{bit of beauty: sunshine & thunderstorms}

A little less than a month away from the official start of summer; still, the storm season has begun here in South Florida. With the afternoon thunderstorms and surface of the sun heat comes playful gingham, breezy tunics, dips in the ocean, and delicious slices of watermelon. Is there anything more delicious than drops of juice dripping from your hands and chin on a hot day and a jump into a seemingly freezing pool to wash the sticky sugar from your skin? As for the storms, they do serve a purpose. After that exhausting heat, a nap will be in order to the sound of thunder and pouring rain on the windowsills.

unknown, camila akrans, feaverish photography, kate moss by mario sorrenti

{how to have an awesome day}

1. Instead of grumbling about what you don’t like, try this:

2. End the day before a bit earlier. That way you can wake up earlier, which means you won’t rush and be in a pissed off mood.

3. Let there be light. Picture it: You wake up all on your own. No annoying ring or cell phone going off. It’s quiet and just bright enough. Doesn’t that sound pleasant? Here’s the thing. Our bodies are made to respond to cues like warmth and light to raise us from sleep. If you’ve gotten an adequate amount of sleep (at least 6 hours), then it’s very likely that you can get used to waking up without an alarm clock.

If you’re in the market for a new alarm clock, there are some light emitting versions that mimic daybreak, slowly emitting more light to help you wake up. Don’t want to spend the cash? Put a lamp on a timer and set it to turn on about 15 minutes before your alarm clock goes off.

4. Now that you’ve woken up a bit earlier, make sure to do something for yourself.

5. Create an environment of good vibes in the morning. No screaming {unless you’re into cheering in the morning… that works, too}, no TV, no nagging. If you must, give yourself 5 minutes to check for emergency e-mails or weather reports online. That’s it. No more. Instead, of paying attention to all the noise clutter and info clutter that can swamp our mornings, take time to be present in what you’re doing. Sitting, eating, cooking… Look out the window. Look at your family. Talk to your cat. Whatever does it for you.

6. Work on one task at a time at work. The world isn’t likely to end if you don’t check your e-mail every 5 minutes. Pick a task. Get it done. Move on.

7. Hit your refresh button. Shift your position. Focus on nothing. Focus on a different sense. Go outside if you can. If you can’t do this at your current job, then it’s time to fire your job.

8. Avoid people with bad behaviors. Unless you’re the type that never picks up anyone’s habits, say goodbye. Studies have shown that we really are who our friends are. If you hang out with smokers, you’re more likely to pick up the habit. Trying to lose weight? Hanging around friends who are heavier will actually increase your chances of being heavier, too. On the flipside, if you’re a strong personality who tends to be the influencer, your presence can benefit those with bad habits.

9. Do everything as slowly as you can. ALL. DAY. LONG.

10. Don’t watch TV, or skip a day on the internet.

11. Get rid of something you aren’t using. Throw it in the garbage or donate it. Don’t even let yourself think twice about it. Just do it.

12. Tell someone you care about that you love them, even if they won’t say it back. Love is something that isn’t meant to be bottled up and crushed inside of us. It turns into a weight, a burden, when we do. So let it go. Write it or say it, just let them know.

13. Make room for playtime. It’s in our nature to play. Play is a form of communication, learning, and expression that is clearly visible in childhood. Somewhere along the line, we tend to have this inclination beaten out of us, er, I mean, we “mature.” I’m not sure where the idea that being playful is bad for adults came about, but I think it’s bollocks. {Yes to British terminology!}

Play leads to creativity. It relaxes us. It can challenge us. So, whether it be kickball, coloring, pretend {my favorite} or puzzles, make a little room for it in your schedule.

14. Speaking of making room in your schedule: Don’t overplan. Don’t box yourself in like that!

15. While you’re at it, get rid of the words try, but, and perhaps. Replace them with do, yes, and no.

16. Do something to make your home more sensual.

17. Be like buddha. Take time to acknowledge the thoughts that flow through your mind and then let them pass. Be aware of yourself, physically. This will lead to an awareness of your inner divinity. Doesn’t matter what religion you practice, if any. It works for everyone.

18. Ponder an aspect of nature. Rain, currents, wind, life, soil… Pick something and thoroughly explore it. Turn it over in your mind {or in your hands, if you can} and wonder.

19. Give yourself authority. You’re in charge of your own actions. You are important. It’s up to you to take care of yourself and to know yourself. You can make decisions. Don’t just ask for suggestions; give them. Fight for what you want, even if you lose. Be enthusiastic.

20. Do something without expecting anything in return. Not keeping score will free you.

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{the escape}

I confess, I have a horrible case of wanderlust and escapism. I thrive off random jaunts to both familiar and unknown places. {I would regret not traveling more than anything.} I retreat into my imagination frequently and can’t stand to feel caged. You’ll find me staring out the window or off into nothing. I thrive on imagination. Change. Unknown. I need adventure. I need to escape.
{a little link love}
+ less is more
+ what are you working for
+ some like it hot

{bit of beauty: simplicity}

There’s a certain simplicity to the images above.

A garland of flowers enhancing natures superior beauty. A rudimentary trinket, like a tiny bicycle made of wire. Cool wet sand under your fingertips with the sun beaming gently on your shoulders and a light breeze whipping a few stray strands across your face. A stark white yurt in the middle of a mossy green forest.

Simple. Beautiful. Soothing.

For several months, bloggers have been detailing what makes their life beautiful in the Everyday Beautiful Life series. The most frequently mentioned were love and flowers. I’ve spent the past year reevaluating and redefining what’s important. The series, along with the discovery of other bloggers, and my own experiences has made me think:

What do we really need in our lives? Not a whole lot. What does it take to make out everyday life a bit more beautiful? Turns out, not a whole lot, either.

lace & tea, upon a fold, here, & christian weber