moto monday [ed 35]

moto monday // ed 35 // midwestlovefest.com Hello all and happy monday.

Last week was…rough. Everything keeps getting in the way of blogging, and it’s bumming me out man! So please forgive my repeated absence.

I’ve been doing a bit of soul searching recently. Hence that quote up above. I’m realizing, as a female, I tend to ask for a lot of permission. More than my male counterparts and definitely more than I should if I want to continue working toward my goals. Really hoping to change that this year.

On that random note, here’s a bit of motivation to power through this Monday:

+How to be more optimistic.

+This vacation.

+The cozy joys of winter.

+Spotify is blocked at the office, so we’ve all been listening to this playlist on repeat.

+Youngest, self-made billionaire ever is a lady! Boo-yah.

+If Monday is leaving you feeling less than happy, here are 5 ways to turn that frown upside-dizzity.

+Fave new “wishful thinking” blog (as in, I wish I could wear a bikini year-round…also, I need to go to the gym more).

+Why not everyone can like you.

+One of my favorite therapies.

+Kind of loving my horoscope for this week.

+And this.

moto monday [ed 34]

#motivationmonday

[sourcecurrently craving: calm, organization & positive news

Hey guys!

Sorry I took a little unplanned week off. Everything has been feeling like a whirlwind lately, and I guess I needed a week to be a bit of a bum and collect my thoughts and energy. Hope you’re not cross with me!

You may have noticed I also switched up the layout of this blog. Do you like it, or should I go back to the little summaries (rather than a whole post)? Let me know what you prefer. I just thought I’d switch it up and try something different.

That being said, let’s get pumped with some positivity:

+As someone who’s looking to move soon, I especially appreciate this small room makeover.

+Get pumped to get your pump on this week with these motivational chalkboard sayings.

+If you’re at a crossroads in life, try this site.

+Wonderful takeaway from last night’s Oscars.

+How the most productive people stay productive.

+I’d love to start sending more cards this year and this is such a cute place to start (plus some awesome hand lettering tips).

+Create a more positive morning ritual.

+Pretty images + pretty clothes = motivation to get moving this Monday.

21 gifts and ideas for galentine’s day

If you’re not a Parks and Rec mega-fan, like myself, maybe you haven’t heard of this wonderful little holiday that happens this Friday, before Valentine’s Day. Yes, that’s right. Galentine’s Day (here’s a bit of info if you’re not familiar).

I absolutely love this little made-up holiday. It goes back to the idea that Valentine’s Day is about love – love for your family, yourself, your friends and your significant other.

I’m planning on celebrating Galentine’s Day on Valentine’s Day this year, since Ry will be busy with work and Maria is coming into the city to hang out and go to museums with me!

Think you’ll plan a little girly get-together?

21 Galentine's Day ideas 1. If you can, throw a brunch. Pink flowers make it even prettier.

2. Have a legit party based on these awesome ideas.

3. Make these red velvet oreo truffles together. And don’t feel guilty about it.

4. Drink and be merry with a DIY mimosa bar (and nail polish goodies).

5. Or gift one of these gems.

6. Pink velvet martinis.

7. Be anti-boys together.

8. Whip up these smarties shooters.

9. “Bake” these pretty “cookies.”

10. Keep it healthy with a heart caprese salad.

11. Throw together (and devour) these magic cookie bars.

12. Get fancy and serve up some panna cotta.

21 Galentine's Day ideas 13. Red velvet cheesecakes, yo.

14. Have a card making/cocktail party.

15. Make and break (piñata) hearts.

16. DIY the perfect year-round decor to love.

17. Throw a glitter-themed bash.

18. Send or share a card.

19. Have a spa day or make your own.

20. Have a movie night. Pajamas, necessary.

21. Go on a coffee / movie / ice skating / walk in the park date.

And, in case of emergency: Galentine’s Day inspiration.

21 sweet ideas for your honey

As mentioned last week, this Valentine’s Day has me a bit…lost. Just one of those years where everything is in flux and I’m not 100% on my gift-giving game. That’s okay. Ish happens. That’s why I rounded up these 21 ideas for you ladies out there who, like me, need a little love-related inspo.

21 last minute valentine's day gift ideas for your fella 1. Start the day off with a decadent homemade breakfast…possibly in bed?

2. #Treatyosweetie with little heart desserts.

3. See / hear / smell / touch / taste surprises.

4. “You float my boat” easy-to-assemble gift basket.

5. Collect and gift all your happy memories.

6. Keep V-Day going year-round with 12 months of dates.

7. Or, use “open when” letters. For those icky days.

8. For long distance situations or deployed soldiers, mail your kisses!

9. A scratch-off Valentine’s card that reveals other fun date ideas.

10. Put together a bag of his favorite things.

11. Make a balloon chandelier (with cute photos of the two of you) over your bed.

12. “I love you because..” printable art that you can frame and write on throughout the year.

12 last minute valentine's day gift ideas for your fella 13. If you’re with a “Words with Friends” enthusiast, this artwork might be perfect.

14. A deck of cards = all the ways you love your bf/hubby.

15. Put your kisses on display.

16. Forget standard bouquets. Say it with bacon.

17. Or, booze it up with a “man” bouquet.

18. “I love you more than…” cookies. Which is really saying something, if you ask me. (P.S. Can’t find a source for this – if it’s yours, let me know!).

19. Love letter scavenger hunts.

20. Favorite candy + puns.

21. And, if you’re feeling extra frisky, the game of love.

moto monday [ed 33]

motivation monday // links :) [sourcecurrently craving: change, a healthy body & peace

Happy Monday!

This Monday, I’m actually feeling more energized than normal. First off, if you don’t mind me just spilling my guts here, I did a semi-assisted headstand in yoga yesterday! As in, the instructor helped me get up and once I was up, she let go and I was able to stand there by myself! What’s insane is I never thought I would be anywhere close to pulling that off. And I was afraid to try. But I did it and it was awesome.

Also, I’m probably a bit more excited about this week because, even though Ry is gone for the next week for work in NYC, I’m joining him out there on Friday! He’ll probably have to work through the weekend/V-Day, but…my best friend lives out East and I’ll get to spend a much-needed “Galentine’s Day” weekend with her.

Oh, and I’m getting my hair cut today. EEK. I’m always terrified to get my strands chopped. That’s what happens when you have thick, naturally curly hair. Bad haircuts are inevitable, until you grow up and find a hair dresser you love. Which, I did, but still makes me anxious every time I sit in that chair. Anyone else have that?

Okay, enough of my blabbering, ha. Let’s get a dose of happiness:

+This weekend = Valentine’s Day = start to #loveyourbody

+Awesome way to look at your fitness habit.

+Sorry, it’s Valentine’s week. That means things like this are important.

+I know it’s an ad, but it’s so cute!

+Things like this are all the motivation I need.

+Christ Pratt is the man.

+Can every apartment be this beautiful and cozy? Also, SanFran.

+Not sure if you’ve been following this story, but this is how I know there are still good people out there.

+If you’re single, #treatyoself for Valentine’s Day. Or, if you’re not single. Treat yourself anyway!

etsy items I’m loving

etsy finds for february

 card // sign // garland // mice // chocolate bark // wallet card

It’s probably the most important Etsy round-up of the year: Valentine’s Month Day.

I struggled this year with figuring out what to do for Ry. Why are men so hard to shop for? Especially sentimental things that they will actually use.

In the past, I broke into Ry’s old apartment, decorated and made him homemade cupcakes that spelled out “Happy V-Day.” I’ve also made him a blanket…though that might have been a Christmas gift. And I’ve made him a scrapbook. Basically, I can’t think of what else to make the kid, so this year, I had to take a different approach. AKA I bought something, ha. But who wouldn’t when all these awesome things are on Etsy?

What are you planning on picking up for your partner / significant other / girlfriend / boyfriend this year?

your fave brunch item is now healthy (& easy to make)

healthy (yes, healthy!) french toast Happy hump day, lovers.

I am über excited to share this recipe with you today. Why? Because I whipped it up for the first time this weekend AND it’s healthy. Even the maple syrup has it’s benefits (as long as you buy organic/pure). Boom. Take that bad sugar-laden, caloric breakfast items!

Other ingredients, you ask? Homemade almond milk, Ezekiel (sprouted) bread and free range eggs.

healthy (yes, healthy!) french toast healthy (yes, healthy!) french toast Of course, top it off with bananas for even more healthy awesomeness.

Basically, you’re getting two eggs + two slices of sprouted whole grain Ezekiel bread + a bit of homemade almond milk (aka nuts) in one serving. How many “healthy” boxes does that check? Um, quite a few, I’d say.

healthy (yes, healthy!) french toast healthy (yes, healthy!) french toast When you make a brunch situation this good, you also need to killer cozy ambiance. I’m talking anthro candles, blankets and light snowfall (obviously, snow not included everywhere).

healthy french toast
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Your favorite brunch item is now healthified.
Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast
Serves: 2 servings
Ingredients
  • +Grass fed butter or olive oil
  • +4 pieces of Ezekiel bread
  • +4 eggs
  • +2/3 cup almond milk
  • +Bit of cinnamon
  • +2 tbsp organic/pure maple syrup, plus a little more to pour on top later
Instructions
  1. Place about a tbsp butter on a pan. Heat to medium.
  2. Whisk eggs, almond milk, cinnamon and 2 tbsp maple syrup together in a bowl.
  3. Soak each piece of Ezekiel bread in mixture.
  4. Place on pan and flip until golden brown.
  5. Top with banana (or favorite fruit) and a bit of maple syrup, if you're feeling adventurous.

What’s your fave breakfast/brunch item? Aside from bloodies, of course.

moto monday [ed 32]

moto monday [source] currently craving: clean food, sleep & blankets.

Morning guys!

Hope you’re not too hungover from your Super Bowl parties last night. I swear I’m hungover in a food (not alcohol) sense. Yes, pizza and tasty restaurants (note: it’s Restaurant Week here in Chicago) are nice, but not when you wake up Monday morning thinking, “Why am I so puffy?/Where did all my ab definition go?”

So this week, I’m focusing on getting back on the “horse” and eating A LOT cleaner, in order to cleanse my body of all the gross toxins and bad food buildup. Hence my motivational image choice today (need to keep that summer body front of mind!).

Also, since I’ve been slack-a-lackin’ the past week, I’m going to try and make it up to you guys with an extra long moto monday links list. Especially since most of my Midwest lovers are probably knee deep in snow right now and need a laugh + inspiration now more than ever.

+(video) Holla wisco!

+(video) Since the Super Bowl just happened…football things…and more football things.

+#girlboss moment.

+Chicago’s getting even more stylish.

+The art of not giving a fuck.

+Tips on how to beat the winter blues.

+(video) Can we all have a cabin like this (shoutout to the owners who live in MKE!)?

+I’m looking forward to being a cliche and going to see 50 Shades when it hits theatres with my bestie (Galentine’s Day!). But…this is still funny.

+(video) How to find fulfilling work.

+(video) This guy taught himself robotics, started a company and got a job at NASA. Oh, and he’s 19. What are you doing today?

+(video) I love juice, but this is funny.

+If you’re missing Serial, start reading these books.

+How to evaluate your life, daily.

DIY your own non-dairy milk, no sugar or additives

the only way to drink almond milk without an additives: make your own! Guys, I suck.

Go ahead, you can say it. I’ve been shit at updating this blog the past two weeks.

As you may know (or get the vibe) I love to be busy, but these past two weeks have been a whirlwind. So, again, a million apologies for the tardiness of this week’s posts. It is a wrong I am certainly going to right this week.

the only way to drink almond milk without an additives: make your own! the only way to drink almond milk without an additives: make your own! In the meantime, look at this awesomely beautiful almond milk! I made it for you! I mean, maybe you know how to make almond milk, but just in case, I thought I’d share how.

Plus, this was my first crack at it and I succeeded. That alone says how easy it is.

the only way to drink almond milk without an additives: make your own! I’m not 100% if it’s the most cost-effective since almonds can be quite pricey and it expires after about a week, BUT it’s like the only almond milk you’ll get that doesn’t have a ton of junk added in. Major bonus, in my book.

the only way to drink almond milk without an additives: make your own! Then you put it in a pretty little mason jar and voila! Almond milk for all your fave recipes and smoothies.

homemade almond milk
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
The best way to get pure almond milk (no sugar or additives)? Make your own!
Author:
Recipe type: Drinks
Ingredients
  • +1 cup almonds
  • +2 cups water
Instructions
  1. Soak almonds overnight or up to 24 hours.
  2. Pour almonds in food processor with water. Blend until liquified.
  3. Pour mixture through a cheese cloth, into a container.
  4. Refrigerate for up to a week.
  5. Tip: Save leftover almond bits to make almond flour!

P.S. Do you love how I’m sharing this post as the majority of the U.S. is watching the Super Bowl? #priorites

reading/read + watching/watched (3)

january reading/read + watching/watched

READING

The Goldfinch – Yes, I’m still reading this book. Everyone says it’s so great, but it has such a slow start, I’m struggling. Anyone else dive into this yet?

In the Woods – Just picked it up and LOVE it. After reading two chapters, I recommended it to five of my coworkers. If you love True Detective or The Killings, you will love this book.

Tinkers – According to Amazon, “Tinkers is about the legacy of consciousness and the porousness of identity from one generation the next. At once heartbreaking and life affirming, it is an elegiac meditation on love, loss, and the fierce beauty of nature.” Honestly, I’ve heard good things, but more than that, the book has basically haunted me for the past few years. Reading this isn’t even a choice at this point.

WATCHING

Parks and Rec (final season) – This show is like a bedtime story to me. I’ve seen every episode at least 3x, I use their phrases in my day-to-day conversation (treat yo self!) and it’s like coming home to a cozy blanket and nice fire. I’m happy to have it back on air and will more than likely cry during the final episode.

GIRLS – I’m sorry, I still love it. Maybe it’s because Hanna is a writer or because the acting and plot lines are believable, yet witty, but I’m not ready to give up on this show.

WATCHED

American Sniper – I wanted to see it, but I knew it would be hard; that I would cry. Sure enough, end of the movie, I start tearing up. Screen goes black, audience walks out of the room in total silence. I have never ever left a movie where no one spoke. It was like a funeral. I think that says enough (even if the babies in the movie were, in fact, totally and obviously fake).

Basically, I need to pick up my reading game. This much is apparent to me. I’m in the process of reading three books, but really excited to read the next few on my list.

What are you all reading this month?