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 

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Cozy Fall Bedroom

With the temperature dropping, we’re looking to cozy up our bedrooms! When Crane & Canopy asked us how we how we prep our bedrooms for fall, we wanted to share our tips and tricks!


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01. Change up your bedding.
Flannel, fleece, velvet – add all of the texture to our bed.

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02. And then add blankets!
Plaid, chunky knit, wool, faux fur – cozy up with your boo and watch a movie in bed!

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03. Light your most comforting candle.
Whether it’s sweet like oatmeal cookie or vanilla, or musky like campfire and pine, the comforting smell and beautiful glow of your favorite candle will make you want to spend all of your free time in your bedroom. 

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04. Cozy up your reading nook.
Apply everything we just said to your comfy little reading corner 🙂

05. Bring fall textures/accessories into your bedroom.
Wood trays for accessories (or morning coffee!), pine cones, green garlands – go as simple or as complex as you’d like! Maybe even add an adorable mini pumpkin to your dresser.

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Velvet Pillow // Patterned Pillow // Wooden Tray // Pine Cones // Candle //
Light Fixture // Knit Blanket


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Office Space Refresh

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Reg’s office is relocating to their new building this morning and she has been on the lookout for updated items for her new spot — and because we’re as obsessed with decorating our cubicle as we are for our apartment, we thought we’d share some of our favorite office-sprucing pieces from around the web that can help organize and personalize your space!


From the Top Left:

Oversized Gold Paperclips
Two-Toned Mug
Wire Organizer
Metallic Dipped Notebook
Leather Mousepad
Mint Tape Dispenser
Paper Storage Bag
Copper Book Ends


Loving Now // Statement Tile

We are definitely suckers for a loud statement tile, and it seems like it’s popping up everywhere lately. It’s also a surprisingly versatile (pun non-intended) element to add to your space. While kitchens and bathrooms are the typical rooms you’ll see it in, it can also be seen in entry areas, and even on staircases.

Real ceramic tiles sadly can cost a pretty penny, and for us renters, that really doesn’t make much sense at all. But luckily there are all sorts of reasonable priced options that are easily removable, like here, here, and for something more classic/minimal here.


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Yoga Mat Cleaner

While I’ve been practicing yoga for nearly 10 years, I’m definitely a little lazy when it comes to cleaning my mat, and yeah, those things can get funky. My Sunday vinyasa class has an amazing smelling cleaner for community use, but there’s only one spray bottle, and about 30 students, so I usually get impatient and head home before giving my mat the cleaning it needs.

I had been wanting to make my own for a little while now, and since the ingredients used in it are so multi-purpose, last weekend I decided to whip one up!


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These two oils are great for a lot of reasons — tee tea is a natural antiseptic that can also be used as a topical treatment for conditions such as acne or fungal infections, and I like to keep the lavender on my nightstand, dabbing my wrists right before bed. The aroma knocks me out cold. Either can be picked up at Whole Foods or your local natural food section.

You’ll need:

  • 20 drops of tea tree oil
  • 20 drops of lavender oil
  • 1 small spray bottle
  • 1 cotton rag

There’s pretty much nothing to this little concoction, just drip the oil into your bottle, top off with water, and you’re all set! Mist your mat with the spray, and using a damp cloth to wipe down. Allow to fully dry before rolling back up, and you’re ready to go!


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2016 Planners

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We’re getting excited to ring in the new year with, wait for it…organization! And with planners this pretty, it seems like it won’t be too hard! But for real, with 2016 on the horizon, the best way to approach a new year is to get organized. As addicted to our iPhone calendars as we are, it felt weird to go back to a paper planner, but we found it to be much easier to see little notes and appointments spread out in one space. So think about a physical planner option this year…because you never know when your iPhone might crap out. Sorry, what a terrible thought — fingers crossed it won’t 🙂


Floral Planner
Desk Planner
Marble Planner
Field Notes Planner
Pink Light Planner
2016 Kraft Planner


 

 

Friendsgiving Recipes

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The week before Thanksgiving is all about FRIENDSgiving — when we all get to hang with our closest pals, fill our bellies, and mentally prepare ourselves to hang out with our crazy extended families 🙂 What are you guys planning to make for the upcoming weeks? We scoured the inter-webs and are totally ogling over these tasty looking delights to bring and enjoy with friends:


Clockwise from top left:
Gorgonzola Pomegranate Hasselback Potatoes
Dodge ‘Em Cocktail – Warm Whiskey, Rosemary & Date Syrup
Mississippi Pecan Pie
Pancetta & Sprout Stuffing


 

DIY // Chair Reupholstery

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When Curtis and I bought this 6 chair set off of craigslist (4 regular chairs and 2 captains chairs), I knew they would need to be reupholstered. While the floral isn’t terrible, it just wasn’t what I had envisioned for our dining room. I had also never reupholstered anything before — but I’ve stretched canvas, and I was almost a sculpture minor, so I feel pretty comfortable with tools and such.

Just a side note — while I’m sure any and all chairs can be reupholstered, the only reason I knew this was a DIY I could handle was that with these particular chairs, the upholstered seat is screwed on in each corner and easily comes off. I believe this is the case with most older upholstered chairs, but before you buy just anything, you might want to check.

So here are the basic tools you will need:
Staple Gun + staples (I ordered the Stanley Light Duty Staple Gun Kit and it was perfect)
1/2 yard Fabric per seat cushion
Fabric Scissors (or kitchen scissors – basically heavier duty than regular scissors)
Screw Driver/Drill or both

I went to JoAnn’s Fabrics and found an awesome grey fabric for the 4 table chairs, and a fun patterned fabric for the captains chairs, for a total of $35! I was honestly surprised by how awesome the fabrics were there, it was hard to narrow down to only 2!

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Step 1: Unscrew the seats from the chairs
Pretty self explanatory, but just as a tip, be gentle when taking these old screws out —they’re going to need to go back in, so if you crack the wood, you might have a problem down the road.

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Step 2: Cut fabric to size of seat cushion
I got 2 yards of fabric for the 4 seat cushions which gave me plenty of room to cut and position each seat properly. It can be a little different with patterns because you’re going to want to get the pattern lined up a certain way – so think about getting some extra fabric if that’s the case.

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Step 3: Stretch and staple
Once your fabric is cut to size, you’re ready to go!

Another quick note — I reupholstered right on top of the previous fabric, which worked well for me, but I’m not sure if it’s proper technique. It might be worth looking up, or seeing how the texture of the 2 fabrics work on top of one another.

  • So, position the seat in the middle of my allocated piece of fabric. Fold over one edge and pull tight.
  • Staple about 1-2 inches from edge (follow the previous staple line if you can while avoiding existing staples).
  • Pull and stretch the opposite side (ex. if you started on the top, now stretch from the bottom). At this point it is very important to stretch extremely tightly, this is how you get the nice tight surface of the seat.

If at any point you realize one of your sides is too loose, you can take the staples out and try again. This comes in handy for corners, they’re not the easiest! But honestly do what feels right with the fabric for corners, it doesn’t need to look great under the chair, but it should look good from the side, so find the way that works best for you.

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Step 4: Get the chairs put pack together, and enjoy!
If you need additional information, this is a great photo tutorial.

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DIYs Around the Web

With the summer coming to an end, we’re going to have more time on our hands (free weekends, what what) — and we’re excited about putting those hands to work! We are thinking about some great DIYs for around the house, something that Pinterest never has a shortage of! We’ve gathered up some of inspiration for the upcoming change of season:

DIY Pom Pom Throw


DIY // SUMMER POM POM THROW


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DIY // TWILL WOVEN STOOL


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DIY // COLOR BLOCK CLOCK 


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DIY // COPPER LAMP SHADES


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DIY // MARBLE TABLETOP


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DIY // WATERCOLOR WALL ART


Parmesan Asparagus with Heirloom Tomatoes

While I’m no stranger to some ice cream and burgers on these hot summer days, I’m also a big fan of eating colorfully and fresh. This quick little veggie appetizer goes great as a side dish for a light summery dinner (maybe with some lemony grilled chicken or a lean cut of steak), or even for breakfast served up with some eggs (poached, scrambled — your call!).

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You’ll need

  • 1 bundle of fresh asparagus
  • 3/4 cup fresh heirloom tomatoes (any tomatoes will do, but I just love how colorful these little beauties are)
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • Drizzling of olive oil
  • 3-4 pinches of garlic salt (regular salt will do too)
  • 2-3 pinches of black pepper

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To Make

01. Preheat oven to 425

02. Trim the white stalks off of your asparagus and spread out the stems onto a baking sheet

03. Dice your onion, quarter your tomatoes, and mix in with asparagus

04. Drizzle with olive oil, and season with garlic salt & pepper

05. Top with grated parmesan and pop into the oven for 12-15 minutes. I like my asparagus to have a little crunch, but if you prefer it on the softer side, simply cook it a little longer.

06. Serve up and enjoy!

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