thursday thankful list

Posted on: Thursday, March 2, 2017

happy thursday! i wrote this thankful list while flying back to SF on monday evening and thought i would share with you! i truly believe in the power of gratitude and acknowledging what’s good in life, even when i don’t feel like it and when it seems difficult to identify a few things. what are YOU thankful for today? ps – more thankful lists can be found HERE!

being able to go to my grandpa’s 80th birthday // sissy sleepovers and talking for hours before falling asleep // slowly getting better at yoga // one-on-one time with my dad // TARGET (always) // kindness from strangers (i’m thinking of a particularly kind employee at sephora currently) // travel // having amazing role models in my life // our upcoming trip to mexico! // driving in the car with my three sisters, blaring taylor swift and all four of us singing together // jack in his raincoat // my intern, michelle for making my life a lot easier // advice and life chats with mom // brassica (this amazing restaurant in Columbus that is like chipotle but mediterranean, so you can build-your-own falafel wrap or bowl with insanely delicious, local veggies and toppings) // being a big sister // my cousin’s sweet daughter ruby’s little laugh // family game night // having people who understand, love and accept me unconditionally // face masks // journaling (loving my 52 lists journal lately) // a good cry sesh // blueberry ginger kombucha // wakeup puppy kisses // feeling strong after a good workout // california // my little family – E & jack! // feeling like a local (i saw the owner of my go-to sushi spot while eating at another restaurant in a different neighborhood and he recognized me! i was so happy!) // my ever-changing letterboard // THURSDAYS!

6 book recommendations

Posted on: Thursday, February 2, 2017

I loooove reading and asked for a ton of books for Christmas/my birthday and wanted to share some new-to-me favorite books! a perk of each book listed is that they are all BEAUTIFUL so they can have a permanent place on the coffee table or nightstand. 😉). right now, I have a pile of pretty books on my nightstand, on our coffee table, on the console under the TV, and then a few pretty favorite cookbooks out in the kitchen. I also like having some favorite books out in the apartment so guests can flip through them and soak up their inspiration as well! here’s my new books and why I love each!

52 lists for happiness: weekly journaling inspiration for positivity, balance, and joy by moorea seal
my sweet friend renee gave me this book (pictured above) for my birthday 💗 and it’s so pretty. the purpose of the book is make journaling easier and more meaningful. the author has 52 prompts asking you to write lists – what you’re grateful for, what your daily routines are, etc. and then asks you to reflect on what you wrote and take action in some way. I’ve been trying to be more intentional about starting each morning by drinking coffee and journaling, even for a few minutes, and this book makes it easy to get in the habit of journaling.

forest feast gatherings: simple vegetarian menus for hosting friends and family by erin gleeson
OMG I might just be the  #1 forest feast fan. I read her first book religiously and so many of her recipes are my tried-and-true weekly favorites that I make over and over. her corn and cauliflower tacos with feta, Greek yogurt and hot sauce are one of my very favorite (EASY!) meals to make. her latest book focuses on food and drinks for gatherings, organized by each season and different themes. the cover and illustrations in the book are stunning (example below!) and my favorite thing is that all of her vegetarian recipes are SO easy and usually under five ingredients. [image via @theforestfeast]


molly on the range: recipes and stories from an unlikely life on a farm by molly yeh
this book is laugh out loud funny and I feel like I’ve become friends with the author, Molly, just by reading. she shares her life and food adventures from living in NYC to now living on a farm in North Dakota with her husband. I haven’t had a chance to try a recipe YET, but her recipes look delicious and she makes things that may seem daunting (read: homemade pizza dough) seem very simple. her book also has fun “infographics” like a mac and cheese flowchart, which is amazing and hilarious. 🧀

urban jungle: living & styling with plants by igor josifovic
if you’re a plant lover like I am, you NEED this book! it’s insanely inspiring and truly incredible. the book shows different homes (i.e. “urban jungles”) and shares more about plant care, some DIYs, and general plant inspiration. I’ve wanted a hanging plant (or like, 5) for awhile but this book reinforced that I NEED.

nutrition stripped: 100 whole-food recipes made deliciously simple by mckel hill
this book is quite popular on Instagram right now and for good reason – @nutritionstripped‘s recipes are incredible. they all make me want to eat healthier and live better. her turmeric milk is the bomb and I can’t wait to dive into her other recipes! i bought this book for my mother-in-law and then my sister hope bought a copy for me for Christmas!

in the company of women: inspiration and advice from over 100 makers, artists, and entrepreneurs by grace bonney
I’m purposely reading this book extra slowly so I can soak up all the goodness and inspiration. women are INCREDIBLE (duh) and this book highlights 100+ insanely amazing female entrepreneurs and artists. the photography is stunning and the interviews and stuffed with inspiring nuggets. expect quotes like “prepare yourself for the long haul, the rise and fall, and let neither define your self of self” (designer karen young) and “the world could always use more people who are interested in lifting up others, not just themselves” (model/activist christy turlington burns) and “be nice to people. stay humble. give back” (designer/artist/author/bohemian queen justina blakeney) and to be completely refreshed by these rockstar women.

Galentine’s Day with Minted

Posted on: Tuesday, January 31, 2017

hi friends! WHERE DID JANUARY GO? the month flew by and I can’t believe it’s almost February and the month of love! 💗💕

I’ve never been a huge Valentine’s Day fan (mostly because I was single for a looong time✌🏼) and thought the holiday was kind of forced and cheesy. 😝 random fun story though – one year in college, my friend Tess and I threw a party on February 14th with the theme/tagline “bring a bottle, not a date” because we were so anti-Valentine’s Day and wanted to spend time with our lady besties instead. it was hilarious and very fun and now I want to go look through old FB albums to find those ridiculous photos….and also re-create that party like 6 years later.

anyway, along the lines of doing things a little differently for Valentine’s Day…have you guys ever celebrated “GALentine’s Day” in February instead or in addition to ‘regular’ V-Day? THIS feels like a “holiday” I can get behind. when minted asked me to send some love notes to celebrate Galentine’s Day, I thought it would be a fun opportunity to celebrate the rad, inspiring ladies in my life. 👯 after all, “love day” doesn’t mean you should just celebrate your significant other! i picked out these mini foil-pressed heart shaped cards and spent the afternoon writing some old fashioned valentines to my sisters and lady friends. i love that these cards are small and shaped like a heart; they kind of remind me of the valentines you would put in your classmates Valentine’s Day boxes in elementary school. and…these cards have gold foil which is always an A+ in my book.

i always love getting mail from friends (does anyone want to be pen pals, btw? 🙋🏼 ) and hope these cards brighten my friends’ days! celebrating girlfriends and reminding them why they are important to you and why you love them is a tradition I can alwayssss get behind.  💌

in case you’re interested, here’s a few other custom gift ideas for love day/month, no matter who you want to celebrate! (and they can be printed in gold foil ✨, oooh la la!): for your spouse: custom vow prints  // for the cook: custom recipe print (i love this so much!) // for your bf/gf/bestie: custom photo with a quote print // for the grandparents/parents: custom kids drawn artwork print (so sweet 💗) // for your mom, bestie or anyone that’s special to you: this heart shaped custom photo gift (I actually made one of these for my mom on Mother’s Day a few years ago and it’s still hanging in her kitchen!) //
thanks for reading! 💕

thoughts on social media, part 1

Posted on: Thursday, January 19, 2017

today I want to share about social media and the wild world of the Internet. I’ve shared about this subject before (in 2011!); the importance of turning off your phone and focusing on real life instead. lately, i’ve noticed how easy it is to get slightly “off course” and fall victim to some not-so-awesome aftereffects of social media and the Internet. these social media platforms and apps in and of themselves aren’t bad, harmful or negative – but the way we use them and/or let them impact our lives can be a slippery slope.

there are SO many good things about social media, like the opportunity for connection and encouragement and inspiration, and i’m going to do a separate post (part 2!) about all of the amazing aspects very soon. but today, i want to share some outcomes of social media usage that aren’t so meaningful, inspirational or encouraging and discuss how the right perspective on something powerful and good like social media can easily shift to something skewed and not-so-great. without further ado:

the comparison trap:
have you ever felt bad about yourself because your life doesn’t look like the perfectly curated Instagram squares of other people’s lives online? do you ever feel like your Facebook feed is flooded with other people’s exciting life updates – marriages and new jobs and babies and home ownership – when your own feels boring in comparison? or perhaps jealous because of someone’s impeccable #minimalliving or trendy #ootd when your home feels cluttered and today’s outfit is old leggings and a giant sweatshirt? please tell me i’m not the only one…(and yep, that’s what i’m wearing right now as I type this.)

there’s this thing called the social-comparison study arguing that people track and access their self-worth by comparing themselves to others and how this can lead to insecurities and feelings of insignificance. when we’re bombarded with seeing all the cool things people are doing and wearing and eating online, we can often feel like what we’re doing and wearing and eating isn’t quite measuring up. and that isn’t how our lives are meant to be lived at all. i’m striving for less comparison and more contentment. less of that “less-than” feeling and more “I am enough” no matter what my home, clothes, relationship status, whatever looks like. for more about comparing on social media (and why/how to stop), check out this article and this one too.

the urge to constantly refresh/check my phone:
some of you probably don’t quite understand this and I’m jealous of you for having a healthier relationship with social media than I do. as someone who works in social media and genuinely *usually* likes social media, i find myself ALWAYS GLUED TO MY PHONE and ALWAYS CHECKING/REFRESHING. when i’m bored, I check my phone. when i’m sitting at home drinking tea with E and there happens to be a gap in the conversation, I check my phone. before bed, I check my phone. it’s become a really bad habit that I want to break. one thing I’m trying to do to combat constant phone checking is to bring a book or journal in my bag, so I can divert my attention to something a little more meaningful (for me) when I feel the urge to check Facebook/IG/Pinterest/Snapchat/Twitter/every app possible.

my friend melissa told me about an app called moment that shows you how often you pick up your phone and how much time you spend checking each app on your phone. YIKES. she said it’s super eye opening and if you’re someone who feels like you’re always checking your phone (yep, me for sure), then this app sounds like a helpful way to monitor yourself and evaluate your social media habits.

the “i should have an active online presence” pressure & obligation:
I’ve spent my entire career doing social media for brands and businesses and telling them the importance of consistent content – sharing regularly and giving your followers consistent news, information and so on. i’ve been “active” on social media personally since college, but recently, I’ve felt an overwhelming pressure to create and share and engage. and then guilty when I’m not doing so. other people seem to be able to actively post content and interact with others so regularly – why shouldn’t I?

I was talking about this with a friend who mentioned she felt the same struggle and pressures. it was difficult for her to be active online – share her workouts, promote brands, attend Twitter chats, review products, etc. – while juggling a full-time job and new baby. she felt an obligation to share and engage on social media all the time, because she was in an online community of others who did so, and expected her to do the same. separately, I was recently introduced to the idea of “comment pods” on Instagram, where you share your posts with a group via direct messages and everyone is supposed to comment on your photos to boost your engagement, and you’re expected to do the same back. at first I liked the idea…it seemed like a cool way to support some gals on IG that I like and help boost engagement on my own account at the same time. but then it turned into this deep, dark rabbit hole where I constantly felt obligated to comment on SO MANY PHOTOS and a lot of the comments I was getting back felt inauthentic and pointless, like  “great feed” and “keep up the good work.” (um, thanks?).

when social media starts to feel like an obligation and a chore, i think it’s time to re-evaluate how you spend your time on any given platform, and find ways to manage your stress accordingly. for example, right now I have to stay active on my client’s Instagram and Facebook page because it’s my job – but I don’t need to force myself to constantly always do the same on my personal accounts.

the FOMO:
I was talking with another good friend who mentioned she was having an amazing weekend trip with her husband, but then checked IG and saw that her friends were at a weekend trip and never invited her. she immediately felt the all-too-common FOMO (fear of missing out) and was in a bad mood afterwards. often times, social media can make us feel discontent in the moment we’re in – even if we are also doing something amazing and fun at the same time! being glued to what other people are doing and sharing takes away the joy and presence of being right where we are IRL.

the obsession with affirmations:
hi, I’m Andi and I crave affirmations. for real though, my love language is words of affirmations and I feel most loved/accepted when I’m given genuine compliments and affirmed. it’s even for silly small things, like my dad telling me (again and again) that yes, he did like the gift I gave him for Christmas. ha! often my perceived insecurities stem from a lack of encouragement and approval and i’ve noticed that social media can play into this. sometimes i’ll actually think, “wow. no one has commented on this photo or Facebook post. why did i even post this?!)” or be annoyed when one photo or tweet isn’t liked liked/retweeted/responded to as much as something else I’m shared. IT’S SO SILLY AND RIDICULOUS THAT MY BRAIN IS RESPONDING THIS WAY. i’m trying to remind myself to embrace this bob goff quote: “the more we fill our lives with purpose, the less time we’ll spend looking for approval.” I don’t always feel like this, but I’ve noticed that it can be really easy to use social platforms as ego-boosting, approval-craving tools. Instead, let’s think of them as purposeful platforms for connection, inspiration, encouragement and community.

if you’ve made it to the bottom this post, seriously WOW and thank you for reading! I’d LOVE to hear what you think – if you’ve ever noticed any/all of these effects social media may have on your mindset, self-worth and mood. the most important thing to remember, all the time, is that our real life (compared to the virtual self) needs to be cared for, loved, celebrated. sometimes taking a few days off or re-evaluating how much time we spend on our phones makes all the difference.

stay tuned for part two of this topic coming soon! i’m going to be sharing a few reasons why i appreciate social media and chat about a lot of the goodness and awesomeness it brings to my life! xo

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