Take A Break. Simplify. Enjoy Life.

Over the last few weeks I’ve been simplifying wherever I can. Unliking FB pages, unfollowing on on twitter, instagram, you name it. Spending less time on the computer or watching TV and more time playing with my cat, reading, and cooking. Its been really nice and I’m better able to appreciate all the amazing things in life. At first, this wasn’t a choice, but rather a necessity that arose from some crazy weeks at school and work. But it also changed my perspective and helped with FOMO :-)

So I’m not sure when I’ll be back here again. I’ll be sure to post when I have inspiration, but this little blog was starting to feel like more of an obligation, which is not what I wanted at all. I’m still super active on Pinterest (because it is my cooking lifeblood, I probably wouldn’t eat anything halfway decent without it!) so follow me there! And I’ll see you all soon! xoxoxo

That Day in March…

That Day in March...

Yesterday was “that day in March where its really warm and you get irrationally optimistic.” Now I’m watching snow fall outside. Winter never feels like its going to end every year, but I was hoping to get a break here in DC!
Can’t wait to reach spring, no matter short it may be!

Image from A Cup of Jo, Artist Sarah Lazarovic

Spring Wallpapers for all your devices

Whenever the seasons change or when holidays come around, I always change my laptop and iPhone wallpapers. There’s something so refreshing to me to having a new background to look at every day. I’m always drawn to beautiful photos, lots of color, and inspiring messages that can help me keep going! I also like to put a folder of wallpapers on rotation so that whenever I look at my laptop, I get fresh inspiration or a picture of my cat :-) !

Here are some great wallpapers that I’m using right now to get an extra spring in my step! 

all images linked to source

for the iphone

pretty plaids

 

here here!

Any fresh & fun backgrounds that I missed? What do you use as a background to keep you happy every day?

Every-Day-Can’t-Live-Without-It Hummus Recipe

basic chickpea hummus

I am a serious hummus addict. M and I were buying hummus every single week and it always seemed like we didn’t have enough! I had made hummus before in a Magic Bullet, so I figured I’d give it a shot in our blender! So glad I did because now we have plenty of hummus for each week, I can change up the flavors all the time, and its super cheap & easy! My favorite!

Here’s the basic recipe I base mine off of, from the New Good Housekeeping Cookbook. (Should probably be “new” at this point since it’s from 2001! But I love it anyway, great for basics like this!)

Good Housekeeping Basic Hummus recipe

MMMM!! How good does that look hanging out with some black-eyed pea salad?!! Delicious lunch if you ask me!

chickpea hummus and black eyed pea salad

Using the GHK recipe as a guide, here are the ingredients that I put in the classic hummus: tahini, sandwich sprinkle, olive oil, cayenne, black and red, salt, pepper, lemon juice, paprika, and (not pictured) garlic.

chick pea hummus ingredients

I start with a 28oz can of low sodium chick peas, drained, and rinsed. This makes a lot of hummus, so if you’re not a hummus fiend, feel free to use a smaller can and cut down this recipe.

If I remember, I’ll throw a cup or so of the chickpea liquid into the blender first to help season and smooth out the hummus. But most times I forget and it’s still delicious!

chickpea hummus

Then everything goes in the blender! I happen to have a $16 blender from Target, which isn’t the best, but it gets the job done. I usually pulse the ingredients around a few times, turn it off, stir it around, and pulse more. The more liquid you have, the easier it is to blend, but I don’t mind a thicker, chunky hummus. Feel free to drizzle in olive oil or lemon juice or water until you get the consistency that you want.

chickpea hummus blender

Recipe time!

Ingredients

  • 4-8 garlic cloves peeled (depending on your tastes)
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 28 oz can low sodium chick peas, drained and rinsed
  • 4 tablespoons tahini
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil, plus more if needed for consistency
  • 4 tablespoons water
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon sandwich sprinkle (or any salt/herb mix you like)
  • 1/2 teaspoon black and red spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • bread, pita chips, tortilla chips, pretzels, etc for dipping!

Directions

  1. Drain & rinse chickpeas reserving up to 1 cup of liquid. Omit water and some olive oil if reserving liquid.
  2. Put chickpeas, garlic cloves, lemon juice, half of the olive oil, water, and spices in the blender.
  3. Stir tahini well until it is no longer separated. Add to the blender.
  4. Blend and season to taste, adding olive oil or other liquids as needed.

chickpea hummus (2)

Just looking at this makes me hungry! I’m so excited to keep trying different hummus recipes and variations. Definitely going to work my way through all of these.

Have you ever made your own hummus? What do you like to eat it with? (My answer: everything!!)

Spring Break! Dreaming of Antigua

WOOHOO ITS SPRING BREAK!!! So I’m going somewhere tropical, right? not quite…

In college I never went anywhere for spring break, especially not those tropical, all-inclusives that so many people frequent. In fact, the only time I traveled during spring break, other than from campus to home and back, was going to DC and ATL to look at grad school, how fun is that? :-)

But this year, even if my only “break” is not going to class after work this week, I am dreaming of a tropical vacation in my near future: heading to Antigua this summer with my family!

Need a little orientation as to where exactly that is? Don’t worry, I did too!

 

And while my trip is still several months away, I’m looking forward to soaking it all up, sand, sun, ocean, and rainforest. I mean, how heavenly does this all look?

I feel relaxed already!

What’s the next trip you have planned OR where are you dreaming of going? Clearly I’ve got the travel bug!

 

Words of Wisdom: Living Life

better late than never!

20140305-200330.jpg

Happy Wednesday folks! Hope everyone has been having a great week. Due to a snowday on Monday I had a wonderful and homework filled 4 day weekend, so it hardly feels like the middle of the week to me but I’ll take it!

On the way home from class I was listening to an old episode of The Nerdist podcast with Aziz Ansari as a guest. Now I love Aziz on Parks and Rec and I’ve heard his standup is also great. His new special Buried Alive is next up in my Netflix queue. But I was honestly surprised at the amazing career and life advice he had to dole out too!

One of the things he said makes him a good comic and allows him to come up with jokes is just taking the time to live life. Obviously he can tell jokes about funny things that have happened to other people, but it’s better when it happens to him personally.

I thought this was amazing advice. Even though I’m not trying to make a career of telling funny stories or jokes, it’s so important to take time away from work, school, whatever to live and relax. I know it helps me feel more productive, have a better time concentrating, and adds to that whole “work life balance” thing. :-)

So when you’re feeling stressed or burnt out, remember to go out there and live! Take a walk, chat with a friend, watch your favorite tv show, whatever floats your boat!

Home Office Inspiration: Glass Desks

Being a grad student, I spend more time at my desk than I would like to admit. But any space that you spend a lot of time in should be both functional and fun to be in, if you ask me! So today I’m going to share some desks that are inspiring me to make my space a little more fabulous.

I was fortunate enough to inherit a gorgeous frosted glass desk from my dad to bring to DC. So goodbye particle board, too small desk from Target, hello glamorous desk! (When its not covered in books and papers and to do lists of course!) The desk is very basic, very utilitarian, and basically just a giant piece of glass. Practically screams for a little decorating! 

As usual, I’ve been looking high and low for inspiration for glass desks and desks that face a window, since that is my current set up. Here we go! 

Even though this one isn’t glass, I just loved the pop of color this one provided! If had the space to spray paint, these plain silver legs would most likely end up being a fun color! I also love how the profile of this desk is short and simple. Being able to have everything at hand without blocking the view and light is so important to me since we only have 2 windows!

Again, I’m loving the simplicity here! Also, propping that little lamp up on a stack of magazines is both stylish and handy! My stack would probably be textbooks, but who needs to read those anyway? Tee hee hee…

More simplicity, clean lines, and pop of color from that cow headphone holder! I need it!! This one doesn’t face a window and isn’t strictly glass, but I just couldn’t stop looking at the photos. In today’s society the way we snap photos without a thought, I feel like we appreciate printed photos even less. Taking the time to decorate your space with photos of people & places that you love or inspire you personalizes your workspace and makes it somewhere you actually want to come back to.

Besides the perfectly coordinated storage options and decor in this one, I really like the idea of having a skirt around your desk. I’m not sure how I’d do it in my space, but being able to cover up those hideous cords and maybe have some hidden storage would be awesome! I hate having to look at the mess of cords all the time, and without drawers or shelves, I’m in need of more desk storage that allows me to keep a low profile.

THIS IS MY FAVORITE EVER!! I first spotted this beautiful office set up on Color Me Caitie’s post on Ali Cayne’s townhouse tour and I can’t stop thinking about it! I love the gold legs (I’m telling you, spraypaint is calling to me!!) and the huge inspiration board behind it. While I don’t have the space or gorgeous hardwood floors, this is the set up I wish I could have! My only question is where do her cords go?!? (Can you tell I hate cords? I really do. They’re the absolute worst part of technology.)

Any tips for my glass desk decor? How do you decorate your work space at home or at work?