20 February 2014

When the Dog Bites!

*I originally wrote much of this post weeks ago but for some reason it would not publish! Figure I might as well share it anyways...better late than never as my mama says! 

Today, I am sitting cozily on my little futon/sofa whilst my orange-scented Yankee candle is a burnin'. (Remember my friend, I am less than one year removed from college and am allowed, therefore, to still own a futon.) Our little apartment is filled with its lovely scent and my curtains are drawn, allowing me a panoramic view of the greyscale afternoon. I can't say its an extraordinarily invigorating day, but I am happy because all is calm. Also, I have been thinking lately about things that make me absolutely happier during the winter months. After all, I am in The Great White North and the winters here can be amazingly LONG. I really do believe, though, that my love for winter has grown since living in Canada. Bravo to the people organizing all of the festivals, food and restaurant escapades, concerts and other cultural events that keep everyone engaged during these frosty months! Even more than these wonderful things, though, I believe I have come to find that my favorite part of these quiet days are simple things.

So, à la Ms. Andrews, these are a few of my favorite things!:

1. Pretty details- Part of what inspires me on a bone-chillingly cold and bitter day, is surrounding myself with beautiful things.  They do not have to be grand, flashy or expensive, but they does have to lift my little spirit when I survey them around me. Candles are a bit of an obsession for me and bring a cozy ambiance to my apartment. I also strew cute objects like my vintage-looking Paris calendar and brightly-colored cook books around my space to make me feel happy to be home.

2. Books, books, books! Let me just ask you one question: what activity is better than being totally captivated by a book's entirely new world? Not many things my friend. Unlike clicking and flicking like a mindless bot (too much?) through Facebook, reading is instructive, engaging and absolutely exciting! I read a lot less now than I used to, so this year I am trying to read a new book each month. I finished "Cold Mountain," by Charles Frazier in the fall, and WOW, what a beautifully crafted story.

3. Nail polish-So, the thing is, I could never stay "in the lines" whilst coloring in preschool and I believe I am experiencing similar defeat in my nail painting life. Wearing bright colors like red becomes particularly amusing when I go rogue in my painting and it looks a bit like a I have just skinned something with my bare hands. But oh well, it still makes me feel pretty and polished on a dreary day.

 Oh hellooooo

4. Movies-No need to explain this one-watching movies is a delicious little indulgence which Lester and I probably give way to once a week. It sounds like a lot, but I can't help it! Escapism at its finest. Also, I recently watched Singing in the Rain for the very first time! I know, ridiculous, but I loved it!

5. Cooking!- Get your little self in the kitchen and whip up a beautiful little meal. This absolutely cheers my soul. Better yet, invite some friends or family to cook with you and set a pretty table around which you can enjoy the fruits of your labor. My favorite things to make during the winter are robust and warming soups, breads both savory and sweet, slowly braised meats, and deliciously seasoned winter greens! I love Food52 for inventive recipe ideas and blogs like La Tartine Gourmande for ambiance inspiration.

6. Reading my Bible! Did you see this coming? hehe. I have recently taken to making my coffee early(ish) in the morning and then spending time reading my Bible and journaling. While I love all of the things I mentioned above, I realize that none of those things can provide me with total refreshment and satisfaction. My hope and strength really do come from remembering who God is and what that means for me! He is a faithful God, promising to protect and provide for us in many ways, and forgive us for the times when we make mistakes. Which is honestly quite often for me. I am thankful for a God who is gracious! A simple but powerful verse is this:

"On the day I called, you answered me; my strength of soul you increased."
Psalm 138:3

Bonne semaine! 

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