Friday, August 18, 2017

10 Lingering Questions About the Solar Eclipse

So, the solar eclipse is happening Monday, and everybody has been talking about it — including NASA, which is probably obvious. While I've read a lot of articles about the eclipse on NPR, The New York Times, etc. nobody seems to be answering some lingering questions I have. Here's what's on my mind:

1. If I wear the same thing Monday that I do on Sunday, will nobody notice because it's dark outside?

2. Do you think people are going to go crazy and crime will be legal like in The Purge? This hadn't crossed my mind, but my friends Merry and Erin BOTH said this, so now I'm considering it as a possibility.

3. If so, do you think they're making an eclipse reality show and have a production team covering this? I know of one. (Jk that is a link to my fiancé's company and he would not think that's as hilarious as I do, but I'm just going to leave it and hope he doesn't read this blog post 🙃)

4. Can using the code ECLIPSE17 get me discounts on something? Anything?

5. You're gonna need some eclipse glasses. Are you going to remember to save them for the next one? No, absolutely not. (If you're anything like me).

6. Is there going to be a sequel to Interstellar ever? I'm waiting.

7. Do people have to go to work on Monday? Is school cancelled? Who wants to hang out?

8. Is it safe to drive during the eclipse?

9. Is it safe to do ANYTHING during the eclipse?

10. What if it doesn't happen? Does that mean science was wrong about everything?*

*note: this is highly unlikely, as I believe in science. But I suppose anything could happen.

**also note: the glasses pictured are not eclipse glasses from Walmart or Amazon or anywhere. They're just an old pair of regular sunglasses from The Loft — not safe for viewing the eclipse — but I think I got them on sale.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Queen City Gems, Vol. 1

If you've been hanging out here for a while or know me in person, you've probably heard my enthusiasm for my hometown. If not, this article I wrote on Medium aptly titled "How I Got Over Myself and Learned to Love my Hometown" is a good primer. In a nutshell, I believe we see what we want to in both people and places. Want to hate on everything? You'll find things to complain about. Want to smile? You'll find things to appreciate.

That being said, I've found there are lots of things to smile about in my hometown of Springfield, MO. Here are a few I'm jazzed about right now:

Ozark Mtn Flower Truck Opens This Month, Takes Instagram by Storm
I'm joking about the Instagram part... or am I?! Two sweet souls renovated a VW truck into a traveling flower stand in Springfield — they've been open for about a month now, and I'm sure I don't have to work too hard to convince you to stop by and see it. They're parked in various locations throughout the week (you can see their schedule on their Instagram), and it's so fun to be driving around town and spot the flower truck! It's like the same excitement a child receives from an ice cream truck, but adults are equally excited, and flowers last longer than ice cream. One of their owners, Cassie, told me she traveled in Spain for a bit, and she loved that there were fresh flower stands on nearly every corner. So, she came home and added a little Spain influence to SGF! Love it.

The Order Now Offers Brunch Monday-Friday, Thank You and Amen
I had the opportunity to check out this story for Feastand if you're looking for brunch on a Thursday in good 'ole Springfield, let me recommend The Order (located inside Hotel Vandivort). For extra details, check out the Feast article and/or The Order's website!

Former Beauty Editor Opens Skincare Boutique on Cherry Street
As if Cherry Street needed any more cool cred, right?! I met Courtney Dunlop, the founder of Good Skin Day, a few weeks ago and I was totally fascinated by her story. She's worked at all the top magazines (Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, etc.) and did consulting with Clinique before moving back to Springfield to open Good Skin Day. It's located inside Lavaré Spa, and I found her to have a wealth of knowledge about skincare — she has even has two entire lines of all-natural products, if that's your jam! Her two pieces of advice that I've really taken to heart are "always wear SPF" and "beware of any diet that tells you to cut caffeine". (🙌🏻) You can find her website and follow Good Skin Day on Instagram.

Know of any cool stuff in SGF that I should be aware of?! Email me, or DM me on my Instagram!

Friday, August 11, 2017

My Bullet Journal

Happy Friday! Since I've transitioned into the full-time freelance world I admit my weekdays and weekends occasionally blur together, but for most people, Friday means one thing: hello, weekend!

Speaking of full-time freelance.. What a transition! I didn't think switching from having a "real" job to working from home would be so challenging, to be honest. It has been a whirlwind! I'm trying to make sure I still keep elements of a routine going because while I disliked waking up at 6 a.m. every day to work in an office full of fluorescent lighting, there were some benefits to having a clear-cut schedule. It's not as hard to know when to work, rest or play when you have a boss and coworkers to be accountable to.

I saw my friend Jordan post about her bullet journal recently, and I remembered hearing about this method of schedule management on The Internets™a while back. So I wanted to try one and see if it helps me feel more prioritized and put together!

I am 100% new to bullet journaling — like, three days new. But here's why I liked the idea of it:
  • it's analog. I have never found online calendars to work for me. Even when I set reminders and alerts, I just feel so much more scattered online than I do on paper. Also, how many times have I opened a browser to check my Google Calendar and wound up on Apartment Therapy or Facebook instead... Oops!
  • It allows for flexibility. The creator of the Bullet Journal method recommends you don't schedule out your tasks and to-do's for more than a day at a time. I think that's a little extreme — I've been scheduling out my to-do's weekly since I began freelancing, but flexibility is something I need during this season when deadlines get moved or I'm working with clients on a fast turnaround.
  • You can keep everything in one place. The idea is that you can keep your calendar, shopping list, themed tasks and to-do's (wedding planning, anybody?!) all in the same place. That makes me feel more sane than having three, four or five notebooks to juggle (and potentially forget somewhere).

I think what I like most about bullet journaling is that it's really customizable — some people get super creative with them and others stick to the nuts and bolts. I learned the basics of setting mine up from the video on the Bullet Journal website, and it's very simple at this point. We'll see what happens as I keep using it!

I'm not sure if bullet journaling will be the end-all, be-all method for me, but I'm going to try it for a few weeks and see if I can get the hang of it. I'll share an update on my thoughts after a little while! What do you guys think about scheduling methods, whether you've used a bullet journal or not? Any tips, tricks, etc.?

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Watermelon and Mint Salad (15 Minutes!)

Hi guys! It's #NationalWatermelonDay (lol who makes these things up?), so I wanted to show you one of the easiest, tastiest recipes I make at home. This is one of the best summer salads out there; watermelon is a summer food. Friendly reminder to each of you who keep saying it's about to be fall. Please don't crush my summer-loving dreams yet!

Bonus points: It's pretty healthy unless you're a non-cheese eater! And if you are a non-cheese eater, you could skip the cheese and add a dash of pepper. If you try that version, let me know. I think it would taste good, but I'll be honest, I just made that up off the top of my head — so it is *not* tested and approved.

Here's the tested and approved recipe.

- 1/4 watermelon
- 1/2 cup feta cheese
- 3 sprigs of mint (bonus points if you pick them from your own garden!)

This recipe serves two as a side salad, or one for lunch. Or if you're REALLY healthy, this could be a great dessert. I'd rather have cheesecake for dessert, but I'll be impressed if this is your dessert.

Chop up watermelon into bite-sized pieces. Add feta and mint leaves. That's literally it! Eat it!

I honestly don't think this would even take 15 minutes if you're a fast chopper. 15 minutes is more like the time it takes to fix it and eat it. The recipe is easily doubled, tripled, quadrupled, etc. to feed a big gang, too! I've made it for baby showers and wedding showers, and it's always a hit.

Oh, also, my mom showed me how to make this. She's the best.

Anyway, let me know if you try that pepper thing! xo!