I thought I would try something new by sharing more of my life in a true blogging fashion! This year I want to switch things up and make sure I'm providing interesting content, and when I shared a poll on Instagram, most of you voted for seeing more lifestyle content! So here goes nothing!
Each month I'll be sharing a quick blog post of things that are currently my "favorites"! Things like clothes and bags, shoes and accessories, household products, activities, books, shows, podcasts and everything else that's getting me excited and out of bed in the mornings.
This post contains affiliate links.
I’ve been trying to practice contentment better this year by enjoying the area we live in. I spent much of last year planning where I wanted to move away to, but after traveling up north this past fall and winter, I realized I actually love Florida and never want to leave lol. Mostly because I can not handle the cold! That being said, I’ve been trying to fall in love with the area we live in all over again. I’m treating it like it’s all new to me and it’s given me fresh perspective and helping me to be thankful for it.
I’ve really enjoyed going to local coffee shops I had never tried before. I'm loving a hot latte lately, especially if there's a brown sugar latte on the menu. Favorite places I've tried so far this year are The Fix in Palm Harbor and The Tampa EDITION hotel.
I've also been enjoying to antique stores just to look around, it can be really fun and you never know what you'll find!
Something my husband and I have been doing together is trying to be more spontaneous for our dates. Last week we ran out of milk so we went to The Tides, a local market that sells our favorite milk to pick some up. It just so happened they were having a special taco night that night so we decided to have an impromptu date on a Thursday night. It felt like so much more fun because we didn't plan it, we just went with the flow.
I've also really loved having a clean and decluttered house. This is probably a huge DUH lol, but really and truly this has helped with my mental health so much. I took the first week of this year to seriously declutter our house. We went through almost all of our things and donated and got rid of anything that had been sitting around for a year that we hadn't used. I even removed things we had hung on the walls that just didn't need to be there. It's kind of crazy to think about, but how much stuff we have in our houses can actually negatively impacts our mental health. Clutter can make us feel over stimulated and stressed. If we're already stressed from other things in life, it's easy to see how this can just make things worse for us.
I listened to some of what the Minimalist Moms Podcast had to say about this and it really changed my perspective on clutter and the stuff we hold on to. I've been trying to do small cleaning tasks everyday so that all the cleaning doesn't pile up all at once. This has helped tremendously. One of my favorite things I've learned is the one minute rule: if it takes just one minute to do, do it now. These are things like putting your shoes away instead of leaving them in the living room, and washing your breakfast dishes right after using them so that the dishes from the whole day don't stack up into a big pile you have to wash at night.
I have also been loving cooking at home. I obviously love baking, but cooking dinner is so special to me. It's the perfect way to end my day. It's honestly therapeutic for me to make a meal entirely from scratch. Lately we've been loving teriyaki fish tacos with pineapple salsa. If anyone is interested in the recipe, let me know and I'll add it to the savory category I'm working up the courage to start sharing! Other notable mentions from this month were spicy short rib ramen and French onion soup.
Something else I've been trying to implement more of this year is getting outside, even if I'm just sitting on my front porch. I try to have my coffee outside in the mornings to sit in the sun and get fresh morning light before I'm inside all day on the computer or working under artificial light. I notice that it really helps me to feel better when I take regular breaks to get outside through my day.
All these activities in themselves are so simple and I used to overlook them, but I think taking time to appreciate and enjoy them makes life so much better. It really is the small, everyday moments that make up our whole lives, so as TikTok says, romanticize every moment of your life that you can. I'm trying something new this year to do that: I'm taking a picture of something I do everyday so I can look back on what I did in the year. Maybe most people already do this, but last year I certainly did not. I only took pictures when I was doing something extra exciting, like going to a concert or while on vacation. But now I take a picture of one thing everyday that made me smile so I can have a tangible memory of what my year looked like. I wish I could be a person who journals everyday, but I know that will never be me. A photo everyday is something I can do though!
In keeping with my contentment theme, this quote has helped give peace to my ever wandering heart and reassure me of my current life position. God has given me the job I have and it truly is a gift to be able to you use my talents to bring Him glory. I hope this quote also helps you to see that you can bring your Creator glory doing exactly what He's placed you to do.
Favorite Bible Verse
I have been slowly reading through the entire Old Testament for the past 13 months with a friend, and my favorite book I read this month was the book of Jonah. I don't have a particular favorite verse because I love the entire book. There are so many things to glean from the book but what stood out to me the most is God's mercy and patience. He is patient with Jonah even though he disobeys God and then gets angry with God, and He is patient with Nineveh, sending a prophet to tell them to repent of their wickedness, which they end up doing, and are spared of God's wrath. The book has brought me great peace because it has shown me again how merciful the Lord is.
He is so patient with us even when we wander and go in the opposite direction He tells us to go. He's patient when we're angry with Him unjustifiably and He's so merciful that He does not let us stay in our sin, but that His love pulls us away from the things that entangle us and gives us new hearts to follow his commands and to love Him. I love seeing the gospel in the pages of the Old Testament. The message of gospel is something we never mature from; we always need reminding of its truth and I love that every book of the Bible points us back to Christ.
I love these because they are super flattering and 100% NOT see through. It can be a real challenge for me to find shirts on Amazon that aren't completely see through, especially white ones, but these completely pass the test. They're thicker and perfect for winter. I wore them in NYC as a thermal under other sweaters and a coat, so they're perfect for layering. I've been wearing them in FL on cooler days with a pair of jeans and boots or heels and they are just so, so cute! I especially love paining them with a thick headband and clip on earrings- I feel so totally chic 🙂
These are so adorable. I'm 5'7" with quite a booty lol, so finding dresses that are long enough is challenging, but these dresses DELIVER. They're a thick material that hugs in all the right places and gives you a perfect shape. I love wearing them with a pair of tights and knee high boots. Perfect for a night out. So stinking cute!
All my northern girlies, these are for you. These babies kept me super warm, even in 20 degree weather. I love being able to wear skirts and dresses in the winter time and these are the secret to being able to do that!
I saw these and immediately knew I needed them, and since buying them I've worn the heck out of them. They're actually pretty comfy and I've gotten so many compliments on them. They've got a unique heel that truly makes them stand out and spices up any outfit! I love them with jeans or black slacks.
I live in Florida and I rarely need a winter coat, but I bought this for our NYC trip and it was the perfect coat for layering things under it, while still staying warm in 20 degree weather. It has a faux fur collar that can detach so you can easily dress any outfit up or down.
This is more of a splurge item but I wanted to include it because I'm obsessed with this bag. The second I saw it, I fell in love with it. I love the envelope design of it and honestly just how classy it looks. I feel like this is a timeless piece I can wear for so many years to come. I'm here for pieces I can invest in and wear for a long time. This is one of those bags in my opinion. You can wear it as a crossbody or you can double up the strap for a more dressy look. I also love that I don't see a lot of other people carrying this bag, or Ralph Lauren in general, which makes the brand even more appealing to me. I have actually yet to see one other person in my area (I live in a HUGE part of FL) carrying this bag and that makes it special to me.
Okay this might be the most basic item listed in this blog post, but I just seriously love the practicality and look of the black belt bag! It fits everything you need and makes life so much easier, especially when running errands. If you've been on the fence about getting a belt bag, DO IT.
These mugs are so beautiful and are the perfect size for a latte. They also come with the cutest little gold spoons. They really make any drink look so fancy!
I love these for iced coffees! They feel so fancy and come with glass straws that I'm obsessed with. I use the straws to drink all beverages lol. I also used these glasses last fall for my pumpkin cold foam shoot.
We're watching The Crown right now and I'm obsessed. It'll hook you in! I do not understand England's government or royalty in the slightest lol, but I find the whole story so interesting! We're on season 5 right now and I don't want it to end.
I'm just finished Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, and while I know this is not a new or unheard of book, I thought I should mention it because I just love all things Harry Potter, as you probably know if you've been here for awhile. It's a series I'll probably keep rereading for the rest of my life to be honest! I absolutely sobbed my eyes out at the end of the book, so much so my husband was like "Hun, it's a book" LOL. I told him he'll understand too once he gets to the end of the book.
I haven't posted many new recipes this month, but I'm loving muffins and quick-breads for January!
Well, that's all for now and if you've made it all the way to the end of this post, THANK YOU for reading! 🙂 I hope this new content is exciting for you and if so I can't wait to keep sharing more lifestyle stuff! Bye for now! -Ginny
Friend, you got me really wishing I was in Florida right now. You + flowers = the cutest! And those beer can glasses?! I need those.
MELIA I MISS YOU. <3