seven things

Well hey there, little blog! It’s been a while, hasn’t it?

I’d all but abandoned this blog when the busy season at my job started and I basically lived at the office. Afterwards, I was low on motivation and creative energy (and maybe feeling a little inadequate compared to some of the ultra-shiny bloggers out there with jillions of readers and glamorous sponsors). But my friend Annie recently jumped back on the blog bandwagon and reminded me that blogging should be fun and doesn’t have to be perfect!

I’m starting my grand re-entrance into the blog world with a quick ice-breaker. In no particular order, here are seven things I’m loving lately.

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1. The response to Hurricane Harvey

How could I not start with this? I love Texas and Texans. It has been so heartwarming to see people coming together, putting their differences aside, and, in some cases, literally dropping everything to help. My church’s worship leader borrowed a boat and headed down to Houston with a friend to get stranded families out of their homes and onto dry land. Austin Pets Alive! has had to turn away volunteers and is literally out of space for donations because so many people have showed up to help dogs and cats rescued from the coast. The residents of Rockport, Massachusetts, are raising $5,000 to help Rockport, Texas. And for once, the disaster has mostly escaped being politicized.

This is what Texas — and America — is about.

If you’re still looking for a way to support communities affected by Harvey, or a way to help specifically with the long-term recovery process, I hope you’ll consider contributing to the official Rockport-Fulton Chamber GoFundMe. Rockport holds a special place in my heart since my family has been going there for vacation since my dad was a kid. (My first fish below!)

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2. Pilates

I stumbled upon The Balanced Life while searching for at-home workout videos. I had always assumed Pilates required über-flexibility and was maybe a little snooty…but I am so glad I was wrong! I’ve been doing 20-30 minutes almost every day since March and have gained so much strength, stamina, and muscle tone. “I can’t wait to get home so I can work out” is now an actual thought that goes through my head.

Robin does an amazing job of making Pilates accessible and fun. I love her $19/month membership program, but she also has free videos on YouTube that are fantastic to dip your toes in. Better yet, join the free 7-day Back to the Mat challenge! If you’re looking to change up your workout routine (Or start it. No judgment here!), check her out.

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3. Harry Potter audiobooks

Audible now carries the entire Harry Potter series narrated by Jim Dale. If you grew up a Potterhead, you might recognize his voice from the cheesy (but, let’s be honest, amazing) PC video games from like 2002. Listening to his very comforting voice reading one of my favorite stories has been such a delightful way to brighten up my commute downtown!

4. Grapefruit sparkling water

I hate grapefruit, but for some reason grapefruit sparkling water hits the spot on these toasty summer days!

5. Sunshine

Y’all, I’m like a flower. I love sunshine. I need sunshine. There is nothing, in my opinion, like waking up to bright, cheery sunlight filtering through the blinds and spending every possible moment outside soaking up that warmth.

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6. TED Talks

I feel like I am a decade behind the rest of the Internet, but I just realized that TED Talks really are awesome. Here are a few I’ve watched lately that stuck with me.

I’m 17 // Own your face // The power of introverts // How to gain control of your free time // The wait is sexy // Looks aren’t everything. Believe me, I’m a model. // Why you should define your fears instead of your goals

7. Simplicity

This season is all about simplicity for me. Trimming down our stress and our stuff; spending more time being quiet, creating things, growing good habits. I feel settled and in a comfortable routine more than I have since high school. I guess that comes with being a quarter-century old, hitting my groove at work, and clarifying what is really important to me.

I hope to be back on this humble blog soon. Have a great week, friends!

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