I apologize for how quiet it’s been here at Beard + Bloom the past couple of weeks. Life has been pretty full lately with the usual stuff, some unexpected, not-so-usual stuff, and peppered in between, there have been a few of those I’m-not-getting-out-of-bed-let-alone-being-productive days spent battling off the winter blues.
I thought I’d start a little series for stretches like these, when we aren’t creating a whole lot of exciting content, simply to share what we’ve been up to and are currently interested in so that we can look back years from now and reminisce about even the most “normal” seasons of our lives. Because when it comes down to it, they’re what count the most, right?
I also thought they might spark some conversation if our readers are currently into any of the same things, or are in similar moods.
So, here’s what I (and we) have been up to and into lately:
Planning and starting projects around the house. I’ve been obsessively Pinning, scouring Craigslist and thrift shops, and dreaming up all of the ways I want to make our house a home lately. We’re planning on starting some major projects over the next couple of weeks (mostly painting) and I’m so excited to step outside of my comfort zone and see some progress!
Speaking of, we converted our teeny-tiny, mostly ignored, poor little hallway closet into a “built in” bookshelf last week! Jeremy will be sharing a how-to soon, if you’re looking to do something similar.
Squeezing in some of our favorite shows. When we moved into our place, I made the decision that we absolutely would not have a TV in the living room. In the past, it’s been a source of ruining any and all of my productivity when I’m downstairs. But Jeremy finally talked me into it when we were made aware of an awesome Super Bowl weekend deal, and I caved. I have to admit, it’s been nice to cuddle up on the couch after dinner and watch an episode of Making a Murderer or Bates Motel together when our schedules allow it! And so far, I’ve been doing a great job of not losing too many hours sucked into the screen.
Being totally absorbed in the right book at the right time. I’ve been wanting to read Big Magic for awhile now. I was a bit concerned, though, that given the hype around it, it would let me down somehow. Be full of clichés and your standard “creative thinking” advice. Still, the interest was there, and Jeremy surprised me with a copy a few nights ago.
I’m nearly through it now, and already prepared to read it all over again. It has exceeded my expectations and is beautifully, 100% uniquely written. If you’ve been feeling (or have always felt) like your fear of creating is holding you back from recognizing and taking hold of inspiration when it finds you, are longing to live a more creative life, or are simply stuck in a creative slump, this is a MUST read.
Sipping hot coffee. This one might sound strange, but allow me to explain. I’ve never been a huge fan of hot coffee. Hot tea? Absolutely. Iced tea? Heck yes. Iced coffee? You bet. But I usually only reach for hot coffee if it’s the only option around or if I have a (rare) random craving for it.
A few days ago, I started making my daily iced coffee only to discover we didn’t have enough ice made to complete it. I considered heading out the door without a drink at all, but thought I’d give it a go. It was so cold outside, after all. And so I poured a little Silk Caramel Almond creamer into it and WHAT THE WHAT. Now it’s all I want. I’m thinking about it all of the time. Dreaming of it, even. And feeling very silly for taking so long to fall for it.
Savoring the unseasonably warm days, and accepting the frigid ones. We’ve entered that time of year where, despite it having been an unusually mild winter, I’m so ready for spring. This is also the season of total instability in temperatures and the elements. A couple of weeks ago, we were hanging outside with fall jackets on, soaking up the sunshine and clear skies. Then, while still warm, we were visited by a ginormous thunderstorm that reminded me of a lazy, rainy summer afternoon.
Now, we’re slowly coming out of a string of days filled with snow and ice, uncomfortably cold temperatures, and sinks on slow drips overnight. I’m taking it more in stride than ever this year, though, trying to appreciate and acknowledge these last days of winter as the last bits of a season of rest and pause. Life starts picking up and getting busy all over again in just a few short weeks, when the warm air and sun come to stay, so I’ll happily take these last slow days, even if they leave my bones a little cold and sore.
Practicing patience and letting every experience be a lesson. What I’m specifically talking about here is my time as a mentor. Two days a week, I work with a ten-year-old fifth grader at a local mentoring organization. Going into our third year together, it’s mind-blowing just how much she’s changed – academically and emotionally. Overall, I could not be more proud. Yet, the positive changes have not come easily and we constantly work through ups and downs together. Lately, there have been a lot of rough patches, mostly in the form of attitude and motivation (hey, we were all ten once!) that are causing some of our progress to seemingly fall backward.
Instead of getting frustrated or giving up, or even seeing it as work or time lost, I’ve been doing my best to take hold of and dig more deeply into the words she says, feelings she shares, and those rare, in between “a-ha” or pride-filled moments so that I can package them up in a different way and present them as lessons or inspiration. In doing so, I often end up learning so much myself – and realizing how important it is to walk the talk.
Spinning vinyl. When the day is done, there’s no better way to end it. Our turntables have kind of traveled their way about the house over the last year, often ending up nowhere near an outlet, so I finally plopped this one down in the living room just after the new year and have been using it primarily as a radio (because I’m admittedly too lazy to go to the basement to grab records.)
That’s changed lately, though, because there’s nothing like the sound of your favorite tunes playing in this fashion, especially when they bring about the best kinds of nostalgia.
These are just a few of the ways I’ve been spending my time this February. I know that the coming months are going to move along at a much faster pace and I’m already wondering what changes they will bring, and how our daily rhythms and interests will evolve.
What have you been up to lately?