It’s a lazy fall Saturday evening. The perfect time to put together my favorites for fall really quickly while the house naps. There are so many fall trends I’m loving this year! Ponchos are back and I am no stranger for a good knitted poncho. I can wrap up in one of these babies and be cozy anywhere. Big brim fedora’s are another big “yes please!”. I did a shoot this past weekend in Michigan’s New Buffalo Harbor for the gorgeous Marina Grand Resort (MICHAEL AND I HIGHLY RECOMMEND YOU VISIT THEM) and was lucky enough to wear one of these classics for the shots at the Dablon Winery (WE HIGHLY RECOMMEND THAT YOU MAKE YOUR WAY TO VISIT THESE LOVELY FOLKS – WINE TASTING 6 WINES $10!). The fedora hat had everyone with hat envy, and this one from Topshop is a great bargain!
Click on the images above to find out more about my favorite picks for fall.
Land of Nod has always been my favorite children’s furniture store, so of course they are my first choice in designing rooms for kids. This woods inspired bedroom for a boy or a girl is perfect for the lover of the outdoors. Natural wood next to white are my favorite combination; it’s a Scandinavian look I can’t get enough of. Black and white linens are another favorite of mine and look beautiful next to wood or tan colors. This room above would be beautiful with bright white or bone white (Benjamin Moore) walls. Navy blue or robins egg blue would be another great option for the wall color and or linens.
I hope my woods inspired bedroom design inspires you!
It’s that time of year again, when roasted chicken recipe’s pop up on the news feed as much as popsicle ideas during the summertime. So heck, why not participate. Tis the season, lets enjoy!
Our recent trip to Garden Patch Farms this past weekend had us swimming in apples, apples and more apples. We also picked up raw honey and an organic chicken we couldn’t wait to enjoy. So I got to thinking, lets throw these ingredients we love together and add a little unexpected spice for some fun. I think the best dishes are the ones we have fun with and don’t take too seriously. Lets see what happens! There was only one thing, Mike and I felt pretty guilty that Zoë had become good pals with the chickens on the farm on Sunday…and now we were about to have one, excuse me, for dinner. How do you explain this to a soon to be 3-year-old?! We hoped she wouldn’t see any resemblance to her new friends she fed for an hour and we were super careful not to call our delicious meal a chicken or heck even a bird. Out of respect, we gave her mac and cheese for dinner.
My Honey Glazed Tequila Lime Roasted Chicken (say that 5 times lol) turned out amazing! Organic chickens have so much great flavor. It’s seriously worth shopping for groceries on a farm whenever you have the chance. Lets just bring farms to the city please…Anyways the raw honey is a must, there’s nothing better – it’s so freak’n delicious! The tequila lime seasoning came from Whole Foods, Mike and I recently spotted it and had to have it – it’s better than we dreamed! The apples we picked from the farm were the perfect complement, which I placed around the chicken in the pan; I thought how sweet it would be for the juices to all blend together.
Enjoy this delicious bird in the spirit of fall; hopefully without too much guilt. It nearly brought us to tears it was so good.
Clean chicken and pat dry with paper towels inside and out. Place into a roasting pan.
Slice up one lemon and put inside the cavity.
Juice the 2nd lemon, drizzling over the skin of the chicken. Spread the Tequila Lime rub generously (you can't put too much of this good thing, it's mouth watering-ly delicious).
Scatter apples around the chicken.
Sprinkle the chicken and the apples with salt and pepper.
Drizzle honey over chicken and a little over apples.
When the oven reaches the desirable temperature, place the chicken into the oven and roast for 50-60 minutes, or until done. Remove it from the oven and baste it with the juices, let stand for 15 min before serving.
This past Sunday we took a drive up to our favorite organic farm, Garden Patch Farms, a great place to bring the family. We were excited to do some apple and peach picking! We invited my mom to join us on our adventure, she had never gone apple picking before. I can tell you this, there is nothing like eating from the land. Fruits and vegetables taste as they should, incredibly sweet and yummy. The peaceful sounds of nature feel right to me. I’m born a city girl, but in my heart there is a soul longing to live out in the country. My family is from Nicaragua, and they live off the land there. Fruit trees grow behind the houses, chickens run free…what’s for dinner could often be that chicken that just chased you back inside the house (my mom lived that story). I know there’s a ton of work keeping a farm going, but it has been my life long dream.
We ate and ate, nothing beats a freshly picked apple. Besides we needed to taste check what we were buying 😉
Meanwhile our angel slept through our apple picking extravaganza…ZZzzz
But I was in my glee!
We found PEACHES!!!
Nanna guarding our treasures.
Finally, Zoë woke up to join the party! Imagine waking up to to find your parents eating fruit from the trees like monkeys – it took her a second to adjust.
It was a GREAT day! You can check out our Garden Patch Farm adventure last year here!
A lot has been going on around here that would explain my absence from this virtual space I call Girl Nesting. The most time-consuming was that Michael and I made a decision to get our loft ready to list. I know I know, I said we would never move. But I started to get this itch to have more space and it was just driving me bonkers. This could have been partial to the fact that my clock is still ticking, loudly. The big question has been chasing me like a nutty stalker. Should we have another child? Hmm. First of all, me having one child was a true miracle. Do I want us to go through all of that again for another? Nope, not really, can’t say that I do. I don’t know what life has planned for us. It sure had its mind made up about our darling girl Zoë – she’s a gift. We couldn’t be more in love with our daughter. I could never have imagined having a child who could make me laugh so, worry endlessly and well…I just feel like my heart is swollen with love ever since her arrival. We are blessed with a wonderful daughter. Zoë is like the meaning of her name, full of LIFE. I’m not sure we could handle another, sanely (smiling at this fact). She’s so lively – her endless energy wears us out. I want to laugh out loud writing that, but I’m afraid to wake her; the house is sleeping. Hmm. Right now I am just living with a smile on my face; sometimes the smile looks more like a smirk, I admit. I’m finally not wanting more. I’m just enjoying what I do have and taking care of it as best as I can. I’m enjoying the present moment.
I am practicing the art of Mindfulness. Mindfulness roots from Buddhist meditation, it means living with full awareness of self in the now. The present moment. Being fully aware of one’s own thoughts and feelings in the present without judgement of what we may think is “right” or “wrong”. To stop rehashing the past or imagining the future. It’s about being present in the present. This practice lifts off the pressure we tend to put on ourselves. Clears our mind of unnecessary baggage. Makes us appreciate this very moment. It seems so simple but actually is very hard to do. Our minds just tend to drift off to things we regret or wish for. Re-teaching our thoughts to stay present takes practice.
My husband Michael has been on his own journey of mindfulness, it’s a private discovery. He’s found peace hiking up the mountains in Utah when he’s there for work. He sets time for just himself. 4 hours he hiked up the mountains and back to some natural springs he was only promised would be there. He told me it was amazing to just keep going even though there was no way of seeing the goal. He said he started to worry if it was even there at all, and he was running out of water. But he kept going and ran into an old man who was sitting on a rock taking in the view. The man reassured him it would only be another 45 minutes, to just keep going, “you’ll get there”, he said. Like a fable. When he did reach the springs he thought about his life. The past, the future and then finally the present. He took a photo of his view to keep for himself. I will not be sharing that pic, it’s really beautiful, but it’s also something you’ll just have to see for yourself on your own journey.
Michael and I recently celebrated our 5 year wedding anniversary. These photos are from our trip to Utah together where we toasted to our journey. There was something different about this anniversary. A sense of awareness…or really more like two people who are in transition and are completely aware of it all happening. Mindfulness.
Why Practice the Art Of Mindfulness
Studies have shown that practicing the art of mindfulness can bring a variety of physical, phycological and social benefits. Here are a few below:
Mindfulness is good for our bodies. It actually boosts are immune systems and fights off illness!
Mindfulness is good for our minds. It is found that mindfulness can increase positive emotions while reducing negative emotions and stress.
Mindfulness changes our brains. Research found that mindfulnesschanges the grey matter in brain regions linked to learning, memory, emotion regulation and empathy.
Mindfulness helps us focus. It helps us tune out distractions and improves our memory and attention skills.
Mindfulness helps us foster compassion. We are more in tune with understanding the suffering of others and more likely to help someone in need.
Mindfulness enhances relationships. Research found that mindfulness training helps couples be more satisfied in their relationships, makes each partner feel more optimistic and relaxed, and makes them feel more accepting of and closer to one another.
Mindfulness is good for parents and parents to be. Studies have shown mindfulness may reduce pregnancy related anxiety, stress, depression in expecting parents. Parents who practice mindfulness find to be happier with their parenting skills and their relationships with their kids, and their kids were found to have better social skills.
How to Cultivate Mindfulness
Mindfulness can be cultivated through formal meditation, but that’s not the only way. You don’t have to sit in lotus position to tune into mindfulness. It’s about living your life with awareness that every moment matters.
Here are a few key components in practicing mindfulness:
Pay close attention to your breathing, especially during intense emotions.
Notice, really notice what you’re sensing in a given moment. The sights, sounds, smells that ordinarily slide past us without conscience awareness.
Be aware that your thoughts and emotions are fleeting and do not define you. This awareness will free you of negative thought patterns.
Tune into your body’s physical sensations. Example: the breeze brushing against your face.