Renters Home Upgrades

We recently moved into a new place just across the street from our old place. We wanted to stay in our neighborhood, and luckily our landlady's had another space open up and we jumped on it pretty quick! Things in this neighborhood almost all get rented by word of mouth within 48 hours. 

The new space had so many good things going for it: huge open kitching/living, tons of natural light, front porch, lots of space, etc. It just needed a little but of love to bring out its natural beauty. 

Here are some simple and budget-friendly house upgrades we did to personalize the space:

1. Painting. The previous color was a grey/green ish, and want we wanted a fresh, clean feeling to it. We painted it ourselves room by room (still not completely done with every room), and it made SUCH a difference! 

 

2. Curtains. Some of the windows had blinds on them already, but none of them matched and they weren't the most beautiful thing to look at. Thankfully, Adams's mom has a passion and serious skills with interior design, and she hooked us up with some amazing floor-to-ceiling curtains. The actual curtains themselves are drop cloths (this is so much cheaper than buying 6 curtains), and the rods are just giant metal rods she spray painted bronze and we attached to the wall. The hooks are from Bed Bath and Beyond. It was about a three day project, and thankfully Tappi is a literal angel from heaven and took care of all of it for it. We love how they came out! 

 

3. Switch out the ceiling fans for pendants. I was skeptical about this at first, but Adam insisted we needed to remove the old ceiling fans in the kitchen/living room and put these pendant lights. I'm really glad we did because they look so much better! The pendants are from Ikea and the shades are from World Market.

 

IMG_2066.jpeg

4. Add shelves. Adam built a book shelf and we put up a few other ones around the house to put plants. This gave us more space to decorate without taking up floor space with furniture. 

 

5. Add a bunch of plants for good vibes. We pretty much always splurge on plants, flowers, herbs, etc. to keep around the house. They make us happy! 

The Final Look:

We definitely are not done yet, but I'm super happy with how the space is coming along! It's amazing what paint and some little touches can do to a space. Happy home improving! 

 

WTF Do I Do With All These Turnips?

When it's possible, I like to order boxes of veggies from some local farms. I order from HollyGrove Market and SUA NOLA.  The service is awesome: they deliver a huge box of fresh, local veggies right to your door and they both cost around $25. 

The boxes are fun because it's normally an assortment of fruits and veggies staples, with some random stuff thrown in that I would not normally buy. This means I have to really be creative and cook with some unfamiliar items. In doing so, I often learn to love (or tolerate) new foods.

I recently ordered a box from HollyGrove and got an abundance of amazing fruits and veggies, including a bunch of turnips. I was definitely least excited about the poor turnips: I have never really cooked with turnips before, so they sat in the back of my fridge slowly wilting, while I devoured the local blueberries and salad greens. 

 

Wilt no more, turnips! I pulled them out today and saved them from a sad fate of another week in the fridge before I guiltily toss them out. 

I went through a few food blogs and found some really delicious looking ways to cook with turnips! I collected my favorites here, in case you ever find yourself with an abundance of turnips and no idea what to do with them:

Turnip Hash from The Kitchn:

Plant-Centric Home Decor

I really dig my house right now. The landlords painted everything white, so I've had a lot of fun putting pops of color and decoration on the walls. Being the veggie loving folks we are, lots of our decor is plant based.

One thing I splurge on is fresh flowers. They make me feel special and make the house feel warm and alive. I get them from the Crescent City Farmers Market every week or so.

One thing I splurge on is fresh flowers. They make me feel special and make the house feel warm and alive. I get them from the Crescent City Farmers Market every week or so.

We hang whimsical lights everywhere we can!

We hang whimsical lights everywhere we can!

One of the best gifts Ive ever gotten is a framed photo of avocados doing yoga!! Thank you Jeri

One of the best gifts Ive ever gotten is a framed photo of avocados doing yoga!! Thank you Jeri

Anddddd pineapples doing yoga! Yes! 

Anddddd pineapples doing yoga! Yes! 

This funky tapestry fit perfectly. Lemon sits right there on top of the couch all day and stares out the window. 

This funky tapestry fit perfectly. Lemon sits right there on top of the couch all day and stares out the window. 

This mini altar in the bedroom has a homemade aromatherapy diffuser, some eucalyptus, and an old Buddha fountain on which we put offerings.

This mini altar in the bedroom has a homemade aromatherapy diffuser, some eucalyptus, and an old Buddha fountain on which we put offerings.

How To Have A Yogic Wedding

I got married last weekend! Since my partner and I are both yogis, it was important to us to incorporate some yoga into the celebration. The physical poses of yoga are just a small portion of what yoga is; yoga is a way of being and, to me, a celebration of life. The word yoga means "union", so it was pretty natural to use yogic principals to help us in celebrating our union! Here are some things I learned along the way:

1 . Surround yourself with chill people. 

We had extremely loving and down to earth people around us the for the entire process. From our awesome parents, to our awesome wedding crew, to our officiant/lifelong best friend, to our photographer. There was no drama, no scenes, no fits pitched, no tears shed except happy tears. The friends we asked to stand with us in the wedding made sure to create a really relaxing environment for us by being positive but not overwhelming, being present for us but not in our faces, by going with the flow and by being actual bundles of JOY. They also know how to take down some champagne. My family had an attitude of "it's all good" for pretty much anything that was thrown at us. Our lovely photographer Simone Epiphany was so calm and down for anything we asked of her. Everyone involved with the process was extremely relaxed which allowed us to be relaxed and enjoy everything.

 

2. Trust people.

I delegated as much as I possibly could and then did not micromanage these delegations. My lovely aunt was in charge of the awesome guest book; she asked me if she wanted my input or opinions about what she was going to do, and I said nope! I totally trusted that whatever she did would be great, and it was. Our officiant and best friend, David, completely wrote the ceremony himself; we did not have any idea what he was going to say until we got up there and heard it at the ceremony. We trusted him that he would do a good job and create a loving space for us, and he did! We asked our brother in law to read something from Harry Potter (of course) and we let him completely pick the passages and read what he thought fit. We asked the wedding tribe to wear anything blue they wanted. There were lots of loving questions from them, like "is this dress okay? are these shoes okay? is this hair okay?" I told them all YES! Do whatever makes you feel beautiful and I trust that it will all look perfect. And it did! If I would have micromanaged all of the tiny little details, I would have been a LOT more stressed out. 

This is a page from our lovely and creative guest book!

This is a page from our lovely and creative guest book!

 

3. Nourish your body and mind.

One of the most obvious ways to have a yogic wedding is to do yoga. We started out the day with a two hour yoga class with our crew taught by one of our favorite yoga teachers in the world. It was such a loving and wonderful class and it helped us all get ready for the day. The physical aspect of the class helped me get out all the tension that I was holding in my body from excitement and nerves. The emotional part of the practice helped me feel completely centered and prepared for what the day was offering. 

After the class, my lovely mom had tons of veggies and fruits waiting at home for us so we could eat healthy while getting ready. Lots of people say its easy to forget to eat that day, and this was not an option because I get viciously HANGRY. So it was extremely wonderful to have all of that delicious, healthy food readily available to snack on through the afternoon. 

Photo by Simone Epiphany Photography

Photo by Simone Epiphany Photography

 

4. Be flexible.

We had planned for the wedding to be outside the entire time, and then at the last minute it started storming. There was some chaos as we reconfigured and rehearsed last minute while guests were arriving through the pouring rain and watching the rehearsal. We moved the wedding to be on a covered patio at the literal last minute. My nephew got distracted by the bubble machine (yes of course there was a bubble machine) and adorably chased the bubbles down the isle. After the ceremony there was some technical drama with the DJ's speakers. When we tried to sign the official marriage paperwork we realized the wording was messed up and we had to get rid of it and we had nothing to sign. Just like in real life, when we make plans, sometimes the universe has other plans for us. Being flexible means going with whatever happens and not being upset about the deviation, which makes everyone a lot happier in the end.

5. Make it your own.

In yoga classes I always tell my students to personalize their practice to fit what they need; take out poses that don't work for their bodies and add poses that do. We wanted the day to be a reflection of who we are, and we totally personalized this celebration to fit us. We took out the traditional wedding stuff that didn't vibe with us: we didn't exchange rings, we didn't cut cake, I didn't have a bouquet or throw one, I didn't have a garter, we didn't separate the wedding party by genderI stood on the right side instead of the left (its my better side).  We added some untraditional elements that felt right: Our best friend officiated, I walked down the isle to David playing Here Comes the Sun on his guitar, instead of a bouquet I had an amazing flower crown and rainbow train, both my mom and dad walked me down the isle holding my hands, we had a collection of readings from Harry Potter, we wrote our own vows (in typical Leslie Knope fashion, mine were three times as long as his), we had bubble boys instead of flower girls or ring bearers. Making it our own made the whole process much more fun and "us" than if we would have done things just because they are traditionally done during weddings.

6. Slow down, breathe, and take it all in.

Despite being a yogi and priding myself on the ability to savor each moment in all its beautiful glory, the entire night is a blur. I made a conscious effort to stop and look around every once in a while, and I still barely remember the details of the evening. 

Photo by Simone Epiphany Photography

Photo by Simone Epiphany Photography

 

7. Express gratitude.

Gratitude is a huge part of yoga. Yoga teaches us to be grateful for our bodies, our communities, our companions, our lives. Reflecting on the weekend, there is SO much to be grateful for. Everyone came together from far and wide to celebrate us in such a huge and beautiful way and we are overwhelmed with gratitude for our friends and family! 

On Blogging

I have pretty much come to terms with the fact that most human millennial adults need to have a tangible, interesting, and reachable online presence in order to be successful. I resisted the idea of having a blog for a long time because does the internet actually need another 20 something year old white girl blogging about her life/musings/yoga/pictures of her unbelievably cute dog?? The answer is no, but yet here I am.  I'm getting more bold with the idea of putting myself out there and seeing what happens. The worst that can happen is everyone will think I am just another 20 something year old white girl blogging about her life/musings/yoga/pictures of her unbelievably cute dog. The best that could happen is this blog could turn into an Avocado Empire and I will get paid to tell the internet about my life/musings/yoga/pictures of my unbelievably cute dog. The likely scenario is in between, in which some people find this blog amusing and some people find it annoying, and maybe when I try to submit my articles to YogaDork they will be in the amusing camp and hire me? 

So here's to this new venture. And here's to this unbelievably cute dog: