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! ūüíóūüíē

I’ve never been a¬†huge Valentine’s Day fan (mostly because I was single for a looong time‚úĆūüŹľ) and thought the holiday was kind of forced and cheesy. ūüė̬†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. ūüĎĮ¬†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? ūüôčūüŹľ ) 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. ¬†ūüíĆ

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 ‚ú®, 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 ūüíó) // 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! ūüíē

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‚Äôll spend looking for approval.‚Ä̬†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

an afternoon at arrowood winery

Posted on: Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Hope you all had a lovely long weekend! Last weekend, I was invited up to wine country (which I never say no to, obviously) with a rad group of fellow bloggers for a food and wine pairing at Arrowood Winery up in Sonoma!

We started the afternoon in the¬†tasting room with some Sav Blanc, enjoying¬†the misty foggy views outside and being v jealous of the amazing fireplace inside. I want one! ūüėꬆWe moved upstairs to do a guided food and wine pairing, with all food from¬†¬†The Girl & the Fig. E and I went to The Girl & the Fig for my birthday a few weeks ago too, so I feel extra spoiled that I’ve had their food 2x in January already. Their chef is INCREDIBLE! Anyway, back to the wine. ūüć∑

Here’s the rundown of what we ate + drank!

Course 1: 2015 Arrowood Saralee’s Vineyard Viognier, served with roasted baby heirloom carrots, saffron crema & honeyed almonds // I have NO idea how to make vegetables this good, but this was absolutely divine.

Course 2: 2012 Arrowood Monte Rosso Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, served with house ground polenta, braised oxtail, cocoa nibs, winter squash & sage pesto // I didn’t eat the oxtail since I’m pescatarian, BUT ate around it and it and the polenta & squash combo was still soooo delicious.

Course 3: 2013 Arrowood Proprietary Red Wine, served with black pepper ravioli, triple cream mornay & black truffles // Omg this dish was a dream ūüė欆give me all the cheese, all the time.

Throughout the meal, we learned about the different wines we were drinking,¬†why the food was chosen to accompany each wine, the difference between different wine regions and so much more. Arrowood’s winemaker (#girlboss) Kristina Werner was incredibly awesome and insightful, answering all of our questions¬†and giving us the Arrowood wine lowdown. She also grew up in the Midwest (yay!) and started her wine career there, which I think is super cool.

After the food and wine pairing, we did a tasting of three different Arrowood Cabernet Sauvignons, all from different regions in Sonoma. It was really cool to try all three side-by-side, learn about the different regions, and compare how each had their own unique taste and feel.

I already can’t wait to go back (especially on a sunny day!) to wine taste at Arrowood again. If you’re interested in ordering wine, here’s a discount code for 15% off your order: ARROWOOD15. ūüć∑Cheers!

 

 

 

 

 

Spinach & Pineapple Green Smoothie Bowl Recipe

Posted on: Thursday, January 12, 2017

I’ve always loved smoothies and more recently, have jumped on the oh-so-popular smoothie bowl trend. When Wayfair reached out and asked if I would share a smoothie recipe, alongside 16 other bloggers, I jumped on the opportunity!¬†I was excited to share one of my favorites, plus to discover other smoothie recipes from some fabulous ladies.

I decided to create a smoothie bowl for this little challenge because I really like 1.) the contrast in textures between the creamy smoothie and crunchy toppings and 2.) they feel fancy and pretty. And since I typically work from home and wear not-so-fancy clothes all day, I like spicing up the day with something sort of fancy(ish).

The main / only “tool” you need to make an epic smoothie is a blender. I am a HUGE fan of my Vitamix, but this one is more affordable and v highly rated and I’m intrigued/kind of want to get a hand/immersion blender as well.

I’m a classic strawberry and banana smoothie kind of girl, but right now I’m on a pineapple kick and also wanted to incorporate some greens.¬†Spinach is a really easy and tasty green to add to smoothies, especially if you’re new to the green smoothie train.

Spinach + Pineapple Green Smoothie Bowl recipe below!

Smoothie Bowl Ingredients:
A handful spinach
2 stalks celery, cut in half
3 spears pineapple (from Trader Joes, but you could also get adventurous and cut your own pineapple. I would recommend a half cup or so!)
1 date, pit removed
2 tablespoons nonfat Greek Yogurt
Splash of unsweetened almond milk
Fresh ginger (1 small knob, peeled)

Optional Substitutions:
If you’re looking for dairy-free option, swap Greek yogurt for half of an avocado to get that creamy texture. I would have added it if I had one, with or without the yogurt! || If the sweetness from the pineapple and the date isn’t enough, add some honey. Or opt for more sweetness from your toppings!¬†|| Protein powders are also a good option, as well as chia seeds (either blended directly with smoothie ingredients or used as a topping).

Toppings (the fun part!):
Pomegranate seeds
Bare Snacks Organic Toasted Coconut Chips
Purely Elizabeth granola (my absolute fave – vegan, gluten-free and SO GOOD)

Directions:
For a high speed blender like the Vitamix, I add the fruit and harder items like celery first, layer on the spinach, and top with the liquid.For regular blenders, often the recommendation is to add liquid first (to the bottom). Pinterest is a great resource for smoothie recipes and tips for using your type of blender or device.

Blend for about 2 minutes and pour/spoon into a bowl. Top the sh!t outta the smoothie with colorful, healthy and yummy stuff. I prefer a few crunchy toppings to contrast with the creaminess texture of the smoothie. Also contrasting colors between the toppings and the smoothie, like I did with the pom seeds, always makes for a pretty photo. ūüėČ

Annnnd Jack clearly wanted to try the smoothie too! Here’s some smoothie recipes from other amazing bloggers. Thank you Wayfair for sponsoring this post!

1. Simple Green Smoothie by Bright Green Door
2. Chocolate Strawberry Protein Smoothie by Create and Babble
3. Layered Smoothie by Dans Le Lakehouse
4. Orange Carrot Smoothie by Divine Lifestyle
5. Strawberry Lemonade Smoothie by Embracing Homemaking
6. Peach Cobbler Smoothie by Endlessly Inspired
7. Tropical Green Smoothie by Harlem Lovebirds
8. Spinach and Pineapple Green Smoothie Bowl by Lucky Andi
9. Simple Strawberry Smoothie by Only By Grace
10. Orange Carrot Ginger Whole Food Smoothie by Pretty Polished Perfect
11. Tropical Spinach Smoothie by Red Shutters
12. Chamomile, Blueberry, and Peach Smoothie by Vicki O’Dell
13. Pineapple Spinach Smoothie by The Honeycomb Home
14. Dreamy Lavender Smoothie by The Mom of the Year
15. Green Detox Smoothie by This Girl’s Life
16. Winter Citrus Smoothie by Two Places At Once
17. Chocolate Pea Protein Smoothie by We Know Stuff

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