Hello from a Frigid 2015

January 9, 2015

As much as I’m not a New Year’s person, the post-holiday frenzy and symbolic changing-of-the-calendar is a totally natural time to breathe, reassess, and start fresh. It’s resolution time!

And, all the other bloggers are doing it. Peer pressure is a powerful motivator.

Life is Short Don't Be Lazy - image be The Crafted Life  http://thecraftedlife.com/free-girlboss-printable/

image by The Crafted Life; print by Jordan Brantley (click for the free printable)

What’s NOT motivating, at least to me, is writing a long intimidating list of all the things I want to accomplish and hanging it above my desk to glower at me for a few months, until I realize I haven’t made any progress and relocate my plans to the recycling bin. Been there, done that. I am a very ambitious person, but it’s HARD to make changes. Just in case you didn’t know that.

So this year, I’m trying something new: making resolutions for each season of the year.

And because I’m totally anal, I’m breaking each season’s goals down into manageable tasks. Put your glasses on, it’s time to get nerdy.

Winter Goals: It’s all about building healthy habits.

I’ve written before about dealing with chronic migraines and fibromyalgia, so all I’ll say here is—I want to get as healthy as I can within the limits of those illnesses. And while I’ve worked hard to manage the symptoms and have a good treatment plan, there are some lifestyle changes I could make to help myself further and have more good days. So it’s high time I made them already!

Start and STICK WITH a daily mindfulness practice.

Anxiety makes all health issues worse, and especially migraines. I’ve tried yoga for relaxation in the past and found it to be very helpful, but never made it into a habit. This is the year—or should I say the season.

>> start with yoga and/or meditation 1x per week; build to 2x per week, 3x, etc. until I can make it an every day routine

>> try both morning and evening practices to see what is most relaxing to me (possibly yoga in the morning and meditation before bed?)

Walk for 20 minutes a day.

I was really good about walking last spring and summer, and then just stopped out of nowhere. Exercise is really important for migraines, but really difficult with fibromyalgia; slightly brisk walks seem to work best to keep me strong. A walk is also a great time be mindful, and I love getting away from all the devices and screens and just enjoying the sights.

>> start with 2x per week and build back up to every day.

Drink more water.

Whenever doctors ask me if I drink enough water, I answer “Yes!”…but I’m not consistent with it. (Are you seeing a theme here?)

This is a tough habit to build because it’s all about regular reminders, which can be hard with unpredictable schedules. I already drink only water throughout the day—no soda, juice, alcohol, or anything else other than the occasional cup of tea or morning smoothie. I’m thinking of trying this strategy of breaking my daily water needs into an hourly goal—what do you think? Any other tips on staying hydrated?

And those are my winter goals! I feel positive about this experiment. Long-term goals can be hard to keep up with because it feels like there’s no end to them. With this seasonal strategy, I have a 3-month “deadline” to work on my healthy habits—long enough to give me time to work on them, but short enough that I can remember them and stay motivated.

We’ll see! At the very least, here’s to trying something new!

Are you a resolution/goal-setting person? What has worked or failed for you in the past? Is it above 20°F where you are? (If so, may I join you there?)

There’s been some awesome posts about goals in blogland this year, check out some of my favorites:

Rethinking the Resolution: 4 Tips to Make Those Goals Stick, by Max Tielman for Design*Sponge

Five Things in 2015, by Paper & Stitch

2015 – Things to Enjoy, by Homey oh My!

and The Ultimate List, culminating in the best goal of all, via Dreams, Rings, and What Life Brings

The Wedding Photos

December 31, 2014

I’m not a New Year’s person.

Truthfully, I find the whole thing a bit underwhelming. Maybe my expectations are too high—apparently sipping champagne in a killer dress aboard a yacht with an admiring Jeff Goldblum on my arm is too much to ask?

Last year, I tried so hard. I hung a garland, wrote all about a Pinterest-inspired New Year’s conversion, wore glittery shoes, partied. And I mean, the partying was fun, the friends were fun, but it still fell woefully short from the balloon-bedecked, big-haired fanfare of When Harry Met Sally.

So this year, rather than waste my energy and your time with a New Year’s DIY that I’m just not into…I’m sharing the wedding photos I’ve been promising you.

November Courthouse Wedding - Jade and Fern

continue reading

The Busy Wo/Man’s Guide to a DIY Modern Holiday Garland

December 22, 2014

The road to crafting hell is paved with ambitious DIY plans.

I had a really glamorous holiday project in the works for you. It involved copper and wire and tools and magic and all things good. Alas, the post office has yet to deliver my supplies, after TWO WEEKS of waiting, grumble grumble.

So what do you do when your original idea is foiled by unforeseen Acts of the Universe and you only have 3 days ’till Christmas?


DIY Modern Holiday Garland by Jade and Fern

All you need to make this DIY Modern Holiday Garland are greenery and about 20 minutes of time. Which means this is the perfect holiday decor idea for the Busy Wo/Man.

Which is pretty much all of us, assuming you don’t have a horde of obedient children helpful elves to run errands for you.

DIY Modern Holiday Garland by Jade and Fern

DIY Modern Holiday Garland by Jade and Fern

This garland is so easy that I didn’t shoot process photos. But since I used the word “guide” in my title, I’ll break it down for you anyways.

DIY Modern Holiday Garland

Skill Level: The Easiest.

Time: 20 minutes once you have all the supplies.

What You Need:

  • a bunch of greens. Check your local groceries and tree lots for pine branches, magnolia, eucalyptus, and boxwood. Or if you live in a foresty area, take a walk with some shears!
  • a branch or dowel for hanging
  • twine, cord, or ribbon
  • scissors

Step One – Tie a piece of cord to both ends of the branch/dowel so you can hang the completed garland.

Step Two – If necessary, thin the greens so you can separate them into bunches. Arrange the bunches in the order you want to hang them — this is totally subjective, just play around until you like it!

Step Three – Tie each bunch to the dowel using the twine. You can also tie extra greens along the top of the dowel for a dose of fancyness (see the close-up pic above).

Step Four – Hang. Admire. Add string lights and a couple candles. Holiday decorating complete.

DIY Modern Holiday Garland by Jade and Fern

See now, wasn’t that easy?

DIY Modern Holiday Garland by Jade and Fern

DIY Modern Holiday Garland by Jade and Fern

I got a little engrossed shooting the pretty pretty greenery, and ended up shoving our couch to the side and lying on the floor with my butt against the wall and my head propped on a pile of books to get the shots I wanted. Which left Jax puzzled.

Jax the Cat - via Jade and Fern

It’s ok, Jax, I just like the pretties.

Oh god, I just talked to my cat through my blog. Is it too early for a stiff vegan eggnog? That’s appropriate around the holidays, right?

DIY Modern Holiday Garland by Jade and Fern

DIY Modern Holiday Garland by Jade and Fern

What’s left on your holiday to-do list?

I’m still sewing up stockings for our mantle. Because I’m apparently a crazy person who can’t heed my own words about crafting hell.

But good food with good people makes the frenzy worthwhile. Or so I keep telling myself…

Merry Everything, everyone! Enjoy your celebrations, whatever forms they take, and give yourself time to breathe it all in.

See you on the other side of my annual food coma!

DIY Modern Holiday Garland by Jade and Fern

Make it Friday: Last Chance Holiday DIYs

December 19, 2014

This is it, folks. Hanukkah has started, Christmas and Kwanzaa are imminently approaching, and New Year’s is just a blip on the radar away.

Which means, this weekend is really your very last chance to make those holiday DIYs you keep intending to get to. Let’s roll up our sleeves and pull out the glue guns!

And drills, paint, clay, twine, tissue paper…

Make it Friday: Last Chance Holiday DIYs

Eye am in love with these trendy-but-fabulous clay eye ornaments by Almost Makes Perfect (tee-hee!). They look like they only take about half an hour to make—perfect for the crazy days ahead.

Ok, this beautiful branch candelabra is not a DIY, it’s actually an expensive decor accessory from West Elm. BUT it’s an awesome idea and would be totally easy to recreate! Just glue some simple candle holders onto a sturdy, branchy branch (copper caps as in The Merrythought’s DIY candles would work nicely), and light it up.

For you leather-loving makers, Delia Creates made a stunning leather Scandinavian ornament. You’d need a leather punch tool, but it looks like a quick and easy project.

I don’t even know what to say about this rustic menorah centerpiece by Francois et Moi, it’s too pretty for words. Just make it, already.

The Merrythought wins again with their lovely and EASY hanging chalk canvases—use them to add holiday charm to your decor, then re-use them any other time you need a chalkboard.

Hurray for time-saving printables! A Piece of Rainbow is sharing a good one with this paper village luminary craft. Cuteness to the max.

Paper & Stitch came up with SEVEN simple ways to stamp your own wrapping paper, using common household objects. The results look like something you would buy for crazy monies at The Paper Source, don’t you think?

This flameless fire pit project from October June is already in the works in my house. Nothing says “cozy” like a crackling fire, and since I can’t have the real thing in our non-working fireplace, me and the cats will curl up next to this beauty. Good luck finding room, husband (muahaha).


Funny story: I’ve been so scatterbrained with all the holiday craziness, writing wedding thank-you cards, getting the blog back on track, working erratic hours at Anthropologie, and trying to actually, you know, enjoy the holidays—that I never buckled my belt yesterday. Walked around all day with it just hanging there, unbuckled. Didn’t even notice.

Can I get a new brain for Christmas?

How are you all holding up? Who’s ready for the post-New Year’s hibernation?