Read With Me

Pages read in 2018 : 553.

This isn’t a competition or anything, but who is winning? Me or you? One of those books was poetry, so even I, the self-proclaimed reading champ, knows it shouldn’t count as full pages. Let’s not get hung up on the details. I just finished a book this morning at 5:30 AM, yes, I’ve been staying up that late early and it was so weird and wonderful and confusing that I really need to talk it out with someone. Thankfully, a friend loaned me the book so I can call him, but what about the next book? Who will be there to discuss? I’m trying to head this proposed catastrophe off by asking you to read with me

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Ideas For Celebrating New Year’s Eve At Home

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Haaaaappy New Year! Well, almost. The past two years I took it easy on New Year’s Eve. In 2015 I was actually at Katie’s house, alone, sitting on the couch watching a movie. All the cool kids (every single person) in the house went to sleep way before midnight! Last year, I hung out in Florida and found myself sitting around a patio table at midnight with a few close friends. It was intimate and amazing. I’ve also had my share of exhausting awesome nights. Two of my favorites were seeing Phish at Madison Square Garden and frolicking on a beautiful island in Thailand. I love it all, the quiet nights and the crazy ones.

This year, I’m attending a Vegas-style house party. Cute dresses, gambling with fake money, and a bit of boozin’. If it wasn’t for this party, I’m not sure exactly what I would be up to, but I’d definitely celebrate in the comfort of my own home. Here are a few unconventional New Year’s Eve ideas if you’re staying in this year. If you have another good suggestion, let me know.

Wine or beer tasting

Buy a couple bottles of different types of wine (Trader Joes has quality, inexpensive wine) or if you know what you fancy, maybe three bottles of the same type of wine. If you’re going the beer route, do a mixed six pack, again several types of beer or six of your favorite variety.

Set it up properly. If you’re drinking wine, allow each bottle to breathe for at least thirty minutes before the tasting. Set out an assortment of cheese, crackers, and some fruit. If you’re doing beer, cheese works, but you could also do some bar snacks or maybe soft pretzels. If you’re really in it to win it, take notes during the process. Document the look, feel, flavor, and your overall opinion of each drink that way you can better choose your fancy next time.

Pajama party

First, bring all the blankets and pillows out into the living room. Pile them on the carpet or on the couch and make the best little nest for yourself. Then shower and change into the coziest pajamas you own. If you have a robe, throw that over the jammies before slipping on fuzzy socks and slippers. Do you have dogs? Where are their pajamas? Put them on. Cue the music or your favorite movie and pj the day away!

Spa day

Everybody (dudes, I know you do too) has a drawer full of bath and body products that never get used. Today is the day. Pull them all out because this is basically a wine tasting, but with face masks.. for your skin.. not your taste buds. At the very least, your day should involve a lot of exfoliation, followed by layers of lotions and creams. If you’re on top of your game, a bath or at least a footbath and epsom salts should consume an hour of your day. Maybe your spa day includes making some of your own potions too. Here’s the recipe for our DIY bath bombs. Also, my dry skin cannot skip a day of Katie’s winter face oil.

Reading marathon

Vow to read a certain amount or maybe as much as possible in a single day. You switch back and forth between a few books to keep it interesting or throw in an article or maybe even a graphic novel, whatever you need to do to read, read, read. The little boy who read 100 books in a day originally inspired this idea. Thanks, Caleb!

Movie marathon

Are you illiterate? Watch some movies or a TV series instead. Apply a theme or pick your absolute favorites from 2017 or maybe your childhood? Can I recommend the movie Fargo and then the entire Fargo the TV series? Whatever you choose, try to do something to inspire the marathon instead of just binging on something random otherwise it will just seem like a day in front of the TV instead of a magical movie marathon, ya know? You could also be inspired by the marathon and dress up like a character or take on their persona for the day. Tell me you picked Cheech and Chong and now you’re stuck smoking weed all day? See how funky this movie marathon could be?!

Vision board

Have you ever created a vision board? I think of it like brainstorming for life instead of an essay prompt. Your vision board can be as complex or simplistic as you deem necessary, I think it’s best to really do it your way. Maybe you like to cut and paste or maybe you have fantastic journaling skills, that we’re all insanely jealous of. Whatever your chosen route, gather any necessary supplies, light a candle, and put on a soothing playlist. Now ask yourself the following questions and make sure you tell the truth when you answer.

Describe the life you envision. What gives you the most enjoyment? Who and what inspires you? What does your perfect day look like? Who do you love?  Set your life’s intention and create!

Declutter + Donate

Let it go, let it goooooo! Really though, just get rid of shit, you absolutely won’t miss it. My roommate and I leave a big cardboard box by the door and day by day we find things we can live without and place them in the box at the end of each week we drop it off at the Goodwill. The fewer things you have, the fewer things you need to organize and clean.

Gratitude List + thank you cards

Everyone loves mail. Everyone. Everyone. Every single person you know will be delighted to see an actual piece of mail in their box instead of a pile of junk. If you aren’t sure what to say, start with ‘thinking of you!’ and if it ends there, sweet, you just finished your first card. If you want to take it a step further, craft a few care packages.

No stamps?! Write out a gratitude list instead. It’s pretty straightforward, just jot down all the things you’re thankful for including big and small, human and inhuman, avocado and nonavocado. You can also be grateful for the absence of negative things in your life. For instance: I’m thankful there is no longer a travel ban on laptops and cameras and that I can fly through Doha without having to check my equipment at the gate. First world problems, ick.

FaceTime friends + family

I’m going to let you in on a revolutionary facetiming tactic. Set down the phone! Just have your partner prop you up somewhere and you do the same. Set your phone on a desk or windowsill or table and get on with your life. Maybe you’re cooking or crafting or watching a TV show, whatever it is, it’s much more fun together. I tend to become some combination of awkward, shy, nervous, and bored when I facetime so setting down the phone and doing something while I chat really relaxes things.

365 of something

sit-ups? push ups? sun salutations? a mantra? focused inhales + exhales? jumping jacks? pages of a book? things donated? wishes or intentions for the new year? ways to use coconut oil? things you’re grateful for? pieces of popcorn eaten? dollars earned? vacations planned? Okay, things are getting ridiculous, but now I’m off to make a list of 365 places I want to go.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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2017 : A Year in Readview

A year in Readview, get it? Of course you do. I’m so clever and it’s absolutely because of the books I read this year. I’m always asking other peeps what they’re reading and so I figured I should share my booklist from this past year as well. Below are most of the books I read in 2017 and a few I listened to. Unfortunately, I usually give away my books after i finish them and I am quite forgetful so there are bound to be a few books I’ve left off the list. Oops.

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Feel Better! {Bedside Necessities for the sick}

Poor Katie is sick and then I realized more than a few of my friends are too. I think it’s time to repost my bedside necessities for those sick days. Along with what’s listed below, get plenty of sleep and try to consume some fats, they’re great for your immune system.liveseasoned_winter14_feelbetter

Happy Friday Friends!! I’ve been feeling down and out for the past few weeks and I figured I would share my bedside necessities with you in case you’re in the same boat.  I’ve found these ten items really brighten my otherwise stuffy, achy, coughing-fits-forever type of days. Of course, I need things like cough drops, medicine, tissues, and soup too, but they come and go from my nightstand while these items are there around the clock.

Sarah’s Bedside Necessities:

  • Air purifying snake plant – makes me feel like something is actually alive and well in my bedroom…
  • Himalayan salt candleholder brightens my day. I love, love, love candles and crystals so combining the two just makes me smile that much more.
  • Mason jar + Cuppow filled with hot tea makes drinking in bed a little bit easier.  I love my leather Holdster too.
  • Ginger shrub and club soda is the perfect drink to settle the stomach and excite the tastebuds a bit, even when you have no appetite.  I also love having a jar of kombucha on hand.
  • A handmade lotion bar is a perfect solution for dry winter skin and lazy I-can’t-walk-to-the-bathroom-for-the-lotion-bottle legs.
  • Lip balm is essential for your dehydrated self. Katie actually made the one pictured and she is always crafting new batches for our Etsy shop!
  • A GIR lid is the perfect companion to a huge jar of icy cold water.
  • My tablet is the perfect bedside companion. I can read Kindle books without using an overhead light or browse Instagram for hours on end.
  • A few good books are great to have on hand. I just finished I Am Malala and I’m still crawling my way through How Emotions Are Made: The Secret Life of the Brain.
  • Soft lighting is key to comfort in my book. If I can’t have natural light, bring on the nice glow of a small lamp.

What do you need when you’re feeling sick?  Any of that jazz or something completely different? On that note, I hope you don’t need this article EVER! Stay healthy people!

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Holiday Habits Prompt

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, What’s up everyone?! Nothing too groundbreaking today, but as it’s the day after Christmas, I thought it would be nice to do a little recap on the holidays. We still have New Year’s Eve, but really, for the most part, the craziness of the holiday season is winding down.

If you will, pour yourself a mug of coffee or tea or maybe a glass of wine depending on when you’re reading this post, and let’s think through some things together. You don’t need to write these answers down, but it wouldn’t hurt. Sometimes putting pen to paper allows for a subtle release and acts as a tool for emotional exploration.

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The Shortlist : Our Favorite Christmas Movies

Jingle bells, Batman smells, Robin laid an egg… While we could ramble off a dozen holiday films, we’re sticking to the shortlist. None of these are really appropriate for kids unless they’re on holiday break from college. These are movies our family watches year after year, knows pretty much every word to, and yet still laughs at the same corny jokes. We force our husbands and boyfriends to watch and we don’t tolerate any criticism, especially when it comes to our absolute favorite, so let’s start there :

Mixed Nuts – A Christmas comedy that focuses on a small office of crisis hotline workers in LA. It’s one of those films where the entire thing takes place over the course of a single day. Starring Steve Martin, Rita Wilson, Madeline Kahn, Juliette Lewis, and Anthony LaPaglia with funny and skillful appearances by Liev Schreiber, Adam Sandler, and Rob Reiner this movie has a ton of talent. It’s super quirky and offbeat, but that’s what we love about it. You can watch it on Amazon.

The Family Stone – Is a *must* for our family because it mixes equal parts comedy with drama is a melancholy, we’re all gonna survive, but feel something sometimes sort of way. There are a ton of heavy hitters in this movie, so each character really holds their own, just a few are : Rachel McAdams, Claire Danes, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Diane Keaton and those are just the lead females. IMDB describes the plot as such : an uptight, conservative businesswoman accompanies her boyfriend to his eccentric and outgoing family’s annual Christmas celebration and finds that she’s a fish out of water in their free-spirited way of life. Totally true, but it’s more than that singular storyline. The Family Stone magnifies the intricacies of family life, especially when there are a bunch of siblings involved. I love this film and I think it does a fantastic job of giving a realistic view of life in a large family, especially when trying to introduce a new boy or girlfriend into the mix. You can watch it on Amazon.

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation – Another Christmas comedy with a few huge stars : Chevy ChaseBeverly D’Angelo, and wouldn’t you know it, Juliette Lewis as a younger, sassier character this time. I think the relatability of this movie is why everyone loves it, whether you can sympathize with the stress of hosting extended family for the holidays or decorating your roof with thousands of lights or potentially not receiving that holiday bonus you’ve already spent in your mind, you’ll be snorting while you sip your eggnog from your moose glass all evening. You can watch it on Amazon, but c’mon, you already have the DVD.

Bad Santa – Fuck, we love this movie. I googled it and apparently the word Fuck is said 159 times and Shit 73 times, but that’s not the only reason we’re a fan. Billy Bob Thorton’s acting is impeccable. I just learned that he was pretty trashed for filming to better play the part. We commend you Billy. I don’t think I need to say anymore, just fucking watch it, shit. Hooraaay! Bad Santa is on Netflix, but you can also watch it on Amazon. I heard the Director’s Cut is better, but I haven’t seen it yet.

Cheers!

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Winter Face Oil

The cold and dry air of winter has a way of wreaking havoc on our skin and nails. Our remedies include drinking plenty of water and creating barriers to moisture loss.

For our hands, we’re a huge fan of balms. Most of ours are made at home with a combination of beeswax, moisturizing carrier oils, and nourishing extracts and essential oils (think calendula, lavender, comfrey).

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We won’t shy away from using a balm on our cheeks if we’re heading out for a day in the elements, but for everyday use, we want some thing a touch lighter than. And that’s when we grab a DIY face oil.

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Deer Mountain Trail

Want to see more hiking posts? Click here. The only thing you’ll regret is the time spent in front of the screen instead of outside ;-).

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Today we’re sharing some photographs and info about our hike to the top of Deer Mountain in Rocky Mountain National Park. If you want even more info when planning a visit, leave us a comment, check out this post about winter camping in the park, or pick up this hiking guide (it’s super detailed and our favorite).

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Best Scary, Dark, Horror, and Halloween T.V. and Movies on Netflix

It’s scary movie time! Even if you’re a horror hater, you must watch at least one creepy flick this month. I recently watched The Houses October Built with a few of my friends and I was so surprised at how well done it was, more on that below. I decided to compile a list of my favorite Netflix shows and movies that veer towards the dark side. There are a few I haven’t watched, but are on the list, I’ll denote them with an asterisk* Happy haunting!

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The Fall – This is a Netflix original T.V. show and like the rest, it’s amazing. The Fall is about a detective trying to track down a serial killer.  This show is disturbing on a few levels. The serial killer is an attractive, unassuming family man, and the violence portrayed against women is pretty graphic. Maybe don’t watch this one if you’re a single lady living alone.

The Killing – Another Netflix original T.V. show, The Killing is based on the investigation that takes place after the murder of teen Rosie Larsen. I watched the first two seasons and then I faded out, but initially, it is a nail-biter.

*Mindhunter – I haven’t watched this one yet, but it sounds super interesting. Yet again, another Netflix original (they obviously know what viewers want) it’s about two FBI agents in the seventies who look at the psychology of murderers.

Hostel – I saw this movie in 2005 before I had ever traveled anywhere. I didn’t even realize what a hostel was or that this concept for shared bunk rooms was prevalent in most countries besides America, where there are surprisingly few. Eeeek, travel and horror, this one hits close to home.

Saw – All the Saws are on Netflix right now, but if you haven’t seen the first one, it’s by far my favorite. Saw is the type of movie that horrifies me because I didn’t even know such dark thoughts were possible. You’re a real freak, James Wan. Thanks for having a healthy outlet for your dark thoughts.

*Gerald’s Game – I haven’t seen this, but it has a rating of 9.1 on IMDB, which is unheard of for a horror film. Here’s the synopsis: while trying to spice up their marriage in their remote lake house, Jessie must fight to survive when her husband dies unexpectedly, leaving her handcuffed to their bed frame. I think the movie delves into the darker side of one’s psyche.

Gremlins – A classic and actually a lot freakier than I remember it being. Basically, a new pet turns into a thousand new mischevious little monsters that wreak havoc all over town.

The Babadook – A dark movie with an interesting theme. I really enjoyed how vague The Babadook was at times, but how evident it was during the final few scenes. A satisfying watch.

The Houses October Built – I thought the premise of this scary movie was sooo spookey. It’s about five friends on a road trip looking for the ultimate haunted house. They travel around looking for bigger and better scares until it seems like it’s being taken too far or is it all part of the haunt? Who knows?!

 

Hopefully you have a friend or at least a pet to watch these flicks with, if not, you may want to stick to the Gremlins. Good luck!

*And if you want to make a witch silhouette for your window, more on that in this post.
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