About Gardenias & Mint

Gardenias & Mint is an East Coast lifestyle blog created by two besties on a budget!

Recharging.

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Happy chilly, windy Monday, friends!

We’re here today with some news – after a lot of discussion, we’ve decided that we’re going to be taking a break from the blog for a bit. Between work and personal endeavors, we’ve been finding ourselves really very busy, and ultimately tired, and, while it may sound harsh, uninspired. Posts have been feeling contrived, rather than the fun creative outlet they started as. We’re at very different stages of our lives than when this first started, and simply need to take a step back for ourselves.

We’re not closing the doors just yet though, we’re feeling like once we have some time to relax and get our creative juices flowing again, a post may pop up here and there. We’re recharging our batteries – but keep an eye out!

We want to thank all of you wonderful people for following us for so long, we’re incredibly lucky to have you, and we hope we can find a groove soon again that feels genuine and fulfilling.

We hope to be back soon ❤ xo G&M


 

Love Want Need // Knitwear

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Did you guys hear we’re supposed to get 6-12in of snow tomorrow?! We’re thinking it’s a perfect time to bundle up in your coziest knitwear and watch movies all day. Fingers crossed for a snow day 🙂


Love
Cable-Knit Pom-Pom Beanie // Ribbed Green Sweater

Want
‘Mimi’ Beanie // Warm My Soul” Turtleneck Sweater

Need 
Tan Heather Pom Pom Hat // Asymmetrical Mock Neck Sweater

 

Dinner Bowls

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Is it just us, or do some dinners just taste so much better mixed together in one big bowl?! The one bowl dinner is very trendy right now, and we’re totally on board! We’re thinking we need to make these asap! The kale salad bowl would be a perfect hearty lunch, the 15-minute Lo Mein looks great for those busy week nights when you need to whip up something fast, the Egg Roll Bowl looks like an awesome twist on traditional stir fry, and that Steak Fajita Bowl seems like it will definitely satisfy your Mexican craving. What are you favorite one bowl dinners? Christa loves a couscous, chicken sausage, kale and red wine vinegar dish she adapted from a tasty Marley Spoon recipe, and Reg loves her Mexican Protein Bowl.


 

Happy Weekend!

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Happy Friday, friends! Don’t those loaded Mediterranean street fries look delicious??…maybe even delicious enough to bring to a super bowl party today! Reg has gotten more into football while living in Boston so her and some friends will be rooting for the Patriots this Sunday (while heckling her sister via text who coincidentally lives in Atlanta). While Christa loves sports, she never really got all that into football specifically, so she’ll be hanging out near the snack table trying to recall football plays from Friday Night Lights lol. No matter what you’re doing or who you’re rooting for this weekend – have a great one! xo


cct // Sad, but interesting twitter account – Trump Regrets, where this user reposts when people tweet about why they are regretting voting for Trump…

rkv // A friend and I were just saying the other day how we used to always wear statement earrings, and how we want to bring that back into our wardrobe! Currently crushing on these, these, and these

cct // An ode to Boursin cheese

rkv // Dat blowout doe

cct // Did you guys know there are hidden wine cellars under the Brooklyn Bridge?!

rkv // Bloody brilliant Ikea hacks for big blank walls

cct // I always want to love Tiny Houses so badly, but I had never seen a layout I really thought I could live with…until now! This tiny house flows so well, seems airy and livable! What a unique way to live.

rkv // 20 dutch oven recipe to make right meow


Loving Now // Chunky Sweaters

Welp, it’s almost February! That *usually* means chillier temps coming our way. We’ve been lucky enough to have a bit of a warm spell (for New England weather), but we know you’re coming for us, polar vortex. We’re going to be reaching for our favorite chunky sweaters before we know it!

And side note, we should have named this “Chunky White/Neutral Sweaters”, because apparently we only pin white/grey/tan sweaters, ha. Do you have a favorite chunky sweater you grab when the temps plummet? What are your favorite sweater brands? xo

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Happy Weekend!

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Yay, it’s Friday! Reg is off on her work ski trip, and Christa is getting ready to spend the weekend tackling some wedding stuff. What are y’all up to? xo


cct // Oh because you know, he had so much extra time to casually read?! #amazing Every book Barack Obama has recommended during his presidency

rkv // A case for the can

cct // Amazing video of how they used to make marbled paper! *swoon*

rkv // Because I’m travel illiterate – traveling on a budget

cct // Some handy tips and tricks from Cupcakes & Cashmere on How to Do Your Own Makeup for a Fancy Event

rkv // Why being alone doesn’t have to mean being lonely #AllTheSingleLadies

cct // Guys, there is going to be a Britney Spears Lifetime Original movie – have you seen the trailer?!

rkv // “I am generally displeased with the current state of affairs”… and other amazingly British signs from the Women’s March


 

Etsy Round Up // Vol 29

I think we’re finally getting a little break from the rain…it’s been a rough couple of days. I’m already thinking ahead to cheerier times – as you may notice in my favorite Etsy pieces this month – colorful floral towels, tote bags for fun weekend trips, bright planners for keeping track of all things wedding (!), gorgeous utensils for hosting get-togethers, adorable vintage wine racks for day drinking with friends, and dainty gold jewelry for such occasions! Can you put Etsy items on your registry?! 😉

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Poppy Floral Tea Towel // Cowhide Leather Tote // 2017 Planner // Hammered Brass Spoons // Vintage Rattan Bamboo Wine Rack // Minimalist Swiss Cross Necklace


Embracing Winter

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Poor winter gets such a bad rep. While we certainly are no strangers to a seasonal slump, we’re also all about embracing this time of year to basque in the good things it has to offer. This winter has been slightly warmer than usual, but we’re New Englanders – so we’re ready for you, harsh, cold February.

We’re both pretty active people through out the year, whether it’s being physically active or socially active, but we tend to slow down a bit during the winter months. While we do love the mini hibernation mode, that’s when we start to really feel the cold, darkness that New England winters are known for. We’ve decided to embrace winter this year and have the best winter yet. Reg is going on a work ski/snowboarding trip this weekend and Christa has been bundling up and taking walks at the reservoir even when it’s a tad chillier than she’d like!

Here are our favorite ways to take advantage of winter weather:

Cook and bake
Put on your favorite movie in the background, or a new album you’ve been wanting to listen to (ps. the new Childish Gaminbo is great, and people are loving the new XX album), and try that new recipe you’ve been eying!

Host
Having people over is always fun! We know it can be a little bit of work, but it can be as simple as hosting a movie night where people bring over their favorite movie watching treats, or having a potluck so you’re not the only one on the hook for food. Plus, what a good excuse to tidy up the house 😉

Winter walks and sports
As we mentioned above, Reg is getting back on the snowboarding-saddle after a couple years to go on a work ski trip, and as you probably saw on instagram, Christa was recently in Colorado for some skiing. Finding an outdoor winter activity is fantastic! Of course the first couple minutes of being outside in the cold, you are asking yourself, “why did I do this?!”, but from our experiences, we always feel amazing after!

Studio exercise classes
BUT, if you really, really hate the cold, you can be just as active inside! Reg loves yoga and Christa plays indoor soccer once a week, but it could be as simple as just warming up at the gym (we’re both loving the Nike+ Training app.)

Reading and writing
This is always one of our New Years Resolutions, because once things get busy, the lovely leisurely activity of reading and writing tends to get pushed aside. We’re going to try our best to keep this going, especially during the chilly months. Curl up in bed, on the couch or at a cozy coffee shop and dive into a new world. Christa is currently reading H is for Hawk, and Reg is searching for something great – any suggestions?!

Movies
Guys, this is *literally* the best time of year for movie watching! The Oscars are right around the corner and the last couple months have been filled with fantastic movies. We both saw Manchester by the SeaArrival and La La Land. Reg saw Nocturnal Animals, and Christa saw Loving, and we both still want to see Jackie and Moonlight.

Burn candles, incense and simmer pots
We’re big components of this (we’ve mentioned it a couple times here on the blog!) super easy mood setting tactic. Reg makes a mean simmer pot that really cozies up the house. Hoping to have a post on that someday! 🙂

Meditate and color
As mentioned in last week’s post, the better you feel, the better you’ll be equipped to handle the New England winter.

Make art
Do it! Any kind of art! Draw, doodle, knit, craft, sing, write. While you’re stuck inside, take that time to express yourself a bit – even if it’s for your eyes only.

Museums
We unfortunately forget what wonderful museums we have right at our doorstep. Christa has easy access to the Wadsworth Athenaeum, the New Britain Museum of American Art, the Hill-Stead Museum, the Mark Twain House, the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center, and many many more. And with Reg in Boston…it’s endless! Her favorites are the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, the Harvard Museum of Natural History, and the Institute of Contemporary Art.

Pamper yourself
When you’re feeling frumpy from endless bundling up – why not treat yo’self! Get (or do your own) mani/pedi, get a massage, get that haircut you’ve been dreaming of. As we mentioned before, the better you feel, the better winter will feel!

Puzzles and games
And last, but not least, play some games! Reg has been loving putting together puzzles, and Christa and Curtis have friends over all the time to play board games. They’re a lovely way to spend an afternoon with friends.


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Happy Weekend!

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Well, today is an interesting day, indeed. A lot is happening for this country of ours, and we are certainly curious to see how these next few years pan out. But without thinking too much into it, let’s focus on the present, embrace today, and pat yourselves on the backs for hustling through another work week.

Have a lovely weekend, all 🙂


cct // A little inside look into how blog posts are created!

rkv // Tasty looking homemade ramen

cct // Today is a hard day politically, but I thought the letter that the Bush sisters wrote to the Obama girls was really sweet and eye opening.

rkv // Are you too picky when it comes to dating?

cct // Holy sh*t guys, these (and these) songs will be 20 years old in 2017…

rkv // Le sigh

cct // Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee with Kristen Wiig, pies, volvos & Jeni’s ice cream – amazing!

rkv // Our lives 10 years ago


 

On Meditation

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With the day to day stresses that sometimes feel never ending, we’ve become increasingly more interested in finding ways to eliminate the anxiety that can inevitably manifest. The topic seems to be gaining momentum, and people have been increasingly more interested in opening a dialogue about the health of your mind & body.

I started practicing yoga about 12 years ago, and while I love the physical exercise aspect of it, I honestly don’t feel like session is complete without it having a strong mediative aspect — which some classes don’t always bring much attention to. I’ve had several classes that have brought me to tears (in a good way), all because I allow myself to get into a mental exploration of my own self.

Strangely enough, it wasn’t until recently that I started to incorporate this into my life’s routine outside of the studio. While I’ve always been a slightly anxious person, adulthood really seemed to emphasize the constant racing of my mind. It started to impact my sleep habits, diet, exercise, and relationships. In an effort to quiet my head and soften my irritability, I began incorporating some meditative techniques into my daily life, which I’ve found it to be so helpful over the last few months.

Some tools that I’ve personally found to be supportive —

Guided Meditation Apps
Headspace and Calm are both great apps that will slowly bring you into the process of incorporating meditation on a regular basis. I like to use Calm in the evenings once I’ve turned out the lights and gotten into bed — it helps me to escape from the frustrations of the day that are still lingering in my mind, and instead focus on the present. I’m personally a big fan of the Body Scan technique, which focuses on finding areas of tension in your body, and mentally releasing it through the breath.

Sleep Routines
Mine is simple but has made a huge difference for me — drinking a glass of water, turning the lights dim, burning incense, putting lavender oil on my wrists, and putting a sleep mask over my eyes while I use to my meditation app. Having a calming process that I’m familiar with, and look forward to, allows me to get into the sleepy mindset I need to get a full night of rest.

Self Care & Mindfulness
It’s very easy to forget about ourselves when we’re racing around trying to get everything done over the course of the day, but allowing yourself the time to do small things that make you happy will go a long way in the end. Even things as simple as a shower — closing your eyes and embracing the warm water, giving yourself a mini head massage with the shampoo, using an exfoliating scrub and noticing the tingle on your skin. Be present in the moment where you’re treating yourself, rather than rushing through just another daily shower.

Coloring Books
These have become all the rage, and I’m a total fan girl. A couple of weeks ago I had one of the most peaceful Saturday mornings I could imagine — I put some soothing music, made a cup of coffee, watched the snow fall outside, and colored in my new mandala coloring book. It was glorious and I felt so at ease afterward. It made me want to treat my body kindly for the rest of the day, and let me take a couple of hours to have some personal reflection. This is also another great tool to incorporate into your sleep routine for ten minutes before bed.

Have any of you been using meditation as a relaxation tool? If not, I hope I’ve inspired you to give it a spin. Take care, and happy Wednesday 🙂


— rkv