hate Protestors? This march gave me so much hope, and I’ve never been more proud to be a woman.

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5. Repurposed Props.  After our photo-shoot Saturday afternoon, Patrick and I repurposed the beautiful “props” we used by turning them into a delicious, nutritious meal. Patrick researched how to best prepare some of the more foreign vegetables we picked up (based solely on their aesthetics!) and made an inventive, delicious meal.

6. Sunday Brunch.  The next morning, we met with Patrick’s cousin to work more on the project and catch up over brunch and Bloody Mary drinks. My Friday night indulgence kind of spilled over into the weekend, needless to say, but it was well worth it — I think. 😉

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7. Kind Gesture.  Knowing that I have my annual teaching observation this week, which can be a nerve-wracking experience, Patrick sent me to work with these beautiful flowers and a note. Little gestures like this are so appreciated and to know he has my back while I have his, is one of the biggest, most notable gestures of all.

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. No Duty. This week is a four-day-work-week for me (reason #1 why this post is popping up late on a Monday), thanks to MLK (thanks to him, of course, for a dozen more reasons more important than my day off). However, thankfully, last week was also a four-day-work-week for me as well. I got called in for jury duty. Wah, wah. BUT the best kind of jury duty is the kind where you don’t get picked. I spent four hours in a room for the jury interview process and an hour to and from the courthouse from my house, but two extra hours of freedom isn’t bad!

2. Cousin Nieces & Nephews. I think I may have just made up that term… My family welcomed another beautiful baby into the family last week, and it’s so much fun watching my sweet aunts dote on my cousin’s babies. They are all just so stinking precious, and I’m so happy that there will be another kids table at our large family Thanksgiving really soon!

3. Coming Soon.  While my guy has been away on business, we’ve hashed out the details of a new business venture we are pairing up for. I’m not going to say much right now, except for that I am extremely excited. We’ve had so much fun prep work over the phone together, brainstorming, and dreaming about the future of this big project. More details coming soon!

4. Doc Fun. This is so dorky, but I have to include this because my guy and I had so much fun typing in a Google Doc while he was away. I do this with my students all the time, but of course, it was way more fun typing messages to my love while he’s away, back and forth, in live time. We took goofy photo-booth pics and pasted them into the doc, and brainstormed ideas for that big project I mentioned.

5. Down Five.  I’m competing in The Biggest Loser at work (have I mentioned how competitive I am??), to get back into shape after the holidays, and I lost five pounds my first week. I’m motivated to keep it going!

6. Home Again!  AAAAAnd he’s back again! Hallelujah! I missed him so much, which is why this is a short and sweet post… see ya next week! 😉

7. Sunday and Monday Funday.  My guy came home early on Sunday, so we got to hang out a bit more on my three-day weekend before going back to work this week. We went shopping and spent our holiday gift-card money and saw the movie, Jackie, and now I’m off to enjoy a night-cap and brainstorm some more for our project…

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. Thank you, Meryl. Listen, never forget, and keep making art. Don’t keep quiet just because someone else wants you to.

I grew up as a dancer, but I added acting to the mix in high school and kept both in my life until I was around twenty-six. Then I moved to writing my last two years of college, with some encouraging nudges from a theatre professor. I hate to admit it, but there was a time in my life that I became disillusioned into thinking art was no longer important,  (long story short), after a series of unfortunate experiences that had nothing to do with creating art. I think it’s possible I also convinced myself because it had taken a backseat in my life. It gave way to building a more secure job in teaching and putting too much stock into relationships with people who took little to no interest in my adoration for the arts, whether it was dancing, acting, singing, or writing. That’s one of the many reasons I am so thankful to have someone in my life now that not only is actively chasing so many of his dreams in the arts, but he is also actively pushing me. It’s something that has almost been too painful to approach again because I’ve been so angry with myself for neglecting that side of myself for so long. However, if there is one thing I’ve learned over the years (and one thing he’s so elegantly reminded me of) is that it is never too late to embrace the things you are passionate about.

Oh, and also, bullies suck. Power to those who have the courage to stand up to them no matter their politics!

2. La La La. I didn’t watch The Golden Globes this year, but after I heard that LaLa Land deservedly won so many awards last night, I was inspired to listen to the soundtrack. I’m absolutely bonkers about the movie, and it instantly brought me back to my big dreamer days in high school and college when I wanted so desperately to live in a utopian world where everyone broke out into song and dance at any given moment and it wasn’t weird… or it was, and nobody cared. In fact, I’ve been listening to it as I’m typing, and all I want to do is get up and dance (okay, I did, but now I’m back).

3. Missing.  I know, you’ve heard this all before, but it’s true. I’m full of “missing hims.” My guy has been away for a week, and he is gone for one more, and I am missing him something ridiculous. Long phone calls have saved me when he travels, and I absolutely love that during his stop in Dallas today, he is having dinner with my brother. The fact that he is taking so much interest in my family and not just me means the world to me. THEY mean the world to me, and he gets that. He’s a good one, this one.

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4. Web-Shop.  In these long phone conversations, some of the things he and I have discusd are involving his plans to create a web-shop for his brilliant woodworking. He’s one of those people who can genuinely pick up anything and say to himself, “Oh, I can do that.” (Well, he wouldn’t admit to it, but it’s true). If he doesn’t know how to do it, he easily says, “I’m going to teach myself how to do that.” And he does. I can’t be envious because I admire him so much. He’s a genius! Which is why I’m super stoked that I’ve finally convinced him (though I’m not the only one), to tap into those talents more and share them with the world. SO… he’s going to make more of what he makes for himself and his loved ones, and he is going to make his beautiful objects available to the public (first in a web-shop). He already makes spoons, trays, bowls, tables, wooden hair pins, yoga platforms, instruments for his friends in bands (and now his own music ventures) — these are just a few of the things. Just kidding, I haven’t mentioned he also sews and has been featured in a major furniture upholstery book. I’m always shocked when I find out that something I’ve seen day-to-day at his house is something he actually made. It’s insane. Okay, I’ll stop gushing now, but I promise to update soon! In the pic above, these are the Christmas gifts he made me (so in love) — with the objects, too!

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5. New Hairs.  Most of the time, I am terrible with changes. Of course, at work, I’m professional enough to keep my guts (who are jumping up and down screaming, ‘no changes, please, we can’t handle it!!’), from doing the talking; they lose all their inhibitions when they get home. No holds barred. However, my hairs are no strangers to change. It’s the one thing I can always handle — more than handle.  It gets me all excited. Okay, now I’m just realizing maybe the fact that I am more comfortable when my hair is constantly changing is more of a constant in my life and less of a sign that I’m open to changes… Nah, I’m gonna go with it still. I went back to my genius hair artist, and she gave me some tigers-eye balayage highlights. Plus, I got to see my cute twin-sis for a bit who stopped in to invade my hair appointment.

6. Health Nut.  Emphasis on “nut.” When I get serious about my health, I tend to go a little nutty — I’ll admit. My problem is, I have trouble not obsessing one way or the other. Either I’m all in, or I’m all out — stuffing all the chocolates into this face. But it feels much better on this side of the spectrum, and that’s where I want to stay — without the obsessing. My hope is that, this time, without the emphasis on “nut” that the changes will be much more long-term and I won’t get brunt out on nothing but kale and two-a-days. Eek!

7. Biggest Loser.  Speaking of nutty, I not completely in the clear. Just when I was ready to make some changes (I know, it’s the new year, I’m such cliché), my school nurse announced that she is starting the Biggest Loser competition at my work, and guess who is jumping on the bandwagon!? This all-the-chocolates-in-the-face-gal. Gimme some money!

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. Aaaaand we’re backSort of. The Texas “cedar fever” got me. Got me real good. And my Monday was, eerr — Monday, unlike the majority of the rest of the universe who went back to work today. Nonetheless, I’m grateful to have had the time off that I had to come back (sort of) refreshed to start a new year. I’m a day late and a dollar short, but I’m feeling better on the one warm day this week before the freeze tonight that will bring in yet another bout of cedar haze. Yippee!

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2. Show Prep. My guy prepped for his first solo show last week, and I was happy to help him paint his sculptural backdrop (while I watched him do the hard part). He created this textural white wall for a projection that his musician/engineer friend designed. The projection was programmed to move with the music for a show designed with a “feedback” theme that demonstrated a connection between light and sound in each of the three sets.

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3. Show-Time!  I’m going to start by saying I’m going to do a lame job of describing how proud I am of my boyfriend. Words are not fitting. My heart exploded for him. He performs with a band (well, several bands to be more accurate), but he is starting to branch out to perform music of his creation for the first time after encouragement from many people in his life. He plays mostly brass instruments, but he also has made several of his own instruments (his many talents blow my mind) which he uses in his music as well. The venue filled up quickly, with over one-hundred people, and they roared with applause when he was done — it couldn’t have been a more perfect first solo show for him to give him the confidence he needs to keep sharing his gifts.

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4. Fresh Flowers, Day-After Dessert, and Window-Shopping.  This week, both my boyfriend and I had time off from work. Sharing a life with someone who travels as much as he does has its challenges (missing him… arg!), but it was so much fun spending almost an entire two-weeks straight of vacation with him. We spent time soaking up the romance of our stress-free time off together – buying fresh flowers, revamping left-over desserts from holiday dinner, window shopping (on-line and otherwise), taking long walks, and listening to our favorite records.

5. Music All the Time.  One of the best things about spending so much time with my guy this past week was the fact that music was on at almost all times. I grew up with that in my home — my grandparents blasted Boston Pops Orchestra in their lake house while their grandkids pranced around, my cousin wows everyone with his natural talent of playing any instrument he touches, my parents played The Beatles, Michael Jackson, and so much more while my sister and I bossed around kids on our block to dance to our moves, and then they shuffled us off to dance class where there was of course, always more music. Music has always been a part of my life, even if I don’t myself play an instrument, so meeting someone who feels exactly the same way was important to me. Boy have I met my match! If he wasn’t playing his horn, those records were roaring. And thank God his noises are all beautiful. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t shed a few tears while he played. And I’m no liar! Wasn’t pretty.

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6. New Year’s Eve.  My guy and I planned a New Year’s party at his house this past week. We spent all day running around town, blowing up balloons, decorating his house, cooking two kinds of chili, and making homemade chocolates. He built a nice fire outside, while we sat around with champagne and chocolates, counting down to the new year. At the end of the party, we had a fun impromptu “prom photo” session with our friends, and finally, when the last person left, he and I had way too much fun popping all the balloons and cleaning up (yep, only we would enjoy cleaning up! HAR). It was a great way to end the year with a really nice group of people in the comfort of someone’s home.

7. New Year’s Day.  On the first day of the year, I am grateful I got to spend another day with my man before he leaves (agaaaaaaain) for a couple weeks. We enjoyed a lazy day with leftover chili, Pinteresting (verb-ing it) in bed, and listening to records. We’re so predictable(ly awesome).

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! Happy New Year! Cheers to a happy and healthy 2017! I have a feeling this is going to be a REALLY good year.

xo,

Lauren