Thursday, August 17, 2017

Things I Love Thursday // 8.17.17

It's been ages (okay 2+ years) since I compiled a list here of the things in my life that are bringing me joy. It is really nice to spend some time and attention considering those (sometimes small, sometimes big) moments, experiences, things, and people who add happiness or positivity to our days--especially in times when there is so much to feel overwhelmed, saddened, and even sickened by.

Even taking the events of our world out of the equation, I think that often, I feel caught up in all of the things to do and places to be that it's easy to miss a lot of the very good stuff. So here's my list today. I hope it's a nice distraction.
  • Geneva's watercolor ~ I took a fun watercolor class earlier this year and have since invested a little to acquire some brushes, paints, and paper to play around with when I find the time. The girls like to paint too and it's a new medium for all of us. In the middle of one of her "practice" pages, Geneva brought this little guy to life and I immediately fell in love. So now he is framed and hangs in the dining room above my great-grandmother's cabinet (something else that brings me joy).

  • The scent of our laundry ~ I was reminded recently about how much I appreciate the smell of our clothes when they come out of the dryer. My sister-in-law visited this summer with my niece and nephews. A few days ago she sent me a text and asked what detergent we use because my nephew liked the way his clothes smelled after washing them here. :) I actually owe my friend, Miffy, all the credit. Many years ago, when we were the joyful recipients of her daughter's hand-me-downs, I asked her what detergent she used because I fell in love with the scent. So here you have it: Arm & Hammer Plus Oxi Clean (Fresh Scent) followed by Bounce (Outdoor Fresh) in the dryer. 
  • Idaho ~ I read this debut novel by Emily Ruskovich for my book club. The story is about loss, grief, redemption, and memory--or lack thereof. At the center of the story is a brutal act of unspeakable violence. The author was somehow able to tell the story with an abundance of grace. It wasn't so much the individual characters, the storyline, or the setting that made me love the book. It was the fact that I continue to think about the writing and the story-telling. However, if you require tidy endings, this one is not for you. 
  • Gearing back up for school ~ Of course I love the summer. I enjoy lazy days, traveling, loose plans, evenings at the pool, and not being tied up in scheduling. However, it's easy to look forward with happy anticipation to the beginning of the school year (especially when my kids do too). I also appreciate routine.  
  • Club Monoco ~ Greg and I happened upon a Club Monoco storefront while visiting Charleston a few weeks ago. The skirt in the window caught my eye and we needed a reprieve from the heat of the day so we popped inside to discover an excellent "Summer Sale" and lots of great styles. He found a few shirts and I scored several tops, the skirt from the window, and a fun fringed bracelet. Unfortunately, there are no storefronts near Charlotte; however, I do have my eye on this from the website. I think it would be great with black slacks and fun heels or distressed jeans and booties. 
  • Cycle South ~ I started going about a year ago. Before that, I would have emphatically reported to you that I loathe spin/cycle classes. They are too intense, too boring, and definitely painful in the wrong way (yes, I mean down there). However, I've been converted. Firstly, the thing everyone says about the pain (yes, I mean down there) getting better after a few classes is true! It does stop hurting. Really. Secondly, Cycle South classes are in the dark. Your workout is yours and while the energy of the room carries you through the intense cardio session, it's an affirmation that "everyone is on their own fitness journey," (as my favorite instructor, Annie, likes to remind us). Also, there are no monitors, screens, or digital readouts in the classes. The workout is based on the music; the beats within the song instruct the tempo of the track --making it more like "dancing" on the bike rather than just sprinting or climbing to reach a number. It's good. If you're in Charlotte, you should try it. 
  • PURE Inventions Water Enhancer ~ I first tasted this water "enhancer" while visiting the spa at the Grove Park Inn. The pitchers of water in and around the relaxation room and locker area tasted subtly of coconut. At first, it was a little off-putting because I was just expecting water with some lemon or cucumber; however, after a few sips, I was enamored. If you're like me, you have a hard time drinking "enough" water throughout the day. I've just never been a big water drinker. Now I add .5ml (half the recommended amount) to 16oz of water and have no problem finishing 64oz in a day. It is a bit pricey, but a little bit goes a long way. Also, this is just a flavor thing for me in trying to consume a healthy amount of water each day. There are other "flavors" available that imply targeted results. I can't speak to any of that. ;) 
  • London Fog tea ~ While we're talking about beverages, I'm also still enjoying the sugar-free version of the "London Fog Latte" I fell in love with in Charleston and blogged about here.
  • Italian Aperitivo Cocktails ~ And while I continue to talk about beverages, the ones I learned to create at the Liberate Your Palate cocktail class (and blogged about here), are definitely worth your attention. With just a few key ingredients, you can make several delicious sips. Campari is an acquired taste --expect bitterness and be delighted by how quickly your appreciation grows. If you're in Charlotte, you can sign up for the same class (August 24th) here. If you miss it, sign up for another one instead --you may see me there!
  • Hip Hop BBQ on Pandora ~ Before my friend Sara introduced me to this station last month, I had apparently been living under a rock --as there are 3M listeners, according to Pandora. Good stuff.
  • Ozark ~ This show on Netflix starring Jason Bateman and Laura Linney is engrossing. You can binge watch the first season now and they've just renewed for a second season. Yay!
  • Newspaper-wrapped clippings ~ A friend of mine needed some rosemary from our yard (to create amazing bouquets for a wedding!). I happily cut a bundle and brought it inside. Acting on auto-pilot, I reached for a page from the newspaper and found myself swaddling it like a baby. Smiling, I recalled fond memories of my great-grandmother wrapping fresh cut roses from her garden this way for visitors upon leaving. Often, I cradled her fragrant blooms in my lap on the car ride home and I was so happy to have been reminded of this practice. 

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  1. ❤️ this Tammy! Have missed your writings and so happy you are back!! Makes me happy!

    1. Thanks, Sarah! I missed writing them and I'm so happy you enjoy reading along! xxoo

  2. Ozark is amazing and I can't wait to try out your Pandora suggestion! Thx!

    1. We just road-tripped to Asheville and back for a soccer tournament and Hip-Hop BBQ'd the whole way! Enjoy.

  3. Such good content, my friend. Keep it comin!