I feel like a broken record, but spring is heeeere! May is always such a beautiful month, with wild flowers canvasing the hills, evening thunderstorms, and summer approaching.
In March I started making mood boards on Pinterest to capture the "aesthetic," if you will, of the upcoming month, and I've enjoyed keeping up with it. If you've never heard of mood boards, or vision boards/goal boards, they're a way to envision the things you want to do, the person you want to be, or the mood you want to embody for a certain season of life.
You can read more about mood boards and learn how to make a physical version here!
May's "mood" encompasses lots of beautiful things - watercolors, berries, raindrops, coffee mugs. Yes please.
Here's my May Mood Board from Pinterest!
Do you have any goals, visions, or a mood for this month? Have you captured them with a mood board, either physically or on Pinterest? I would love to see your mood boards!
It's Sunday again and the weeks seem to be going faster and faster as the school year comes to an end. Daniel only has one final left and I have basically the month of May.
April was an interesting one. There were lots of highs and lows to deal with. We celebrated a few birthdays and my brother's wedding, we both landed jobs (more info to come!), and we got to participate in some fun things with our church community. On the other hand, we've been dealing with some other things, like my own bout of bad news, the challenges of life changes, and the tiredness of the semester.
But April was good for me. It was stretching, which can be painful but is ultimately worth it. You may have read my post earlier last month about how it's okay to not be okay, and that kind of sums up the month for me. I'm growing in many areas of my life and it's okay if that looks messy. It's okay if I cry, it's okay if I need a minute to just do nothing, it's okay if I let go of some things to focus on others. Basically, it's okay if I slow down.
Since you've been hearing from me here less frequently lately, I wanted to share a bit about what some of those areas have been and what I've been doing with my time. That feels a bit scary for some reason? But I just want to share what my life has looked like the past month or so.
The past few months have felt like a lot of preparing for me. Lately I've felt like I'm in a constant mode of rearranging and refining our apartment, even though we're nearing 5 months of living here. Part of that has to do with the minimalism challenge I attempted in April that I'm still kind of working through. And maybe 5 months really isn't as long as I think?
I've also been preparing a lot for my upcoming job, which is teaching kindergarten in the fall (yay!). I'm beyond excited for this stage of my life to finally be here! I'm stock-piling activities as well as making some of my own, so that has been a small bit of my time in the evenings recently. I really can't wait to put my classroom together.
Beyond what I can go ahead and tangibly prepare, I've been doing a lot of dreaming of what's ahead. Of course, I probably have lots of notions about teaching that won't work exactly as imagined, but it's still fun to think creatively about what I hope my classroom will be like.
As well as dreaming of teaching, I've also been dreaming of the future in general - where we'll go when we leave Waco, what our first actual home will look like, what our children will be like.
Babies. My pondering has been filled with lots and lots of babies. Just to be honest.
I've also been dreaming up summer plans and travel destinations, although nothing solid just yet.
Along with kindergarten activities, I've been creating different little things here and there, from some simple Peter Rabbit drawings for my niece's birthday party to paintings for my Etsy shop. You may have also seen my potato stamping project, which was a lot of fun. I can't say I've made anything too earth shattering as of late, but doodling in my journal and painting flowers onto sticker paper has been somewhat therapeutic for me. Creating can be more about the process than the outcome, no?
Part of slowing down for me has meant being okay with not having a giant project to chew on. The result has been some tiny and refreshing bursts of creativity.
To be real, a lot of this past month has just been existing. Processing the changes that are taking place in my life, thinking through things, and being okay with doing absolutely nothing at times. Some evenings are blanketed with Netflix binges and Pinterest scrolling. Others with walks to the coffee shop. Others still with turning in for the night even earlier than usual.
Some days I get home from work and don't feel like doing much of anything but sit on the couch with Daniel, but I think that's okay sometimes. I've been sort of intrigued with this idea of "slow living" that's been buzzing around on my internet feeds, so we'll see where that exploring takes me. I definitely know that living life slowly and intentionally is not the same as sitting around lethargically. I'm working through getting to a point where that feeling of wanting to sit idly comes less frequently.
And honestly it already is. May is off to a good start. April was odd, but through the groaning growing it's put a little pep in my step for the new month ahead. I feel like the Lord is doing something new in my heart, and I'm eager to know more.
That's just a little update on what life has been like lately, however scattered it may have come across. I've been preparing, dreaming, creating, and being. I've been slowing down a little at a time, taking some extra moments to figure out this whole adult thing. I don't know that it's figure-out-able, but the process is sure interesting.
What's your life been looking like lately? I'd love to hear!
It's been a minute since I did a "Thankful Thursday." This Thursday I am particularly grateful for the new month and impending summer. Here's what else I'm thankful for today!
I'm thankful for:
And a snippet of the passage I read:
Lord, you alone are my inheritance, my cup of blessing. (NLT)
Have a happy Thursday! What're you thankful for today?
Happy May! This month is Mental Health Awareness Month, which was started in 1949 by the Mental Health America organization. When I read that it was started so long ago, I was a bit surprised! It seems we still have a ways to go in being fully aware of how to care for our mental health.
Of course, there's a lot that can be said about mental health, and providing a simple list of self-care ideas in no way scratches the surface. Mental health awareness is obviously more than sitting down with a hot cup of tea or giving yourself a spa day, but sometimes those small gestures can feel huge.
I wanted to share this list as a starting point that pretty much anyone could try, fully realizing that these simple activities are not prescriptive solutions to mental health problems, but rather small, everyday ways that someone could be intentional about taking care of themselves.
They may not be for everyone, but I hope you'll find something creative that you hadn't thought to try before.
Here are 31 Self-Care Tips, one for each day this month!
From this list I currently employ at least 10 of these on a weekly basis. They may not be ground-shaking, but they are simple and effective for daily mental health maintenance, especially when life is feeling stressful.
Do you use any of these self-care tips regularly? What other ways do you practice mental health awareness?
I probably say it every month, but April went by soo quickly! Daniel is done with the semester in just a week and I'll be done in less than a month. Summer is around the corner, and it couldn't come sooner!
You may have noticed that the blog was a little bit quieter this month. I scaled back a bit to focus on some other life things, but if you've been following along, thanks for sticking around through the slowness! In case you missed anything, here are the highlights from April.
Here's a list of all the posts from April:
Sneak Peek into May:
Here are a few posts you just might see around the blog in the upcoming month.
What are you hoping to see on the blog in May? I'd love to hear!
I'm not ready for the weekend to end. The weeks are going by quickly, but so are the weekends, and this particular weekend was one I wish could've lasted longer.
My Joy from this week was pretty much this entire weekend. Yesterday two of my best friends and college roommates came down for a visit. We spent the day shopping, eating, and hanging out.
We started off the day by making some super delicious garlic butter pasta at my apartment. We always loved cooking together in college, so it was a fun and nostalgic choice, not to mention easy and cheap.
After lunch we grabbed some ice cream at Heritage Creamery and popped next door for coffee at Common Grounds. I almost always get their cappuccino because they make a really good one. Then we pulled the top back on my friend's convertible Bug and let our hair whip around while we drove to our next stop, a local greenhouse called the Urban Reap (which you may have read about in my post here). We enjoyed looking at all the cute little flowers and herbs.
Next we went downtown to the Spice Village, which I had never been to before. It was really cute! Their slogan is "worth the climb" because it's up a pretty steep staircase. It definitely was worth it, because the store was a giant boutique with everything from antiques to clothing to nice candles and soap. Very "farmhouse chic," if that makes any sense.
We spent quite a bit of time just perusing. I basically have to smell every single candle on a display, ha. I didn't buy anything, but if I went again I would probably have to go in with a set budget.
When we left the Spice Village we did some more shopping at World Market and Old Navy, ate burgers and custard at Freddy's, and played a card game back at my apartment. It was a much needed girls day!
The wonderfulness of the weekend continued today as Daniel and I went to church, had lunch with some friends at a little cafe, and headed to my sister's house for our niece's first birthday.
Time with family, cake, coffee, presents, sweet baby giggles, bubbles, sidewalk chalk - it basically doesn't get better. I guess I'm pretty biased, but my nieces are literally the cutest kiddos on the planet. My sister attempted having a "cake smash" for the birthday girl, but she insisted on eating her cake with a spoon! She didn't want to grab the cake with her hands. It was hilarious and adorable.
We're ending the evening watching The Office on Netflix and eating pizza rolls. It's been a pretty chill weekend.
What's your Joy from the week?
This past weekend, my brother got married! It was so exciting to see him and his new wife make their vows to each other surrounded by our families, and on the top of a mountain no less!
They got married at sunset at the edge of a peak on the Rio Grande Village Trail in Big Bend National Park - how rad is that? We all hiked up the trail in our sun dresses, Chacos, boots, etc. and gathered around the happy couple as the sun cast gold ribbons over the river. It was absolutely stunning.
It was a long 8 hour drive for us to get there, and we wished we had more time to explore the park. Unfortunately, we drove down the morning of the wedding and had to drive back the next morning to be back for work and school on Monday.
We definitely want to go back again when we have more time to spend there! Daniel and I aren't super experienced hikers, but we enjoyed our trip to the Grand Canyon for our honeymoon and we like trying our hand at it from time to time.
Nevertheless, the trip was well worth it, and we're so excited for all that's ahead for my brother and new sister-in-law!
Two words: spring cleaning. It has me up the wall, y'all. It also has me simultaneously motivated?? I get in valleys where I'm bummed at how messy our place looks but have zero drive to fix it. Then the next day I'm whistling while the birds fly in the window and hang the drapes, you know?
Whether I'm feeling unmotivated or already inspired, I like to browse through Pinterest at beautiful spaces to either get out of the slump or to keep the momentum rolling with some new ideas.
With this minimalism thing I'm attempting, I've been especially intrigued by spaces with natural palettes and (obviously) fewer items filling the space, although not exclusively.
Take a look at this simple compilation of 9 beautiful spaces that will make you feel motivated to get your spring cleaning into gear.
Beautiful! Inspiring! Must clean my home and make space for beautiful things that I enjoy!!
But really, ha! These spaces give me some fresh perspective and make me feel ready to tackle the spring cleaning ahead.
Do you resonate with any of these beautiful spaces?
This week has been a good one! It was a shorter one because I had Monday off. It was overall pretty regular with some relaxing afternoons and some good news sprinkled in.
My Joy from this week would have to be the relaxing day my husband and I spent at home on Saturday. We slept in (as late as my body would let me, which was only like 7), made biscuits and eggs for breakfast, and basically hung out all day.
I continued the morning by doing some painting while Daniel played a video game. I'm setting up to sell my paintings at an event our church is hosting next week, so I was feeling motivated to make some new pieces - I'll be sharing them on my Etsy soon, too!
We ran a couple of errands, including a trip to the bike shop to get an air pump for Daniel's bike. I'm dreaming of putting a little basket on his handle bars and riding to the park with a loaf of bread and some cheese. Very Paris. Very summer. Legitimately needs to happen.
I also cooked up a super delicious dinner of baked chicken, garlic and Parmesan roasted potatoes, and green beans. We finally bought some actual garlic, which is a kitchen staple I have been slowly dying without. It makes food 3000% better, and pouring garlic butter over basically the entire meal did not disappoint.
After dinner we got a couple of ice cream cones from Dairy Queen and lounged around on the couch the rest of the evening. It was pretty perfect.
Today we're going to church and then I'm headed to a math workshop in San Antonio with some of the teachers I work with. I always kind of nerd out at workshops, honestly, so I'm pretty excited!
What's your Joy from this week? I'd love to hear!
Recent graduate + Wife
+ Kindergarten teacher
+ Coffee lover + Artist
I'm a twenty-something trying to figure out this adult thing and using my spare time to run an art shop on Etsy and write a blog about life, art, education, and travel.