Thursday, March 10, 2016

Beauty: Shower Eucalyptus

My current bathroom doesn't have a window (which isn't different from my last bathroom, either). And while I didn't really think that was a big deal, I can't tell you how much I miss the fresh, open environment created by a window!

So, I'm making do (having a bathroom all to myself is pretty fantastic, after all). I'd read that fresh plants add life and provide aromatic benefits, and I decided to give it a try. 

I picked up some fresh eucalyptus from Trader Joe's this weekend, and hung the eucalyptus from my shower head. Immediately, the space smelled incredible, and the greenery infused so much life into the room. Plus, the steam from the shower activate the plant's essential oils, which makes the scent even stronger. I've also heard eucalyptus helps with congestion. Yes to all of this.

|| Photos are property of Mountain Shadow Morning. Must give credit. || 

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Home: Anatomy of a Bed

Post-breakup, the one thing I knew I needed to do almost immediately was change my bedding. There were so many pieces of our apartment that I couldn't afford to replace (bed itself, other furniture), but bedding was something I new I could afford to change, and needed to. 

There's something refreshing and therapeutic about new bedding. Even the thought of starting new felt cleansing to me. Having your own space, your own haven for rest, relaxation and healing is powerful. And it gave me the opportunity to start over and create a space solely for me (and Camp, of course).

What makes the anatomy of a good bed? First and foremost, prints, colors and patterns that feel and look like you. Choose something that looks like you, your personality. It's important to not go for a certain "look" or "feel" that might not speak to you personally. Your bed is your most sacred, humble space! 

Second? Comfort. Choose something comfortable! A nice down comforter, a foam topper, plushy pillows. Your bed should be your most comfortable space, so it's A-OK to spend a little extra money here. I heard a saying once that you should spend money on fabrics that touch your skin daily (bedding, towels etc.) and spend far less on everything else (drapes, rugs etc.) 

Third? Ease. I've seen beautiful beds with flat sheets, bedskirts and endless pillows. While that's great and works for some people, I allot roughly 3 minutes each morning to making my bed (truth, I do make my bed every day!) If I can't make my bed in 3 minutes, it's just not going to work for me. I like to shake out my down comforter/duvet, reset my pillows and call it a day. That's what works for me. 

I purchased most of my bedding online and used coupons/discounts (search for them, they're out there!) I waited until there was a bedding sale at both Target and Urban Outfitters, and purchased most of these items then (it wasn't too hard, as I bought them in December before the holidays). But don't worry, if you're looking for a quick re-haul all at once, you should be able to find some decent deals on an ongoing basis. Here's what I recommend:

Foam Mattress Topper: I put one of these on my bed and I can't believe I hadn't done so earlier. I have a comfortable mattress, but having an extra few inches of plushy foam makes my bed feel like a cloud. Target has a ton of mattress toppers, and usually has samples for you to feel in-store. 

Sheets: I habitually purchase my sheets from Target or Ikea. I'm sure thousand thread count sheets are amazing, but the basics are just fine for me! I recommend sticking to sheets that are darker and show less dirt (i.e. makeup, puppy prints etc.) My current sheets (and basic pillow cases) are dark gray.

Comforter: I've always had down (or alternative down) comforters. My mom spoiled me as a kid! They're warm, plushy, comfortable and truly make you feel like you're in a cloud. The good news is that Target and every other home store carry tons of options. I opted for a less expensive option (you never know with a pup) and it still feels great. 

Duvet: I spent the majority of my time looking for a duvet that fit my personality. Urban Outfitters always has incredible prints and lots of options in gray (my favorite). Plus, their duvets aren't jersey material, which wrinkle easily (thanks for the tip, Mom!) I also purchased matching shams, but am not using them currently.

Pillows: I currently have a body pillow by my headboard, and two generic pillows. I sleep with these each night, and should honestly invest in some new pillows (mine are pretty flat after the move). In addition, I have four plushy throw pillows. I spent a little bit of time looking for throw pillows (they're so expensive!) and bought three of them at Target, and another at Ikea. What I love about throw pillows is that they don't really need to match, and you don't need to have multiples of the same pillow. Having a handful of pillows tossed onto your bed looks effortless, and it's really comfortable to lay on.

Other details: I'm a big fan of symmetry, so I have matching end tables and lamps on either side of my bed (I had these from our apartment, so I didn't need to spend extra money on them). Next to my bed, I like to keep candles, photos, plants and some of my favorite books. I also like to hang things above my bed. Currently, I have a "happy" sign given to me by some of my yoga BFFs. It's a constant reminder to smile, keep my head up and remember that there's so much good in this world. I also have a birch branch wound with lights that my dad installed for me (thanks, poppy!) Since my headboard is low, having these pieces of art above my bed anchors everything together.

|| Photos are property of Mountain Shadow Morning. Must give credit. ||

Tell me more about your space!

Monday, March 7, 2016

Starting Anew: Weekly Affirmation

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This week is all about the four legged fur babies in our lives. Camp and I had a lazy Sunday evening together and are gearing up for a week full of walks, cuddles and treats. It's incredible how this furry little ball of energy stole my heart and shows me more love every single day than I ever thought imaginable.

Happy Monday.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Presently: March

|| Photo is property of Mountain Shadow Morning. Must give credit. ||

Making: dinner as often as I can with Meg (hello roommates!)
Watching: Girls season 5! Already obsessed.
Doing: adult things (taxes, budgeting, laundry, cleaning etc.)
Thinking: about starting a dream journal.
Visiting: my besties in New York next month. Spring in the city? Yes please.
Rocking: a new jacket from Forever 21 that I snagged on sale for Iceland.
Spending: money at Whole Foods. Maybe too much. That place has a piece of my heart.
Shopping: for Iceland gear (hence the jacket above).
Eating: dark chocolate peanut butter cups. Can't stop. Should stop.
Drinking: Throat Coat tea and red wine. It's still winter, that's allowed, right?
Missing: sleeping in. What does that feel like, again?
Planning: upcoming trips to New York and Iceland.
Working: my new job! I'm a month in and feel all-in. I'm loving it more and more each day.
Reading: Adventures For Your Soul by Shannon Kaiser.
Wanting: an entire day for DIY projects. Wooden letters and Himalayan sea salt soap bars are on my mind.
Enjoying: every moment of cuddling time I have with Camp at night and in the morning.
Writing: my menu plan for next week and long to-do lists.
Pinning: pictures of rooms with lots of light and greenery.
Cooking: healthy, vegetarian dishes for lunches next week.
Pondering: how unhealthy it is to binge watch the new House of Cards season in one day...
Listening: to "Reality" by Lost Frequencies on repeat. Current fave.
Liking: my newest DIY project (more on that next week!)
Feeling: great from practicing yoga at least once a day.
Noticing: that my face feels great after using coconut oil on it for the past week.
Going: crazy with excitement over the warm(er) weather we're supposed to have last week. Hello 50s!
Debating: a long nap on Sunday afternoon. OK, doing it.
Loving: my Warby Parker frames. More on them soon!
Marveling: at how good I feel on a mostly plant-based diet. Any tips on fully transitioning friends?

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Beauty: Hydration Mask

This Minnesota weather, I tell ya. Without fail, each winter my skin has no idea what's going on. Equal parts dry + cold + cracking, paired with sweaty + sensitive + prone to breakouts. What's a girl to do?

When it comes to skincare, I keep my products to a minimum - I only use brands that are gentile, mostly natural and safe on sensitive skin. Burt's Bees is almost always my go-to.

Burt's Bees products are 99% natural, and more than half are 100% natural. Their products contain the right mix of ingredients from the earth to help nourish your skin cleanly, safely and naturally.

In. 100% in.

I'm typically hesitant to try face masks (hello, what if my whole face reacts to it!?), but decided to give it a shot when Burt's Bees sent me their Intense Hydration Treatment Mask with clary sage. This mask helps increase skin's ability to retain moisture while reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. 

Well, it's no fun to do a mask by yourself, so I coerced my roommate Meg to join me. The words "natural face mask," "hydrating skin," and "anti-aging" helped. And the wine. And Girls (Meg's currently binging to catch up since the new season has already started! Eeek!)

The result? Well, we looked fabulous. And my skin feels like a mother 'effing dream.

In all seriousness, my face feels unbelievably hydrated, and silky smooth. The directions say to allow the mask to soak in for roughly 10 minutes. After the 10 minutes, you can wipe the excess away and rub the rest in, but honestly, Meg and I left it on. It blended in pretty quickly, and soon after it felt like we didn't have anything on our faces. I briefly wet my face down before going to bed, but other than that, I left the entire mask on. 

The result was great - my skin felt incredibly smooth, and even better, hydrated. Since we did the mask the first time (earlier in February), I've done the mask one more time and the result was just as great. I also put some of the lotion on my feet (weird?), because they were feeling ultra dry from all my time in the studio. Same great result.

The verdict? Highly recommend!

|| Photos are property of Mountain Shadow Morning. Must give credit || 

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Mood: March Feel

March, please tell me spring is on it's way. If it isn't, I'm celebrating anyway with new greenery, lots of yoga, crisp new candles and a fresh new 'do.

one || two || three (owned) || four || five || six 

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