We welcomed the month of September with the “stay-cation” version of our honeymoon. September 1st was our last day before we had to go back to reality (and back to work). I think I spent the majority of the day organizing my desk area (so exciting), chilling out and then we had dinner with my parents on their deck and did some laundry. Sometimes we really know how to party, ya know? But after 10 days of indulgences in France, plus our wedding before that, it was probably the best way to spend our last day of vacation. It’s been nice to ease back into life as it used to be “pre-wedding-planning.” In other words, we can spend our weekends roasting a chicken and making pizza rather than double-checking guest lists and making centerpieces. Speaking of September, here is a fun article about that classic song of the same name. And here are some things I’m loving this month:
cookbooks – Duh, I’m always reading cookbooks. But this fall there are some really great ones hitting the shelves. Currently I’ve been enjoying Seriously Delish by Jessica of How Sweet It Is, and Easy Gourmet by Stephanie of I Am a Food Blog. I actually got to meet Jessica at her cookbook signing in Philly on Saturday!!!! She told me she reads my blog so I tried not to poop my pants in excitement. (Hi Jessica!!) That definitely made my day, if not my year. Other titles that are either on their way to me or high on my wish list are: Homemade Decadence by Joy the Baker, Smitten with Squash by Amanda of Heartbeet Kitchen, The Ovenly Cookbook, Huckleberry by Zoe Nathan, and Dinner: The Playbook by Jenny of Dinner: A Love Story.
Clinique Baby Tint – I wear Clinique makeup almost exclusively because I LOVE IT. I appreciate that their products are all fragrance free and dermatologist-tested for sensitive skin, especially when it comes to eye makeup since I wear contact lenses and have to be careful about makeup in that area. So when they come out with a new product, I usually get really excited. (Have you tried their nail polishes?! They’re amazing.) I recently received a mini version of their new Chubby Stick Baby Tint Moisturizing Lip Color Balm in my seasonal “free gift with purchase.” This product is basically a chapstick that goes on sheer, but then it reacts with the natural pigment in your lips and makes the color “bloom.” The color ends up being different on every person since it’s reacting to the individual’s pigment. I don’t normally wear lip color unless it’s a special occasion, but I’ve been wearing this every day. (I have it in “Budding Blossom.”) I love it because it’s subtle (at least on me), and just bumps up my natural lip color a notch or two. And since it’s a stain, it lasts for most of the day, so it doesn’t wash off as soon as you eat something, etc. I have no idea how this works scientifically, but I think it’s pretty cool. (PS – I love most of their “Chubby Stick” products in general. Plus, that name makes me giggle.)
Adidas miCoach app – I started using the miCoach app before the wedding as part of my “wedding diet,” and I’ve continued to use it after the wedding (as part of the “post-honeymoon diet”). But really, my main goal is for it to help me become a stronger, faster runner, and I think it’s definitely working. I’ve already shaved off about 30-45 seconds from my comfortable mile pace, and what used to feel difficult for me feels really easy now. I’ve been doing the “lose weight” program as opposed to one of the distance-focused programs. My runs now have intervals with different speeds (start off slow for 5 minutes, go harder for 5 minutes, slow down again, etc.), and I enjoy that because it breaks up my run a bit and makes it more interesting for me. The app also has some strength and flexibility workouts, and it’s highly customizable. I would definitely recommend it if you’re trying to get into a better running routine.
Postcards for Ants – My friend recently sent me a link to this article about a project by Lorraine Loots of Cape Town, South Africa. She has been creating a miniature painting every day since January 1, 2013. And when I say “miniature,” I mean miniature – they are about the size of a small coin. This blows my mind! And to top it all off, the paintings are drop-dead gorgeous and extremely detailed. After 2013 she decided she wanted to keep going with the project (which was supposed to last a year), so for the year 2014 all of her paintings are inspired by Cape Town’s designation as World Design Capital 2014. She sells the original paintings (all of this year’s are already sold out) and 5 limited edition postcards of each one. (Some of those are still available.)
Illustration at top created with mixed media (pencil, colored pencil, marker, etc.) and Photoshop.
Prints of my illustrations are available in my Etsy Shop.