Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Recent Books That Have Changed the Way I Live

I've been pretty lucky this year to have read some mind-blowing change-the-way-you-live books. I haven't quite done book reviews on them, because honestly, they'd be pages and pages long. I could brag on them all day. However, here's a sneak-peek shortened version, because I just can't keep quiet about them.

The Curated Closet, Anuschka Rees

Great For: finally figuring out your personal style; creating "uniforms" or "signature pieces" which make shopping for new clothes and choosing daily outfits a breeze
Why I Love It In One Sentence: Very detailed book that will help you understand clothes, fashion, and your style better than you ever thought possible.
Good Habits I've Now Started: I'm no longer spending money experimenting with clothing. I know what my staple pieces are (colors, fabrics, cuts, etc.) and know my personal style. It's so easy to spot what is and isn't going to look good on me in the stores.

The Little Book of Skincare, Charlotte Cho

Great For: learning how to take care of your skin and age beautifully; intro to Korean skincare
Why I Love It In One Sentence: Very personable book written to truly help you prioritize and take care of your skin, for your lifetime.
Good Habits I've Now Started: Sunscreen! Lord knows I don't want wrinkles any sooner than I have to, so sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen. I also take way better care of my skin because I pay attention to what it tells me it needs (moisturizer, Dr. Jart acne mask, exfoliation, etc.). I've also adopted the 10-step Korean skincare routine because of this book.

7: An Experimental Mutinany Against Excess, Jen Hatmaker

Great For: someone who is overwhelmed by all of their "stuff" and wants to get out of the consumer lifestyle
Why I Love It In One Sentence: A great, spiritual book that will help you take a closer look into your own personal habits, see what you can pair down to, and truly understand how richly blessed you already are.
 Good Habits I've Now Started: Truly thinking before I purchase. So many of Jen's personal stories will pop into my mind as I think about shopping or spending. Do I really need this? Don't I already have 10 purses at home?

Taking Charge of Your Fertility, Toni Weschler

Great For: women of all ages and life stages, but even more specifically women who are wanting a family soon
Why I Love It In One Sentence: This book will educate you like never before to really understand and embrace your body and monthly cycle.
Good Habits I've Now Started: Charting my monthly cycle and paying attention to what my body is telling me. I could go on and on about this book, but basically this book feels like the real health-science class you never got, the one with actual, helpful information. Toni is a master at gently giving information we all wish we knew, and demystifying the female cycle.

Each one of these books has changed the way I think and live. Have you read any of these? What are your thoughts? I hope they are as powerful for you!

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Friday, May 19, 2017

We're Moving!

It's a little crazy, but Daniel and I are moving to north Florida at the end of this month. Our home is in boxes and the POD is coming!

This exciting new adventure came after a long time of preparation and waiting, prayer and dreams. We have always loved how beautiful north Florida is, and look forward to having slight seasonal variation.

We've traveled up there a few times before, as we used to have friends who lived there (they've since moved on to Little Rock, AR for medical school). Everything has more of a small-town feel, and a very distinct Southern vibe.

Right after we got back from London, we were able to sell our house, which is both a relief and also sad. As I pack boxes, there are so many memories that come back to me. All the furniture we've built custom for this house, all the parties we've hosted, dinners we've made for friends and family. The list goes on and on. This little home in Orlando will be missed, but it's time to start a new chapter and embrace change.

Stay tuned for all the fun details of us buying our second home together, renovation, design, and diy! It's gonna be a fun summer!

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Thursday, May 18, 2017

Kensington Palace & Hampton Court Palace in London, England

I want to finish out my London trip series with two very special palaces.. Kensington Palace and Hampton Court Palace.

Us in front of Hampton Court Palace
Touring these royal palaces was an absolute thrill for me. I could totally imagine myself back in time, visiting as a guest of the monarchy. It was surreal to be able to walk the halls where Queen Victoria would have walked, or look over the gardens as Anne Boleyn would have.

We first toured Hampton Court, most famously known as the home of Henry the VIII (the one with 6 wives, remember him?). I totally loved it. It was opulent, glamorous, and absolutely huge!

Great Hall in Hampton Court Palace
Hampton Court is a huge palace, with extensive grounds. Beyond the gardens, they have wildlife, so we got to see some deer roaming around. Just stunning!

Hampton Court Palace Gardens
We spent the whole day at Hampton Court, had a wonderful lunch, and then headed back into London for the evening.

On a different day, Daniel and I went to Kensington Palace. It's right in the city of London, and an easy walk with the Tube. My favorite part of this palace was how close it was to the parks- Hyde Park and Kensington Park. It felt like a quiet retreat, right in the heart of the city.

Front gate of Kensington Palace
Rear view of Kensington Palace, and parks beyond
The palace was stunning. It is most famous for being the home of QueenVictoria, as she lived here most of her life. Her statue sits out behind the palace (my photos, above and below). After our self-guided tour, we had a wonderful lunch in the cafe, and I purchased some Royal Palace china in a tea set for myself. Yay!

Overall, I loved our days at the palaces. I would go back in a heartbeat. I could tour them over and over again. Next trip, I'd love to visit Kew Palace and Gardens, and in August (the only month it's open) Buckingham Palace.

I loved every moment of our London trip, and long to go back.

Relive our trip with some of these posts:
City of Bath
City of London

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