best of 2016...if that's possible

So, the end of 2016 wrap-up season has been a little different this year. And by different, I mean downright depressing. I feel certain that 2016 will go down as a historically bad year. A year full of tragedy and violence (at least in the media...we are still living in the most peaceful of times in recent history). A year that ended with a shocking election and its following absurdities. 

However, I can't was a pretty wonderful year for me personally. I finished my 500hr advanced teacher training, grew the studio, enjoyed library work to no end, found out I'll be an aunt again to another nephew, had an amazing and surreal trip back to Norway and Scotland, and the day after we got home....found out we were pregnant!

I've said it before on this blog, but I feel so grateful. One positive of the election? It has made me look at my life and appreciate it even more than I did before. My priorities are crystal clear and I am so ready for the big changes 2017 brings for my personal life...But the world at large? I'm not so sure.

 MAJOR adjustments ahead and it is definitely not going to be boring.

A couple weeks ago I read Amor Towles' debut novel, Rules of Civility, which I LOVED. The following is a passage from the end of the book and it's my favorite thing I read this year:

"It is a bit of a cliche to characterize life as a rambling journey on which we can alter our course at any give time--by the slightest turn of the wheel, the wisdom goes, we influence the chain of events and thus recast our destiny with new cohorts, circumstances, and discoveries. But for the most of us, life is nothing like that. Instead, we have a few brief periods when we are ofered a handful of discrete options. Do I take this job or that Job? In Chicago or NewYork? Do I join this circle of friends or that one, and with whom do I go home at the end of the night? And does one make time for children now? or later? or later still?

In that sense, life is less like a journey that it is a game of honeymoon bridge. In our twenties, when there is still so much time ahead of us, time that seems ample for a hundred indecisions, for a hundred visions and revisions--we draw a card, and we must decide right then and there and keep the second. And before we know it, the deck has been played out and the decisions we have just made will shape our lives for decades to come."

I enjoyed so many other things this year, but this is all I feel like sharing. 

Much love.

just a few of my favorite things: a gift guide

I blogged my favorite things, a la Oprah, back in 2013. Here are nine additonal things I love and use daily, which also make great gifts!

Amazon Fire TV   $74.99
Since we ditched the Apple TV and got this, things have been so good in our viewing world. It provides the same service, but 100x faster, easier, and more reliable. The voice activated search is crazy accurate and the interface is fabulous.

Le Creuset mug       $14
These mugs are not only perfect for drinking all the coffee, but are so pleasing to look at...the classic Creuset ombre is just so satisfying. I particular like the color, Flame.

Indigo Wild Zum Mist in Frankincense & Myrrh  $9.99
This is a room and body spray, but I use it exclusively as a fragrance. I found it after loving the hand soap in the same scent. Smells so so good and lasts without being too strong. I get lots of compliments on it and it's such a unique scent as well.

Flexi Sketch journals and sketchbooks $20ish
I love these journals/sketchbooks because of their unique shapes and the colors of their covers. The paper is a nice weigh and I use two different ones every day for my bullet journal and to-do lists.

lululemon Vinyasa wrap // $58
Just when I thought they had it perfect with the Vinyasa scarf, lulu came out with this. Lightweight material that is easier to drape + armholes. Also planning to use it as a nursing cover come February! HA!

New York Times digital subscription // $1.88 per week
Because it's important and we need to all read real journalism right now. Also, it's 50% off through the holiday season!

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: Illustrated Edition // $23.99
I received the first one for Christmas last year and forgot to ask for this one so I'll have to gift it to myself...haha

Accoutrements Santaur ornament // $13.47
Andrew and I ordered this ornament for ourselves last year and it's simply the best. 

Williams - Sonoma kitchen towels // $19.95
Best dish towels ever!

While I am definitely not using these daily right now, you should! Three things needed to make our favorite winter cocktail. A bottle of Cointreau, a bottle of Old Weller, a jumbo ice cube tray. 

Best Winter Cocktail Ever

1 oz bourbon
1/2 oz cointreau
1/2 oz simple syrup
giant ice cube

Stir and enjoy. It's liquid candy.

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it's all unraveling

Wow. What a week. A lunatic is running for president. A man who, a week ago, was gathering a group of women accusing Bill Clinton of sexual assault, eager to back to them and get justice, is now denying any allegation brought forth upon him? 

All I know is that he's completely lost Virginia, is losing Utah, and at present, Texas is polling as barely red. WHAT?! And this is all based on polls that assume registered Republicans will vote as they normally do, which we all know is NOT going to happen.

Phew. Not that I have given myself a pep talk, assuring myself that this disgusting man CANNOT be president, let's watch Michelle Obama crush it at life:

Mike Pence's response to this speech was, in his words, "confusion." SAY WHA?!?!

I voted early yesterday. 23 days until election day. Let them pass quickly please.