100 happy days

After seeing multiple people post about 100 happy days on social media, I had to do some internet research to find out what this was all about. I know I am little late to the game, but I beyond thrilled with this movement! Why didn’t you tell me about this sooner!!?? If you were in the dark as well, let me clue you in.

It is simply noticing the things that make you happy for the next 100 days and documenting it on social media. They say the social media part is just for you and not for anyone else, but knowing my stance on social media I have to question their motive. Anywho, I do like that I can look back and see the moments that made me happy over the past 100 days. I think people should take a moment to remember the good things everyday, rather than dwelling on the stress and drama of work and life. Sometimes, we just get so caught up in everything. It’s great to create a sort of goal to remember to look at the positive things surrounding you. Like this face – Image

The motive of the movement is to have people take the time to be in a better mood, realize how lucky they are and how great their life is, become more optimistic, and commit to a challenge. Um, was this created for me?

Don’t be shy, and click on this link to look forward to the next 100 days with me (starting April 1st) : 100happydays.com

Cheers to loving you and everything you have!

Xj

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springing into color

I usually deter away from bright colors and stick to my neutrals and basic black in both fashion and design, but recently I find myself gravitating towards the brightest shade of pink and the set with the most variety of colors. Here are few items that I recently picked up that brighten my day and my outfit whenever I wear them, plus a few things I hope to get along the way!

I got this set of bracelets at PAMM (remember that art museum post I did eons ago?) well I forgot to mention they had an awesome and obtainable gift shop!

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I got these on a whim online, I just fell in love with the way the colors were weaved together. I would def recommend these to any lady who is constantly trying to achieve the tightest pony. These bands are so thick that it takes them a while to stretch out, it was even a struggle looping it three times with a fresh one!

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hair bands

Tribal prints have been a staple in my wardrobe for a long time, but the colors are now becoming less muddled and more vibrant – and I’m not complaining! Not only do I love the print, but the crop top and skirt set is a welcomed suit in my book. I think we will be seeing a lot of more of matching sets this spring.

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tribal set

If we are bringing back sets, we might as well bring back the fuchsia lip stick! I adore lip stick and every time I see that pop of hot pink I get so excited that someone was brave enough to rock such a saturated color. I try to wear it as often as I can but wish I could do all mundane activities wearing this color.

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I am always on the hunt for the latest and greatest pillow. In my opinion, you can never have too many. This pillow describes my dream combination of colors exactly. The texture is just an added bonus!

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This is what i’m working on. I have been eyeing the cow skull for a while and when I saw how they spiced it up with colorful tread, flowers, and feathers,  I am more determined to get one now more than ever! I use this as a reminder and inspiration that anything can be updated to fit into your current style or a quick change, you just have to get creative!

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I hope everyone is well adjusted to the time change and has a bright day tomorrow!

Xj

be my guest: 5 things

This weekend my dear friend is coming into town and I can not be more excited!  But before we can pop open that bottle of wine and enjoy some quality girl time, I have been running around gathering the essentials to make sure she  enjoys her time in my little apartment we call home. Here are my five rules of thumb to make it look like you are always put together, with a beautiful home, and earned your spot as the hostess with the mostess.

1. clean sheets and towels

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Always, always, always make sure you do a load of laundry consisting of some clean sheets, shower towels and face towels. Think like a hotel, what would you expect if you were sleeping over somewhere?

2. clean up and organize

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I usually clean every Sunday, but i will make an exception this week  ensure my home is in tip top shape for guests. I believe a house is a reflection upon you and a messy home might lead someone to believe you are equally messy. Put your best foot forward and organize your things into piles, sweep those floors and don’t forget to take out all trash cans – no one wants to see or smell week old trash.

3. fresh flowers

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Flowers can make any house feel like a home. You can not go wrong with any type or color flower. Studies show that people are just happier when flowers are in their presence. My personal favorite are lilies because they look beautiful, come in a bunch of different colors, and they smell fantastic! The scent takes over the entire apartment, I love waking up to them.

4. groceries

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Some people might disagree but I think it always important to stock up on the necessities like bread, eggs, milk, fruit, and snacks when guests are expected. If you know some of their favorite things, even better! I know my friend is a fellow juicer, so I made sure to have plenty of options for juicing. We also have a tradition of making eggs and toast on Sundays whenever I spend the weekend at her place, so I plan on doing the same. A hungry guest is never a happy guest!

5. have a plan

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Having some sort of plan of action is equally important as having a comfortable home. Make the most of their entire time spent with you with ideas for outdoor/indoor activities- in case of unpredictable weather, reservations for dinner, and a variety of going out ideas- depending on the mood. This way, you avoid the 30 minutes of blankly looking at each other hoping someone else would just make a decision. You could even be adventurous and try something new!

I always admire those people that can pull this together so effortlessly. So far, I have 3/5…there’s always tomorrow! What are some of your host rituals?

I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Xj

live, love, juice

Morning folks!

As many of you know, I now juice every morning and I have definitely started to see the benefits. I notice I sleep throughout the entire night vs waking up every night between 2-3 am, which happened religiously prior to juicing. I have incredible amounts of energy and feel fuller in the mornings, when I am usually starving.

If you juice or looking to start, it can sometimes be a little overwhelming deciding which fruits and veggies to buy throughout the week. Here are some of my recipes that use some of the same ingredients so you can have more for your money!

Go to buys: kale, cucumber, carrot, beet, celery, apple, orange, grapefruit, pineapple, mint, ginger, and coconut water

-pineapple, apple, ginger & mint-

-grapefruit, pineapple, orange, beet, apple, & ginger-

-carrot, apple, kale, & pineapple-

-cucumber, apple, celery, pineapple & ginger –

-orange, kale, apple, celery and ginger –

– orange, grapefruit, spinach, apple & mint-

-celery, apple, ginger, kale & coconut water-

These are just a few combos but these ingredients seem to be my go to buys. As you can tell, I love my fruits and ginger (which is good for the stomach). Some people like to do all fruits or veggies but I can’t do straight greens. I like mixing and if I tend to be a bit more heavy on the veggies, I add some coconut water to sweeten it up and add extra hydration. I actually started doing this regularly,  just because I am really loving the taste and want the benefits of the coconut.

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Have you juiced today?!

Xj

the streets of lake worth

Ciao! I am little late recapping my weekend and welcoming another Monday to our lives…story of my life huh? So much has been going on lately with personal improvements and helping most of my friends with their weddings, bachelorette parties, baby showers, and whatever other party or shower you can think of! However, I do want to share with you some art I saw this past weekend in Lake Worth. I like to think of Lake Worth as Florida’s very own Austin. As in Austin, Texas… “Keep Austin Weird”, Austin. It is a liberal little city that celebrates art, culture, and tattoos with thrift shops and cafes lining the streets. Lake Worth hosted a street painting event with the theme of movies. They divide the streets into a couple of squares, of varying sizes, that people then purchase to draw whatever their heart’s desire – as long as it’s a movie- through chalk. Think of it like buying add space in the newspaper.

Here are some of my favorites. They really inspired me in some of my own artwork!

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the before I die wall… love the colors

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my lake worth host, Kurt

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when I grow up, I want to be like this lady

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this is how i would actually look if I did this.. covered in chalk!

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Lorde

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Who know chalk could be used in so many ways! I think each artist had their own technique and just went for it. This event was great because you could be apart of the creating experience. You can feel the energy of the artists and really watch the process.

Have a great Wednesday!

Xj

 

revitalize west palm beach

 

 

During my bike ride this sunday, I noticed how much downtown West Palm Beach is changing and growing, but still feel there are lots of areas we can approve upon. Downtown holds a place near and dear to my heart. It is this little urban bubble where pedestrians have the right away, architectural history is proudly displayed, and suburbia  takes a back seat to art and culture. Cafe tables line sidewalks and one lane streets are promoted with pavers… but only on some streets. The city is trying to revitalize downtown to become more popular with small businesses and travelers because it holds SO much potential. Sometimes, I can hardly stand to think about all the empty buildings with bleached out generic advertisements lining the windows because I know how great it could be!

Anyway, as I was saying, I was on my bike ride going through downtown, crossing over to the “island”. Palm beach, not to be confused with West Palm Beach, is that exclusive island Donald Trump frequents and famous for the shopping on Worth Avenue. I noticed the intimate vibe of Worth Ave  and how comfortable people felt strolling the street, even though there were numerous passing cars. I think that if we took some of the simple cues of Palm Beach, we could help bring downtown out of it’s funk and really make it something special. Let’s take a look…

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Here are some of the images of downtown. How awesome are some of these buildings?!? I mean, look at the mix! You got some classical Renaissance  mixed with Art Deco modern with a touch of Mediterranean and Tudor. Many people don’t take the time to notice these details because half these buildings are vacant, so there is no reason for people to ever approach them. I dream about having an interior design office on the street with  living space above in the Wagg building (the middle row, to the left), live/work is the way to go!! . I know money is definitely a factor but what is holding back anyone from these beauties!? Bring me a non chain restaurant, boutique, painting studio/art gallery, bike shop, anything! And did I mention that downtown is right by the intracoastal?

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Now on to the not so pretty things. These are all spaces in between all those amazing buildings. A little lack luster, huh? Too much open space, not enough coverage for pedestrians to feel safe and comfortable. Where are my benches for people to just stop and enjoy their coffee from the farmers market and chat? Where do the spaces for cars end and the spaces for people begin? How can we make streets feel less car dominate? Parking garages – who wants to see that! Why are condemned buildings still taking up prime real estate, either fix them (preferably) or make new. Has any one ever heard of a courtyard or park?! Rule numero uno of urban planning – make people want to be in your space!

ImageThis is a lil snip it of Palm Beach. If some of these tactics were brought West over the bridge, it would make a world of difference. For example, that parking garage – why not line it with plants or attach a climbing plant to flourish and cover some of that monotonous structure. As you noticed, the streets of downtown appear pretty  bare. If there are plants, they are dead. If people refuse to tear up side walks to accommodate for built in planting, why not put beautiful  pots with palm trees or flower boxes in windows, similar to the two right images in the top row. Benches are simple and huge in urban design. Make some space people want to be in and allow them to enjoy it. Let people linger and enjoy downtown. Streets that might feel too overwhelming can def use a beautiful median similar to the center image to break up the space. Fountains! I love fountains! Why not create just beautiful courtyards in some of those empty spaces to connect the existing structures instead of building more? Fountains offer opportunities for gathering spaces and it helps cool the air, which is always welcomed in the Florida heat.

In the end, I think if the city invested in just a little bit more landscaping and studies on what make people feel happy and comfortable in a city setting, rather than only thinking about profits, it would help them in the long run. Sometimes you first have to create the spaces people want to be in instead of trying to attract people to make the space. I hope we can pull something together. I feel like making “revitalize west palm beach” a personal project of mine. I know how much potential this town has and would love to see it thrive!

My apologies if urban design/west palm doesn’t interest you much but I have been wanting to post about this for a while, since it is a subject I am so passionate about. My next blog post will be more fun! Pinky Promise!

Xj

scenes from the flea

Every Saturday there is an antique fair right around the corner from the farmer’s market. I always love to go stroll through and see what type of goodies they may have. Here are some of things that caught my eye!

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vintage Herman Miller chair with really unique stitching across the seat

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lucite chairs, very different. These would look great with a sheep skin throw. 

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lucite coffee table. I am in the market for a new coffee table and I def have my eye on lucite. I loved the size of this one, larger coffee tables are a must! 

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Adore these!!!! I love them just the way they are… with the pink seat cushions!  Can you imagine these next to a white marble top side table with a beautiful floral arrangement?     Why do I have to live in a tiny apartment! 

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Just loved the vintage feel on these signs, could look cute anywhere 

ImageAnd of course, the jewelry. I got these cute little nut dishes today to put jewelry in and was eyeing that colorful bedpan. I loved those colors and just seemed so different. It would look neat hanging on a wall with just the right artwork.

Hope everyone is having a great weekend thus far. Make the most out of tomorrow! 

Xj

facebook official

On the radio today,  I heard the most interesting tidbit of information. Ryan Seacrest, my source for all important worldly news, said that the average relationship only lasts 2 years and 9 months. Can anyone guess the reason for throwing in the towel? Social Media!!! They said that most people compare their relationship to those portrayed on facebook and felt they weren’t being treated as well as their peers. They also noted that if they felt they had an issue with their partner, it was just easier for them to end it, rather then working on their relationship. People these days…

This information just stroke a chord with me. For a long time now, I have been questioning the roles of sites such as facebook and instagram within my life. I have most definitely been there, comparing my relationship and level of happiness to those on facebook and thinking, why can’t I be that happy? Is this the right person for me? Do I work too hard in my relationship or is this normal, because Sally over there never seems to have a fight with her boyfriend! I could go on for days, and I hate it.

When I was in my relationship, I did compare myself to others. Facebook sets the bar for what a boyfriend should do and how you should be loved or appreciated. Example: Jessica just got flowers for no reason today? Well, my boyfriend doesn’t do that. I must not mean enough to him or I just need to find anything guy that knows how to treat a lady.  This downward spiral causes self doubt -which can only lead to bad things, or you with one foot out the door.Which leads me to question… If we didn’t have facebook, I would have no idea Jessica got flowers, so would I still have those thoughts? Does facebook promote thoughts that are already lingering in the back of your mind or do they manifest in response to seeing pictures on your newfeed? I like to think it creates the thoughts, prompting you to question and compare most of your life to others.

On the same subject, I also think social media not only ends relationships but puts pressure on people to seek relationships. I am no spring chicken but I am also  relatively young at 28. There is so much pressure for us to find someone to spend the rest of my life with now, that could be a good 70 years if we’re counting, and much of that pressure stems from facebook. My current newsfeed consists of engagement announcements, wedding photos, and baby candids, while I am lagging behind with only dog pictures to share….Mischa, I love you.

BUT let’s me honest, I am not taking the plunge into that next level of my life anytime soon. If we lived in a world without facebook, I wouldn’t be aware of all my “friends” announcements, allowing me to live peacefully as a single lady. Which would probably allow me to think more about myself and my needs, versus how can I compete with these people. Ugh, which reminds me, that my ten year high school reunion is coming up and I am seriously lacking in the bling department and baby photo spreads. PRESSURE!!

Sometimes, I would like to delete my account but then there is always a part of me feeling like I will be missing something. Its like a vicious cycle. You want to be able to live your life according to your own standards but you can’t live without knowing what everyone else will think/ how you compare. I think its sad that we let ourselves susceptible to this and also that we don’t have the drive to fight anymore, but I won’t go further on that topic.. another post for another day!

What do you think? Is there a way to avoid the facebook curse??

Xj

beauty break

Happy Monday is over! Today was a lil weird with some unexpected surprises at work, so I just wanted to share some of the things that are bringing beauty and happiness at this moment in my life.

While I was out shopping for my weekly fruits and veggies at the farmers market, I spotted these two hanging air plants. I love everything about them and especially how the star fish as a teeny tiny lady bug on it. Hopefully it will bring me some good luck! Right now, they are happy outside but I hope to bring them inside to hang from my ceiling after a little shifting occurs in my living room.

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Look how just a couple hanging plants really transform a space. I love the eclectic vibe!

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My second source of joy are these shoes which were given to me by my Bubby during our last visit. They are old Cole Haans and super comfy. I wear them almost everyday and love the fact that make noise similar to a high heel when I walk. I feel sophisticated and vintage chic. Oh and don’t mind the thunder thighs, obviously I have not mastered the art of taking feet pictures like so many of my blogging peers.

ImageThanks for taking a break with me!

Xj

eating clean

I have been on this whole better mind, body, and spirit kick lately and my newest obsession is “eating clean”.  It is not a trendy diet with counting calories, it is simply eating things in it’s most natural state. That means, saying bye-bye to things with preservatives and high sugar/fats. I also try to buy organic meats that are free of GMO’s and other foreign hormones. It might make my life a little bit less convenient but after being exposed to a series of unfortunate events and heartbreaks through my family and friends, I have a new respect for our bodies. I want to try my best to take care of myself in all ways I am capable of. Changing what you consume is a great place to start! 

I started buying all organic ingredients this week and bought a juicer, which I love. I make a juice every morning and I found I have increased energy almost all day…almost. It also works out great for me because I am beyond hungry in the mornings. So the more I get to eat the better! I also got a great organic protein powder in vanilla that compliments the flavors. 

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I bought all my fruits and veggies from the local farmers market. I know they are grown locally and without any pesticides or hormones AND It is way cheaper. Look at this haul for only $12 bucks!!! Insane! 

ImageSo using what I have, this morning I made a juice of pineapple, blueberries, mango, and beets. After I juice, I add a heaping spoon fill of the powder and stir well. It gives the juice a green color but don’t let looks deceive you, its delicious! 

Like my festive straw? Dollar section at Target! 

ImageFor snacks, I never thought I would say this but…baked kale chips are actually great! I simply tossed some in light olive oil, spread on a baking sheet and sprinkled with salt. Baked at 175 for about 30 minutes, flipping the leaves every 10. You can add the tiniest bit of parm if you wanted to add a little bit more flavor but I have a feeling you will find them savory with the salt. 

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For dinner, I made this amazing quinoa bowl with organic chicken, sweet potato chips, sauteed kale and spinach, topped goji berries. 

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I made this up myself, I simply added all the things I love to eat but prepared them in a better way. I cooked the chicken in a pan with coconut oil instead of oil and just added some salt and pepper. The quinoa is made with boiling water on the stove, nothing fancy, and sauteed the spinach and kale together in a pan with coconut oil, fresh garlic and lemon juice. The most work went into the sweet potatoes. I admit I usually buy the ones wrapped in plastic that take 7 minutes to bake in the microwave. Who has an hour to wait for a baked potato!? So I decided to compromise. I know a sliced potato cooks faster than a whole one. So, I made slices tossed in olive oil, salt, pepper, and rosemary and baked at 450 for 20 minutes, flipping them frequently.First potato sans plastic, my body is already thanking me! Finally, I topped the whole thing off with goji berries which are great form of antioxidants and adds a little sweetness to the bowl.

Ta Da! My first day of eating clean start to finish and feeling great. I even woke up at 6:30 this morning with little trouble. What do you think? Want to do this with me?!

I will continue to share great recipes and tricks to ease the transition as I continue my journey.

Xj