Planning Ahead

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Even though I am not a particularly organized person I have always LOVED planners.  In fact, I think it's precisely because I am not a particularly organized person that I love planners.  I tend to forget about things ten seconds after they are told to me so it is essential that I write everything down (I was definitely that girl in college who would show up to class having completely forgotten there was a test that day...) As the Fall quarter approaches I am on the hunt for a new, grown-up academic planner.  Here are a few that I'm currently eyeing... 

Sarah Pinto 2014-2015 Stripe Weekly Planner

Straightforward, streamlined, and classic.  This one has both monthly and weekly views, which is a must-have for me.  Plus, it's totally affordable!

I have to admit, the cover of this planner is totally what drew me in.  I'm a sucker for good design! It also has tabs so you can easily flip to the current month.  This one's a top contender.

I've heard a TON about the day designer and I'm really intrigued by it.  It's much more than a planner; it's a goal-setter, priority-maker, and dream-organizer.  While at this point in my life I can't really justify shelling out $60 for a planner it's a good one to keep in mind for the future. 

Again- simple, streamlined, and cute design.  This one is smaller than the others and could easily fit inside a purse.

This one is currently my top contender.  I was totally sold on that cover!  There are added sections for keeping track of assignments and exams, which I obviously need.  All of her designs also come in "personal" and "family" editions for those of you who are lucky enough to no longer be in school.

Do you have a planner you love?  Tell me about it in the comments, I'm always up for suggestions!


Monday, August 11, 2014

Today I'm starting a wonderful new pilates series from The Balanced Life called #MindBodyMat.  MindBodyMat was created by Robin Long- a pilates instructor who is passionate about helping women find balance as well as look and feel their best.  I first started following her blog during the Pilates Summer Series and was amazed at what a difference 8-10 minutes of pilates every day could make!  I felt stronger, healthier, and more confident.  Robin's new series is all about taking time each day to care for your body and your mind; something that I often fail to do during the hectic summer season.  I am so excited to get back into a pilates routine everyday and I'd love for you to join, too!  You can find more about the series here and sign up here.  (Oh, and did I mention it's totally FREE!?  Can't beat that!)

Image from The Balanced Life

A {Very Dramatic} Return Post

Saturday, August 9, 2014

 Well, hello there!  It's hard to believe it's been three whole months since I've posted here.  The hiatus wasn't out of forgetfulness or busy-ness; the truth is that I really needed a break from the "blogging world."

This blog started out as a place to document our lives to share with our friends and family; our vacation photos, weekend recaps, and random ramblings.  It soon evolved into a more creative outlet for me; a place to experiment with fun recipes, to share photos of the city that I love, and to talk about struggles with anxiety and depression.  I began to come into contact with other bloggers and learned that there is a whole "world" to blogging that I never knew existed.  There is a whole culture to blogging that I began to feel the need to assimilate into.  People other than my family & close friends started visiting this blog and it felt good.  It felt validating.  Pageviews and numbers started to get more important in my mind and I started offering swaps, tweeting, and commenting on other blogs out of a sense of obligation.  I had heard a lot about the "community" and "genuine friendships" that had been formed through blogging and, to be honest, I craved that.

I don't want to make it sound like these are bad things.  I think it's really incredible that some people can make money through blogging, and I do believe that real, genuine friendships can form over the internet.  I've definitely "met" some wonderful, inspiring women through blogging and for that I am grateful.  But I also started to realize that what I was needing was real, tangible human connection, and an outlet that didn't include sitting at my laptop.  So a break was in order.  I made more coffee dates, took more dance classes, and had more real-life adventures.  And it was good.

I know there's a good chance you are rolling your eyes at this lame revelation and that you honest-to-God could not care less.  Which is fine- I don't blame you!  I'm really not trying to make this seem all melodramatic (though that's how it's coming off...) To be honest I just miss having this blog as a creative outlet and for now that is simply what it will be.  I'm not going to get caught up in trying to write what I feel like I'm supposed to be writing or what will supposedly attract more readers.  I'm not going to stress out over keeping a strict posting schedule or promoting myself.  There are far greater things out there to fret over!

Happy, Happy, Happy!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

This morning I woke up feeling like it was my birthday because, well, it is!  I have always had sort of a love/hate relationship with my birthday.  I love the idea of birthdays; of celebrating someone for a whole day simply because they are alive.  But, I don't know, there's all this pressure to feel special and wise and new.  What if you don't feel special on your birthday?  What if you have to work and take care of the kids and you're exhausted or you're sick or you have a migraine?  What if it just feels like another humdrum day?  Is it a wasted opportunity to feel amazing that only comes around once a year?

My dad loves to tell the story of my 1st birthday party (pictured above.)  He said that I spent the entire day running around with balloons in my mouth yelling "happy, happy, happy!"  I didn't know it was a special day, but I did know that there was family, there were balloons, and there was cake.  What more could a one-year-old want?! So today that is my goal.  Today I have family, balloons, and cake.  I'm not pressuring myself to feel special or older or wiser; I'm simply going to take this day as an opportunity to be happy, happy happy!

Mother's Day X 2

Sunday, May 11, 2014

I am very blessed to have had two women in my life that I called "mom."  I had a beautiful mother for the first thirteen years of life who exuded joy, beauty, and grace.  Then, nine years later, another woman entered my life and filled a long-empty void.  There is a stigma surrounding the term "mother-in-law" but early on in our relationship Tinina and I decided we wanted to drop the "in-law" part.  This woman has been such an incredible example to me, and has truly become one of the closest people in my life.  She is often the first person I call when I'm upset, one of my favorite people to celebrate with, and the person whose qualities I most hope to emulate in my own life.  She is so similar to my own mom that I'm certain they would have been best friends.  Two years ago I not only gained an incredible mother, but I also gained a best friend.  Someone asked me this morning if Mother's Day was a hard day for me, but it's not because it's a day that I get to celebrate two amazing women who have blessed my life immensely.  Happy Mother's Day!!

Guilt Complexes & Leaving Room for Grace

Friday, May 9, 2014

Well hello there! It's been awhile, hasn't it?  I've taken a bit of a break from blogging (and, really, from the internet in general) because it was beginning to make me feel... cluttered.  And overwhelmed.  And that sort of defeats the purpose of what many of us are trying to accomplish in this blogging-world, now doesn't it?

I'm beginning to notice that in many aspects of my life I have a habit of putting these arbitrary expectations on myself and then settling into a comfortable nook of guilt when I fail to meet them.  When Ty and I first got married it was about the dishes; I somehow, somewhere, decided in my mind that it was my duty to do the dishes every night.  When they weren't done (or when Ty would do them) I would feel guilty and angry at myself and, through the power of projection, assume that Ty must certainly feel disappointed and angry at me.  It was a lot of unneeded tension that simply came from insecurities in my mind.  Ty doesn't mind doing the dishes.  Really, he doesn't.  And sometimes the dishes don't get done for a week and you know what?  Life goes on.

I had a similar sentiment when I began taking blogging a bit more seriously.  I put this arbitrary expectation on myself that I should be posting at least three times a week and if I wasn't then I was most certainly failing.  And for what?  I haven't posted in over a week and I am quite certain that you readers are still okay, that you are somehow getting by without me (sarcasm!)  It's pretty dang narcissistic, when I think about it.

Anyway, recently I've been trying to leave room for grace for myself.  To find that delicate balance between responsibility and freedom.  I've been spending my evenings doing things that I love and that make me feel alive.  And I want to keep blogging, I really do!  But I'd like to do so because I enjoy writing and connecting with this community- not because it's an obligation.

And, hey- thanks for reading along.  Really, I mean it.

Basil Lime Margarita

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Summer is almost upon us and that means one thing is certain in the Jaynes household: margaritas.  We love us a good margarita over here.  We used to use pre-made mix but I always found it to be a bit too sweet and syrupy for my taste.  One day last Summer I set out to make my own margarita from scratch and I've never looked back!  So when Samantha and Cristina announced that this month's Cooks in the Kitchen ingredient was limes I knew immediately I wanted to make some sort of variation of a margarita.

It's sort of a running joke among my in-laws that I love to add herbs to my cocktails (like this rosemary lime spritzer.)  Basil is one of my favorites and it adds such a refreshing twist to a classic margarita.  The touch of sugar mixed with the rim salt turns up the sweetness just a notch.  This is definitely my new favorite cocktail and is one I can totally see myself sipping with a nice al fresco dinner on the porch.  Mmmmm... is it Summer yet?

Basil Lime Margarita
Makes 1

  • Juice from 1 lime (about 1.5 Tbsp)
  • 1/3 Cup water
  • 4 basil leaves, plus 1 more for garnish
  • 1.5 oz good quality tequila (I prefer gold, but silver is fine too)
  • 1 Tbsp agave syrup
  • 1 tsp coarse sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp granulated sugar
  • Ice
  1. Combine salt and sugar and spread out on a plate.  Wet the rim of your glass with a slice of lime and dip into the salt & sugar mixture.  Set glass aside.
  2. Muddle basil in lime juice and water.  Strain into salted glass.  Add tequila and agave syrup and stir until syrup is dissolved.  Add ice and garnish with a basil leaf and lime slice.