Last month I kicked off a new series called the Creative Habit, inspired by Twyla Tharp’s book The Creative Habit (which I highly recommend reading). For September’s Creative Habit challenge, I encouraged you to embrace the last few weeks of summer weather and go outside every day. However, I really urged you to take it a step further, be present in the outdoors, appreciate your natural surroundings, and remove the extraneous technology, noise, and distractions to better connect with your environment.
Now that fall is in full swing, we’re slowly but surely beginning to spend more time inside. Sometimes these cooler months and increased confinement indoors can really stifle our creativity. We may start to feel more lethargic and less inspired to be creative. That’s why it’s more important than ever to develop and maintain a creative routine!
As we get older and as technology advances, we begin to work with our hands less and less. Instead of writing with pen and paper, we type on a keyboard or tap on a touchscreen. Instead of making cookies from scratch we buy dough at the store or order a batch on Seamless. When was the last time you gardened or painted or did any type of work with your hands?
I recently had an experience that reminded me of the value in working with your hands and experiencing the sensation of touch. I attended a Salsa/Burlesque class, and the instructor encouraged us to touch and feel the movement of our bodies as we danced and use our hands as an extension of movement through our arms. It was here I remembered how the hands can be used as a mode to express and communicate. I realized what a powerful tool we have available to us.
During the month of October, make a creative habit of working with your hands. Find a fun DIY project or pottery class and build something. Pick up an instrument or take a sign language class. Get festive and carve a pumpkin or craft a handmade Halloween costume. The opportunities are endless! How are you going to take on this month’s Creative Habit challenge? Please share your experience making a habit of working with your hands using the hashtag #AOCBlogCreativeHabit
Crave, a verb:
1. To long for; want greatly, desire eagerly
2. To require; need
The routine has become second nature to us. We open our Facebook page, Twitter app, Instagram feed, Pinterest board, we start scrolling, and we click, click, click away at that little Like button as something passes by that strikes our fancy. In what feels like a matter of minutes, an hour passes, we close the tab or window or app, and we resume our day. But what happens to all the Likes? Just as quickly as we endorse a photo, article, video, we forget. Where does all our interest go? Is it really that fleeting? Or are we so overloaded with things we Like that the next time we visit our accounts, we hastily move on to the next interesting thing?
Call me a virtual hoarder, but I compile my Likes. I visit my activity log on Facebook, view posts I’ve liked on Instagram, scroll through my favorites on Twitter, and look through my likes on Pinterest. And in a much less robotic and more engaged manner, I extract the information I actually like and bookmark it in a folder called Cravings. Here are some of the most recent things I crave:
Longing for… sandal season? Add an open-toed clog to your spring and summer shoe collection. Bryr clogs are designed and handmade in San Francisco using traditional European wood bases and American leather.
Hungry for… innovative eats? Download Tastemade to watch food adventures, cooking shows, and local quicktakes. Find the perfect recipe for your next dinner party or the tastiest restaurant for your next date night or girl’s night out.
Yearning for… European style? Check out the Italian clothing and accessories brand Lazzari. Thanks to their collaboration with amazing North Carolina based artist Jordan Grace Owens, I discovered this unique European label.
THE NEW POTATO
Itching for… an innovative online magazine? Add The New Potato to your reading list. It started with sisters Danielle & Laura Kosann and the basic concept, “everyone has to eat.” From there, they blur the lines between food, fashion, design, and media in every article.
Pining for… a new leather bag? Look no further than By Elke. These one-of-a-kind and small-run leather and vintage canvas bags are handmade in Boulder, Colorado using repurposed, antique, and vintage materials.
For the past three days we’ve all been basking in the glory of the first festivities of the summer. The Memorial Day holiday kicks off the first of many extended summer weekends, vacations, and holiday get-togethers to come over the coming summer months. It was a fantastic three-day weekend, but… we’re feeling out of shape from overindulging… we’re feeling exhausted from overextending ourselves… we’re feeling pain from overexposure to the sun. Gearing up and getting back to the grind after a holiday weekend can be difficult. Don’t let summer adventures dull your productivity! Check out my 3 cures for a post-holiday hangover.
Cleanse Your Palate
Summer festivities always seem to consist of salty food and an abundance of alcohol. These refreshments in combination with the summer heat leave us deeply dehydrated and feeling bloated and lethargic. Before you head to hot yoga or out for a run to detox from overindulging, cleanse your palate by replenishing nutrients and hydrating. Smoothies are a social butterfly’s best friend in the summer months. There are endless seasonal ingredient options for smoothies in the summer, so it’s easy to have the necessary ingredients on hand. Smoothies are super refreshing and satisfying – they’re a surefire way to energize yourself after an extended summer holiday! New to smoothie-making and need some help pairing ingredients perfectly? Follow MyBOD Wellness on Facebook and Twitter for weekly recipe inspiration!
Master the Summer Up-do
When you’re heading back to work after a holiday, you’re likely feeling exhausted from travel and endless activities, parties, and events. You don’t particularly FEEL GOOD, so the last thing you care about is trying to LOOK GOOD. By now you probably know my theory that feeling good and looking good have a cyclical relationship. So, if you’re able to put in a little effort to LOOK GOOD before you head back to work, you will FEEL GOOD and hopefully be more productive post-holiday. The key to looking good when feeling lazy is mastering the summer up-do. There are endless summer hair tutorials out there, many of which seem complicated and unattainable without the help of a celebrity stylist. However, I found two with realistic options for the everygirl: Easy Summer Hairstyles by Self Magazine and Fresh DIY Ponytails by Refinery 29.
Sooth the Sunburn
I was fortunate enough to get a base tan on my Mexico getaway back in April. However, I’m a pale girl with Irish blood, so for those of you who stepped into the sun for the first time this season over Memorial Day, I feel your pain, literally. If you’re fair skinned like me, you know that no amount of sunscreen can truly prevent you from getting burned during the summer when we spend significantly more time outdoors. My northern girls also have particularly sensitive skin come summer after being bundled up in a parka for the past six months. It is essential that you have some remedies to sooth the sunburn on hand. Refinery 29 to the rescue again! Just in time for Memorial Day, R29 Beauty Director Megan McIntyre shared four Homemade Cures for Burnt-to-a-Crisp Skin.
We are well into the third month of 2014 – have you touched base with the goals you set for this year? When the New Year comes around, we typically set out with a lot of ambition and expectations. In January, I urged you to set a goal to FEEL GOOD and LOOK GOOD in 2014 by making small changes in your everyday life to produce big results.
When the year starts to pick up, we often lose sight of the goals we set in January. Don’t get discouraged when life gets in the way! You can always check back in with yourself and your goals. What better time to do so than the coming of spring? A new season is right around the corner, and spring is a great time for renewal and reviving your 2014 goals.
Need a little nudge? I’ve got 4 ways to FEEL GOOD and LOOK GOOD in March!
Instagram Inspiration from Bethenny Frankel, DVF, Splendid, Elizabeth and James, and Home on the Runway
The holidays are just days away, which means you are just days away from a little much needed rest and relaxation! Hopefully your holiday shopping is winding down, and starting these weekend you’ll be putting the final touches on all your plans. Take advantage of your time off by creating a little R&R To-Do List. Let me help you get started with some fun and festive suggestions:
TONIGHT: Make Limoncello
You know you’re going to need some spirits to stay in the holiday spirit. Start this Limoncello recipe tonight, and it’ll be ready by Christmas!
1 (750-ml) bottle vodka
3 1/2 cups water
2 1/2 cups sugar
TONIGHT: Use a vegetable peeler to peel the lemons. Place the peels in a 2QT pitcher, then pour the vodka in the pitcher. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to sit at room temperature for 4 days. CHRISTMAS EVE: Make a simple syrup by dissolving sugar in water. Cool completely, then add the simple syrup to the 2QT pitcher with the lemon peels and vodka. Cover and allow to sit overnight. CHRISTMAS DAY: Strain and discard lemon peels. Chill and serve! Cheers!
THIS WEEKEND: Throw a Wrap Party
You and your girls have all or most of your shopping done, and you could use an excuse to get together, share a couple cocktails, and wrap up the holiday season with a wrap party! Have each of your friends bring some wrapping materials: a roll of paper, ribbons and bows, gift tags, etc. Then you can share the wrappings and have a variety of gift wraps under your tree! If you want to spice up your get together, have each girl bring an appetizer, dessert, or drink and make a real party out of it. You’ll enjoy some much needed girl time and you’ll be getting things done – guilt free fun!
DURING THE HOLIDAYS: Read a Book
You know I’m always encouraging you to keep a reading list, and the holidays are the perfect opportunity to finally have some down time to pick up a book. While the kids are playing or while grandmother is cooking, curl up and read! If you need some suggestions, one of my all time favorite blogging resources, Independent Fashion Bloggers (IFB) has 5 books to feed your mind before the New Year. With their list of business books, you can feel productive while you’re resting and relaxing.
POST-HOLIDAY: Watch a Movie
There are some awesome movies coming out on Christmas, American Hustle and The Wolf of Wall Street come to mind. IFB also has an awesome article about great fashion films available on Netflix. From documentaries to films, they’ll be something for you on this comprehensive list of 40 must-watch movies. Of course, if all else fails, a holiday movie marathon is always appropriate during this season. Add a movie to your R&R to-do list!