Wednesday, October 29, 2014

the story of a butterfly

"The season of loneliness and isolation is when the caterpillar gets it's wings."

When I was visiting Cleveland, we took the Ferry over to Put-In-Bay and visited a quaint little winery on the island. As we were leaving my mom spotted a Monarch butterfly, still in caterpillar form, munching on a Milkweed plant. Mom started stressing that the caterpillar wouldn't possibly have enough time to transform and migrate for the winter before it got too cold. I walked back into the winery and asked for a cup so we could rescue her and bring her to Charlotte where the temperatures are significantly warmer this time of year.

Over the next couple of days we gave her a name (Cati) and we watched over her as devoured the Milkweed we took from the winery. Finally she spun herself a cocoon, and we waited...
...and waited...
...and waited...
...and FINALLY she HE came out!
Mom took him into our family garden where he was greeted by other migrating Monarch butterflies and let him stretch his wings.
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I feel so blessed to have grown up loving and appreciating nature and having a family that without a second thought, thought to remember nature in this moment.

"If nothing ever changed, there would be no butterflies."

Monday, October 27, 2014

pumpkin carving, welcome home, and understanding

This weekend one of our good friends came home from a 6 month deployment! Ally and Neal invited us all over to celebrate his homecoming and hosted a pumpkin carving competition! It's been a couple of months since I have seen these ladies and I have to admit I was a little nervous. While they have always kept me posted on dinners and events going on, my schedule hasn't seemed to line up. When I walked in the door, they welcomed me with open arms and super long hugs that I so badly needed. Later on in the evening, we all got to chatting and I apologized for my absence the last few months. I explained that I've been less than enthusiastic about being surrounded by couples (although it's never like that when we're all together). The reality is, in the military the majority of your friends are married couples, and when you're the only one whose husband is gone at the moment, it's easy to find yourself watching movies alone on Friday night unless you actively make the effort not to, and that is sometimes more exhausting. Without hesitation, they were completely understanding and compassionate and it had me almost feeling silly that I was so nervous addressing the issue with them and with myself.

Needless to say I told myself it was time to snap out of it and I am so glad I did because I adore these friends and this night was exactly what I needed!
Things got intense, we're clearly a competitive bunch.
Our finished creations! Nerd alert much? 
[Left to Right: Smaug, Pikachu, Darth Vader, Death Star, no idea what comic character that is, Jack from Nightmare Before Christmas]
The winners were Mindy (Smaug) and Mozzie (Darth Vader)!
Ally and I created Jack - the winner in my book!
Looking back on the past month, I think I've officially had my perfect fall fix, and I am so thankful for that.

Friday, October 24, 2014

tired toes

I have to wear closed-toed shoes to work, which it's probably one of the least favorite things about my job. Silly, I know; but I always choose an open toe or at least a peep toe if I can, I just feel more comfortable when my little toes can breathe, plus I spend that majority of the day standing. When I get home and kick off my shoes, and running from work to a dinner date, I like to give my hardworking feet little pick-me-up. 

The other day at the MCX I was browsing through the Earth Therapeutics products, a brand that I love, and their Tea-Tree oil foot spray captured my eye. I had what I needed, so I decided to make my own.

In a 4oz bottle, add 50 drops of Tea-Tree oil, 10 drops of Peppermint oil, 3oz of distilled water, 1/2 oz of Aloe Vera Gel (if you do not have this, just distilled water works just as well for the initial purpose of the spray - the Aloe Vera Gel is for softening the feet)

The natural antiseptic of the Tea Trea oil is refreshing while the Peppermint oil re-energizes those tired toes!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

you're toxic, i'm slipping under

Last night I had dinner with a friend that I met through Kate at Set This Circus Down. Laura and Kate have been friends since Kate lived in California. I initially met Kate through blogging because she moved to my hometown in North Carolina. Now, Laura is a military spouse with her husband stationed on the same base as mine! Isn't it such a small world? It was such a treat to meet this gal, and I am so thankful for Kate who kept in my ear about how much I needed to meet Laura!
Laura suggested one of my favorite restaurants, one that Ben and I go to often, so I was EXCITED (on top of being excited to meet Laura)!

I ordered my usual, the Kobe Beef Sliders which come with a small side of onion strings. I had been eating so well recently and I figured I could indulge a bit (or a lot in this case).

It was yummy, but when I got home and settled into bed, I started feel queasy and sick. It could have been the grease, the fried food, the white bread, but whatever it was, my body, that has been working so hard to remove the toxins I placed in it, was rejecting this meal.

For many reasons, after my husband left, I decided that I wanted to change my eating habits. I wanted to be the best me.
I wanted more natural energy!
I wanted to finally stop complaining to my friends about how I looked or how bloated I felt.
And I want to look good for my man.
Also, I've preached about using essential oils and trying to take the chemicals out of my home and out of the products I use. If I was going to remove the toxins from the outside, I needed to remove them from the inside too.

So last night when I had that "indulgent meal" and as sick as it made me feel, I am grateful for it. It was body telling me that the path I am on now is leading me in the right direction. And body, I am listening. 

It's a cleanse day! Yay! 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

get going

Last night I received a phone call from my husband, and with a broken heart that longed for him and tears in my eyes he gently reminded me that we cannot stop time. It was beautiful. Just in those four words he reminded me that as painful and hard as it may seem, this will pass, and in turn I shouldn't wish this time away any faster than it goes, because it's going, and I'll never get it back. 

[So here's to enjoying the moment, looking forward to the future, and the thrill of not knowing what lies ahead but having the bravery to move forward anyways, with my head held high.]

Monday, October 20, 2014

autumn arrival

Some girlfriends and I have talked about having a craft night once a month and we kicked it off last night with an Autumn Arrival/Pumpkin Painting Party! Since Southern California has clearly missed the autumn memo, I decided to bring it into my home...
On the menu was a White Chicken Chili (my aunt-in-law's recipe), a seasonal salad with cranberries and pumpkin croutons, and too many desserts for our own good. By the end of the night, we had all slipped deep into a food coma.
Goodies to go! (Thanks for making the scarves momma, the girls loved them)
Spiked Cider which simmered in the kitchen filling the house with the scent of cinnamon, oranges, and my favorite, clove.
And onto the painting!...

Friday, October 17, 2014

red barn

Can I be honest about this outfit post?
I just wanted some cool photos next to this gorgeous red barn.
Oh and an observation I made when I was visiting Ohio; California is turning me into a hippie one essential oil, yoga session, flowy top, full glass of wine, organic food choice, and shiny headband at a time. Time to move before I start making my own deodorant and body wash....
Oh wait?....
[Top: Forever 21, Jeans: American Eagle, Boots: Charlotte Russe, Earrings: Forever 21, Headband]
CHEERS!!! It's going to be a wonderful weekend filled with friends I've missed while I was gone, getting together a birthday package for my main squeeze, and soaking up the sunshine on the beach! Wishing y'all a weekend filled with an equal amount of joy, and recognizing that it can be found in the most simple things in life (like a red barn).