Life's Little Luxuries

Life's Little Luxuries

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Retrying Old Projects

So I started knitting again....

Wow, what a sad, sad way to begin any post. But it's entirely way too true. I've got proof. The whole point is how I felt - it's accomplishing! And oddly, relaxing.

Hand-knitted headbands and a monogrammed embroidered one
There will be a personal realization at the end of this - I promise.

After being sick for a few days already, all I wanted to do after work on a -11 degree day was get into PJ's and watch Despicable Me 2 in bed. I did that AND managed to be productive, depending on what one considers productive. I knitted two headbands. My first one had turned out a little weird as I experimented with different kitting techniques, and most likely will be redoing it, but no matter because I found it relaxing. It was the most productive, yet unproductive feeling ever. I am obsessed with monograms, so for the second, much better knitted headband, I wanted to monogram with my boyfriend's first initial. Neither he nor I really liked it, so I will be taking that out and redoing that, as well ...another shot at my productive/unproductive feeling.

After finishing the two headbands during the 1.5 hour movie in bed, I couldn't help but feel accomplished and take photos to share with everyone on social media "like how awesome at knitting" I was for a 23-year old. Omygosh, I see my downward spiral into the comfortable homebody that I never was or wanted to be...

"Look at me! I knit in bed on Tuesday nights!"
I learned how to knit when I was 14 from my grandmother (who makes the bombest sweaters btw) and made a scarf for an ex when I was 19. I had left my knitting supplies at home, and over this Christmas season at my parents' home, I found them and decided to bring the supplies back to Pitt with me. It's incredible how quickly I remember to cast on, purl, and cast off. It must've been already ingrained in my fingers and that subconscious memory is a pretty cool feeling - like when you remember the lyrics to some random contemporary song from the mid-90's. 

I'm just happy that I've completed a project, in all honesty. If I can be 23 and make awesome accessories with my old-new-found skill, then I've just got one more thing under my belt and can move on to another project in consistently updating this or this blog.

I hope you all just try out that new hobby you've been meaning to pick up. Complete a project with it, and go from there to see whether or not you actually found it to be a good addition to your life.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Resolution & Insight to Speaking

The timing of everything in my life couldn't be so off yet so on; so many not so good things happening yet so many things with common denominators. After New Years, I had only made one resolution. So I was driving in my car post-Sunday yoga and I had thought of my one important resolution... It was really the only thing that mattered to me and any other goals and lists I had made were purely for keeping me busy aiming towards something, knowing it was okay to alter them. I think it's modify my goal halfway through because I, myself, change so why can't my goals?

...then later that day, news came to me that only reinforced that this resolution must be a long-term goal to always be achieved, each and every day of my life.

My grandfather in India had passed away just days before my father was planning to visit. I have never seen my dad so upset in my entire life. And of course, I totally understand why.

Now, you are probably wondering what this resolution/goal/every day challenge is and I want you to prepare for it, and consider it, and make it your own as well....

For every time I feel love, I say I love you.
For every time I say, I love you, I mean it. I mean it with all of my emotion and feeling.
There is active energy when I say it, like I am passing a physical item to the person receiving it.

Too often do we tend to say those three little words out of habit rather than with true feeling. It's a terrible routine we get into. (It's like saying "HelloHowAreYou" as a single word, run-on sentence, truly not thinking what you just asked, to be blunt, in an insincere way.) Since I was little, I felt like I was shorting out on the meaning of I love you by cutting out the "I". It may or may not evoke the same message and emotion to you, but when I do cut out that one-letter word, you know the meaning behind it is only halfway there.

So the next time you say anything, especially a greeting or I love you, say it with sincerity. You will feel how powerful your words truly are and how good you feel after you do.

Peace, love, and happiness and a Happy New Year --

Friday, November 15, 2013

Flowing thoughts from an over-analytical mind

I'm just going to let this post flow from my thoughts to my fingers...

You know you're alive when something changes. That robotic feeling from life stops when something dramatic happens. It can be emotionally, physically, or just witnessing it happen to another person. You don't actually understand the ups without the downs. This post is about the down moments. I take it that life wants to challenge me. I take the challenge. As easy as it is to let it affect me and those around me, I try to breathe deeply, think logically, and plan my next move towards that solution. Undoubtedly, it is much easier to just give up and go cry in a corner and receive sympathy.

Personal beliefs have truly formed in my 20's. I didn't know what I wanted to believe in growing up until I became independent. Parents are there for guidance, advice, and influence, but they aren't there to tell you that the way you're transforming into you own person is right or wrong, that's your decision. I don't believe one religion is the right one, but I also don't believe religion is all wrong. And that is where I separate religion with faith. Faith, to me, is believing in your own impressions of the world, universe, and higher being. I now see how people in very deprived situations turn to their faith as their only resort.

As someone who likes to consider themselves as independent and needs to have control of every arising problem, I think I can fix the problems myself. That's not how life works - I know this, but I can't help but try to do everything myself. The majority of the time, it is best to do things for yourself, because it's really tough to find anyone that will do things the way you need them to. And when all things fail, I turn to my faith. My faith in the universe that everything happens for a reason. 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Falling for...Fall

Every morning when I wake up I look most forward to picking out my outfit for the day...
burberry, talbots, cole haan
Top: Burberry Brit (new)
Skirt: Talbots Petite (new)
Shoes: Cole Haan
Watch: Marc Jacobs
Look good, feel good  is my personal mantra. It's wonderful to have a reason to dress up! (even if the reason is simply because "I wanna!") Fortunately, my work life allows me to be comfortable, yet requires the business casual look. With that I can mix & match and experiment if I'd like. For someone that has a secret guilty pleasure of preppy fashion blogs, this is the perfect season to try out a new style and mix it with what I know & like. Autumn is all about change - why not experiment with personal fashion?

Florals, reds, and greens galore
My inspiration for this outfit of the day? The University of Pittsburgh's undeniably beautiful campus. Check out the colors of the leaves, green grass sprinkled with light snow & blue skies!

Happy Autumn :)

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The Big Picture

I suppose I've made it my mission not only to inspire others but to acheive every goal I've set for myself - one of which had me thinking after 6a hot yoga class with my favorite yogi teacher (he gave me a free class this morning weeee, extra smiles!)
My goal is to be happy, maintain positivity, and just be appreciative of what I've got. The more I think about that goal, the more I realize life can be made up of a million little happy things and a few sad, tragic, stupid big moments. I had a little happy moment this morning as I was walking to my car this am - I experienced a death by happiness when I realized how phenomenal the weather was being lately especially at the 5:45 darkness of morning. If only that could last longer than the 2 minutes that I did get, but it was those 2 minutes that really pumped me up for my 16 hour Tuesday. I was in 110% mode of happiness. 
I know everyone says "it's the little things in life" but truly, it is! Appreciate the little bouts of happiness, string them together and all of the bad moments will be overpowered. Get your favorite latte, listen to an upbeat song, do some work that you must do, talk to someone you like...putting all three of those happy experiences into one day will feel like the best day ever! (even though you still had to do work) Take things in life on a micro level, then step back to really feel it on a macro level. Try it out and let me know how it works out for you. 

Peace, love, & happiness everyone. Happy Tuesday!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Sunday Inspiration on Change

As fall approaches, it’s inevitable to have things stay the same. Someone told me that it’s the springtime – winds of change – that he sees when life alters. For me, I find the fall to be that time. It’s the beginning of a new academic year, and although I am no longer in school, I still feel like I am on that schedule. I suppose having my birthday in September also marks the change, another year completed, another year to look forward to. After graduating, the amount of change that has occurred in the last 5 months is amazing. New address, new job, new opportunity to be a better me, finding myself, creating myself. Other things have changed; my parents don’t need such a big house anymore. The kids aren’t living at home, everyone is growing up and life throws curve balls. It’s going to be weird, no doubt, but I truly know it’s for the best, and I have a feeling it’s going to be better this way. It’s uncomfortable to adjust a lifestyle, even tougher when you aren’t so mentally prepared for it. I’ve also realized it’s incredibly silly to be attached to such material things.

Life stops when change does. I’ve learned to trust the world and accept what comes my way because I truly believe that “everything happens for a reason.”

I woke up in the middle of the night the other day and, in the dark, aimlessly grabbed my notepad and pen and wrote down what was on my mind. It was about change. Today, I attended a yoga class I was not planning on going to until my originally planned yoga class elsewhere was cancelled. I had to get my yoga in for the day, and I tried someplace new and a new technique really. At the end of the class, the teacher read an excerpt that was about life and change. At this point, I knew the theme in my life must be about transformation, adjustments, change. I couldn’t just be thinking about it randomly. (Absolutely nothing in life is ever random in my humble opinion, including spontaneity). There was a reason I thought about it a few days ago, so after this reading, I was insanely inspired to go to the park to write this blog post about it. I simply wanted to share with you all how change is taking place in my life. 

The excerpt was from the book “Journey to the Heart” by Melody Beattie (which I just purchased on Amazon) and I hope it inspires you as much as it has inspired me on this beautiful, late September Sunday. When I find that quote, I will be sure to share it.

**Be open to change - it's usually for the best. And if it's not for the best, then it won't happen. Trust your intuition, & if it's something you can't change then remember, everything happens for a reason.** That is basically what I wrote in the middle of the night...

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Your Typical Life Insights Post

Let's be real, how many of us have been reading and sharing all of these articles that provide some pretty powerful and equally "no duh" insights into our lives? Many of these articles and viral blog posts are written by twenty-somethings, because I suppose 30-somethings+ aren't into writing blogs and articles about "looking back" or "giving advice to yourself 5 or 10 years ago". Although reading parent forums and posts get pretty comical & make me never want a child. I also hope no one is 40 yrs old and writing a post about how lonely they are and looking back at their life. That would just be depressing.

So I called this post something bland, it won't stick out, and yet, could trigger some readership. Why? Everyone loves a relatable post. Don't lie, you do. In your head, while reading that "thoughts of a 20-something" post, you are all like "heyyy, that happens to me! Yea, yea, totally agree. Ugh, why is this writer talking about my life. Seriously." But really. I know, been there. Now I will attempt to evoke those same thoughts with this post.

Here is my list of 23 things I have insights about in my 23 years plus 8 days of living...

1) Love yourself. You cannot love anything else until you love yourself.
2) CHOOSE happiness. Yes, it is a choice. No one can make that choice for you. I cannot imagine I used to be a miserable teenager that hated life & just everything during my whole "punk-goth" phase. I feel like I wasted a period of time in my life choosing unhappiness. 
3) Appreciate your parents. Acknowledge their love and guidance and most importantly, their support. I am truly biased towards my family. Family is everything. I wouldn't be anywhere near my dreams without them & they truly want what's best.
4) Prioritize your priorities. Need I say more?
5) Lose the sense of entitlement. You are absolutely entitled to nothing, nada, 0. 
6) Be willing to apologize even if you know you did nothing wrong. It just proves that you are willing to stand down in order to keep a relationship. [and by relationship I mean a friendship, closeness with a family member, a significant other, etc.]
7) College is the best four years of your life. Savor every drunk, hungover, tired, hungry, poor, busy, happy moment. #yolo right?
8) Lose the jealousy. It doesn't help & it doesn't motivate. If you want something make it a goal that you will get it, but don't get jealous because someone else has it.
9) Be Spontaneous. Or as spontaneous as your bank account allows you to be.
10) Save money.
11) Don't think because you finished school, you can't still learn. Keep an open mind and keep learning. Why not pick up a new hobby? Read a random college textbook?
12) Indulge. Once in a while, you'll need it.
13) Don't nit pick. You honestly limit yourself when you are too focused on alllll of the little things that irk you. 
14) Travel.
15) Experiment. This goes for anything. Wanna get something pierced, do itttt. Wanna know what happens if you mix redbull & tequila all night, do itttt. I mean, it could turn out badly, but you also wouldn't know and it could turn out fantastically unless you try!
16) Have no regr@ts. But really, try to have as little regrets in life as possible. It significantly helps to make you happier and you learn from mistakes. Cliche, I know.
17) Keep in touch. The networking and connections you make in life will definitely help you get to where you want to be. I have absolutely no doubt about this insight.
18) Fall in and out of love. This is so you know what it feels like to be obsessively in love with someone and then having your heart ripped out and stepped on. You grow and learn from experiences like these. Everyone should understand these two emotions. Also, it's so you know not to hurt someone the way that someone has hurt you. It suxxx.
19) Have a credit card. I don't care what you do with it. Have one. It teaches you debt and monthly payments.
20) Be Inspired and Inspire Others. A day without inspiration is a day wasted in my opinion.
21) Rule #1: Never get sloppy.
22) Be Thankful!!!! Whether or not you believe in a God or higher being just thank life once in a while. It forces you to notice the good things in life.
23) Have a life motto: (mines changed a few times, and it should!)
everything happens for a reason. ;) 

Peace, love, and happiness.