Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Self Care Practices | Daily Rituals for Living Well

Self Care Practices | Daily Rituals for Living Well #selfcare #livingwell

What do you think of when you hear the term "self-care"? These days, when I scroll through the hashtag on Instagram, I find women posed in bikinis on sandy beaches, or in spas, wrapped in fluffy bathrobes with goopy masks on their faces. While some might hear this phrase and imagine a pampering sesh, my interpretation is quite different.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Dear Little Boy | A Letter to My Nephews

A letter I wrote to my nephew about my hopes for his future. Dear Little Boy | A Letter to my Nephews - A Simpler Grace #letters

This letter is dedicated to my nephews and all little men everywhere.

Dear Little Boy,

I remember holding you when you were just weeks old, your eyes aglow with wonder. Every sight and sound, new and fascinating. Exploring every new texture, reaching out to knit your chubby little fingers into it, all the while learning the concept of soft and wet and cold and squishy.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Simple Gratitude | 120

I'm sharing my #gratefulheart on the blog. What are you grateful for today? #gratitude #feelingthankful
Has anyone tried to unplug spring and see if it works after ten seconds? 

A friend of mine posed this question on Instagram over the weekend. It seems that most of the east coast went from sun and summer temperatures on Friday and Saturday to cold and stormy on Sunday, with the yucky weather pattern trending through most of this week. We are definitely needing a spring reboot and I move to do it soon. By a show of hands, how many are in favor of this?

Friday, April 13, 2018

Links to Love | 125

Stop by to see my favorite links from the week!  #linkstolove #fridayfavorites
I'm writing today's post with the windows open. The birds began chirping long before sunrise, but other than their sing-songy voices, the world is still and quiet. I can smell the sweet aroma of the hyacinths in the garden below my window and can feel the pollen from the budding trees as it strangles my airways. This weekend should be a gorgeous one, with much time spent outdoors exploring the rebirth of all that died during the long, cold winter. Wherever you are today, I hope spring finds you.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

If You and I Had Coffee | vol 23

Join me for a conversation over coffee? #coffeedates

If you and I had coffee...

We'd meet up at this cute lodge-inspired coffeehouse, one with a big craftsman style screened-in porch where you could sit on cozy couches next to a wood burning fireplace but still feel the cool spring breeze drifting in, bringing the scent of fresh rain and blooming daffodils and hyacinths with it. We'd pour ourselves mugs of coffee from one of the carafes on the wooden table, then settle in for a chat.

Monday, April 09, 2018

Simple Gratitude | 119

I'm sharing my #gratefulheart on the blog. What are you grateful for today? #gratitude #feelingthankful

"There is a hidden message in every waterfall. It says, if you are flexible, falling will not hurt you." - Mehmet Murat Ildan

Friday, April 06, 2018

Links to Love | 124

Stop by to see my favorite links from the week!  #linkstolove #fridayfavorites

"Make sure everyone who leaves a conversation with you feels better about themselves than they did when they entered it." - CW

Thursday, April 05, 2018

What I Read | March

A look back at what I read last month. #ASGbookshelf #whatIread

This post contains affiliate links. Using one of my links doesn't cost you a penny more, but it supports A Simpler Grace and allows me to keep doing what I love. As always, all opinions expressed are my own. For more info on affiliate links, please see my disclosures page(*asterisk denotes affiliate link)

Nothing makes me giddy like coming to the end of a month and having a difficult time choosing just two books that stood out to me. March was such a month. There were five or six books that were winners for me, and each of them could stand in the "must read" category. Some of these books were heartbreaking, others humorous. All of them had messages or themes or lessons that I needed at this particular point in my life.

Tuesday, April 03, 2018

Hello April | Goals

I'm starting the month with some good intentions and a few goals. What is a goal you've set for this month? #goals #goalsetting
These posts always come due faster than I'm ready for them. I write one, and then before I know it, the month is over and I feel like I haven't made any headway on some of these goals. That was the case for this month. March started off well, but I had so many things I wanted to do and then I ended up picking up some freelance work and all my personal goals went into the gutter. Many of them will be carried over into this new month because I do want to tackle them and maybe check a few more off. 

Monday, April 02, 2018

Simple Gratitude | 118

I'm sharing my #gratefulheart on the blog. What are you grateful for today? #gratitude #feelingthankful

I don't often find myself pining for the days of my childhood. I've come to love the life I live with all the experiences I've had and the lessons I've learned over the course of my becoming an adult. I like the wisdom that only comes with having grown up. I enjoy the idea that I can go to bed whenever I want and eat whatever I want, but I also like that I now know the consequences of bad choice made, especially those involving my diet and bedtime.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Monthly Reflections | March

Wrapping up the month and sharing what I've been up to in life and on the blog. What is your favorite moment of March? #currently
At the very last moment, I decided to take this week off. I stepped away from blogging and my other writing projects, worked on plans for the coming months, did some spring cleaning and reading, and I mentally regrouped. I felt guilty about this decision at first. I am extremely hard on myself when I don't follow through with the plans I set at the beginning of the month, but that is unrealistic and I need to stop that way of thinking. How do you deal with a change in plans when you need to take some time to regroup?

Monday, March 26, 2018

Simple Gratitude | 117

I'm sharing my #gratefulheart on the blog. What are you grateful for today? #gratitude #feelingthankful

There is nothing like sitting down to work on writing some blog posts and doing a little transcription work and realizing that your internet connection is complete and utter crap. I mean like, taking a photo twenty seconds to load, kind of crap. Because of this delay, I will keep this post short and sweet and will be calling Comcast asap to see about a fix. Hope you have an awesome Monday!

Friday, March 23, 2018

Links to Love | 123

Stop by to see my favorite links from the week!  #linkstolove #fridayfavorites

This has felt like the longest week in history. Not only was my area buried in up to a foot of snow, but the days have been dreary and tedious. I'm glad that Friday is finally here and we are just a hop away from the weekend. I have been clicking on a lot of feel-good content this week, so that's what I have to share with you. If your week has been as anything like mine, I hope you can find a few things here that make you smile.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Estival Living with Jess from Just Jess Debanne

Some thoughts on simple living with Jess from Just Jess Debanne #guestpost #simpleliving

I am so excited to have my new friend, Jessica, here on ASG today. She is the gal behind the blog Just Jess Debanne and she has a beautiful writing style that I think you will really enjoy. One of the things Jessica and I both try to pursue is simple living and how we can achieve that in this engaged and active world. Today, Jess is here to share some thoughts on this topic and introduce you to an idea that you might not be familiar with - estival living.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Simple Gratitude | 116

I'm sharing my #gratefulheart on the blog. What are you grateful for today? #gratitude #feelingthankful

It was one of those weekends that seemed to take place in the blink of an eye. I wish I could have rolled over and hit the snooze button a few times. Just a little bit longer... but then my eyelids flutter open and Monday rushes in.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Links to Love | 122

Stop by to see my favorite links from the week!  #linkstolove #fridayfavorites

Another week has flown by and we are so close to the weekend. I'm keeping this post short and sweet today because I have a lot of work to do before taking the weekend off for some much needed time with my loves. What is your weekend going to look like?

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Lessons from My 7-Year-Old Self

Life lessons I'm learning from my 7-year-old self.

"It's never too late to have a happy childhood." - Tom Robbins

I very distinctly remember the year I turned seven. I remember how simple life was, when my only care in the world was how long I'd get to stay out catching fireflies on summer evenings and how far I could ride my bike down the steep cul-de-sac without needing to grab the handles to stabilize myself. Life was perfect and I never once thought about needing to look back in thirty years and remember some of the important life lessons I was learning.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

If You and I Had Coffee | vol 22

Join me for a conversation over coffee? #coffeedates

If you and I had coffee...

We'd meet up at my place for DIY shamrock shakes because we both recently read this article and we just know we can make a healthier (and probably tastier) version ourselves. We'd gather around the blender with our mint flavored ice cream and maybe even a splash of Bailey's to booze them up before camping out on the big cozy couch in the living room and gazing out at the snow that is gently falling outside. This is what March looks like in the mountains of West Virginia...

Monday, March 12, 2018

Simple Gratitude | 115

I'm sharing my #gratefulheart on the blog. What are you grateful for today? #gratitude #feelingthankful

"I've learned that it is not what I have in my life, but who I have in my life that counts." - unknown

As I've gotten older, I've become less dependent on owning stuff and more interested in collecting memories and this has been ringing true even more now in the age of social media. I relish my weekends when I can shut my phone off and spend time with the people I love. Not only do I find that I'm not drowning in depressing news updates and the constant buzz that comes with being on any of these social sites, but I find that I'm able to better understand what my priorities need to be in life. Because of the shift in my "most important things to spend time on" list, lately, life has been good.

Friday, March 09, 2018

Links to Love | 121

Stop by to see my favorite links from the week!  #linkstolove #fridayfavorites

We made it to the weekend and it's going to be a great one. I have plans to spend the next few days hanging out with my man and his sons and I smell a lot of video game tournaments in my future. I couldn't ask for a better weekend! Hope you all have a lovely one. <3

Thursday, March 08, 2018

What I Learned | Winter 2018

I'm sharing the lessons I learned this winter. #whatIlearned

The seasons are streaming by faster than I can process them. Yesterday, it felt like the beginning of fall and now the trees are starting to bud and spring is peeking around the corner, teasing us all in the Northern Hemisphere. A change in season means it's also time to share what I learned over the last few months and link up over at Emily's place. P.S. If you want to see some of the things I've learned in seasons past, you can read those here.

Tuesday, March 06, 2018

What I Read | February

A look back at what I read last month + my FREE reading list printable. #ASGbookshelf #whatIread

Let's chat about books, shall we?

I decided to revamp this post a bit and instead of sharing reviews for just two of the books I read in the month, I'll be reviewing them all. In previous What I Read posts, I got a lot of questions about my thoughts on books that didn't make my "must read" or "noteworthy" categories, so as you continue to scroll down, you'll notice I still have two highlighted favorites from the month, but I also share more about all the books I read. Sixteen this month. Let's go!

Monday, March 05, 2018

Simple Gratitude | 114

 I'm sharing my #gratefulheart on the blog. What are you grateful for today? #gratitude #feelingthankful

The beginning of March is always such a tease in the mid-Atlantic area. You get those hopeful whisps of spring that make you believe winter is almost through, then a giant snowflake shows up on your forecast and Mother Nature says "Ah, ah, ahhhh... Not so fast!" In this particular case, there are three snowflakes - one in a few days and two this weekend. Might the snowstorm that I've been wishing for since November finally make an appearance? Only time will tell.

Happy Monday, friends. How's the weather where you are?

Thursday, March 01, 2018

Hello March | Goals

I'm starting the month with some good intentions and a few goals. What is a goal you've set for this month? #goals #goalsetting

February was a wonderful month, but it wasn't a super productive one. At least the first part of the month wasn't. I kicked it into high gear in the last two weeks, but the beginning of the month was full of sickness and distractions, albeit happy ones. All that to say, not many goals were completed fully, but it's about progress over perfection, yeah?

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Monthly Reflections | February

Wrapping up the month and sharing what I've been up to in life and on the blog. What is your favorite moment of February? #currently

February isn't normally one of my favorite months. It is usually very cold. It has my least favorite holiday. It only has twenty-eight days, which completely screws up this girl who loves the dependability of a thirty-day month. There have been some not-so-good events that happened in Februaries of the past, leaving me feeling a tad bitter. This month... This has been a good month. Hope it was for you too. :)

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

NY Times By the Book | vol 2

I'm doing a #bythebook tag and sharing what writers have inspired me!

I love a good book. I also love The New York Times. Combine the two, and you've got gold. The Times does this little series called "By the Book" and it's one of my favorites. They ask someone famous (author, political figure, movie star, etc.) some bookish questions and the responses are always enthralling. Some of my favorites are from the likes of Chelsea Clinton, Anthony Bourdain, and my favorite author of all time, Roxane Gay.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Simple Gratitude | 113

I'm sharing my #gratefulheart on the blog. What are you grateful for today? #gratitude #feelingthankful

"If you want to be happy, do not dwell in the past, do not worry about the future, focus on living fully in the present." - Roy T. Bennett

Friday, February 23, 2018

Links to Love | 120

Stop by to see my favorite links from the week!  #linkstolove #fridayfavorites

It has been a strange but wonderful week. The last few days, we've had some way above average temperatures and I've had the windows open non-stop. In February! I'm not complaining because there is nothing better than fresh air in that winter lull between the Christmas holiday and spring break. Sadly, the weekend looks like it's bringing some rain, but I'll have plenty of work to do and a special someone to occupy my mind. Have a fabulous weekend! 

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

If You and I Had Coffee | vol 21

Join me for a conversation over coffee? #coffeedates

If you and I had coffee...

We'd meet up a week late for our Valentine's Day date, because #flu. I'd recommend this trendy new diner in town that featured old-school charm in a modern-day setting. The long sleek bar counter that stretches the entire length of the restaurant would glisten of polished natural wood and the ambiance of the pendant lights overhead set the mood perfectly. We'd find two stools and order our drinks from one of the baristas behind the counter - I'd get a he(art) latte, something this place is known for, and we'd order a pastry to share from the glass cupboard on the back wall.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Simple Gratitude | 112

I'm sharing my #gratefulheart on the blog. What are you grateful for today? #gratitude #feelingthankful

"Often she dreamt she had two wings, and one was frightened, and one was happy." - Erin Bow

I had a little dream about a month ago that seemed insignificant at the time. The strange thing was, it came true last week, which leads me to think about premonitions. I wonder at what point you stop thinking you are dreaming and start believing that you were sent a sign from God or the universe (or whatever you may believe in) that you should be on the look-out. Do dreams really come true or are we now manifesting our desires? This is an idea I will continue to ponder.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Simple Gratitude | 111

I'm sharing my #gratefulheart on the blog. What are you grateful for today? #gratitude #feelingthankful

"These mountains you are carrying, you were only meant to climb." - Najwa Zebian

Friday, February 09, 2018

Links to Love | 119

Stop by to see my favorite links from the week!  #linkstolove #fridayfavorites

It's been an encouraging week. There have been some awesome things happening around here and in science and around the world and... the Olympics are starting! I adore the winter Olympics and will be keeping tabs on all of the athletes from North America. I love watching the parade of nations during the opening ceremony. It always makes me tear up when I see how much pride people have in their homeland, even if they are the only person representing their country. Are you a fan of the Olympics?

Thursday, February 08, 2018

Sick | Life with a Chronic Illness

The story of how I learned I had #adrenalinsufficiency and my experience with #chronic #illness

I wasn't going to write this post. I don't usually disclose details about my health pubically other than sharing brief updates here on the blog and doing some advocacy in my own time. While many of you know that I have a chronic illness and sometimes have bad days, the specifics of what those days entail are only known by those closest to me. I am writing this because so many of you asked me to share details after I talked about my seven year life anniversary last fall.

Tuesday, February 06, 2018

What I Read | January

A look back at the books I read last month. #ASGbookshelf #whatIread

January. A Shakespeare plays readathon. Books that made me laugh. Books that made me cry. A few books that made me roll my eyes and want to throw them into a wall. Overall, it was a pretty good month as I devoured twenty-five pieces of literature. That's thousands of pages and God knows how many words and I made a few interesting discoveries during the month...

Monday, February 05, 2018

Simple Gratitude | 110

I'm sharing my #gratefulheart on the blog. What are you grateful for today? #gratitude #feelingthankful

BRB... I'll be sleeping off that SuperBowl hangover. Just kidding. I actually hit the sack super early because I have been so cold all weekend long and all I've wanted to do is cuddle up in bed under the covers. I could get used to these 9 p.m. bedtimes if it wasn't usually my most productive time of the day. :)

Friday, February 02, 2018

Links to Love | 118

Stop by to see my favorite links from the week!  #linkstolove #fridayfavorites

This has been a very strange week. Things (and people) normally get a little weird when there is a full moon, and even more so when the moon is closer to Earth like it was two days ago. On top of the lunar oddities, the weather has been up and down, ranging from spring-like temperatures and last night, there was snow in the forecast. I'm so sensitive to changes in the barometer and the moon's cycle, so all week long, my senses have been heightened. Does anyone else experience this? Just me?

Thursday, February 01, 2018

Hello February | Goals

I'm starting the month with some good intentions and a few goals. What is a goal you've set for this month? #goals #goalsetting

January felt like a trial month for me. Like when you sign up for a subscription service and get a month free. That's what January was. I worked really hard on some things and made a lot of headway, but there are even bigger goals I want to accomplish this month. P.S. Am I the only one who freaks out a little because February is such a short month? I find myself wondering if I'm going to have enough time to complete everything. Are we getting shortchanged with only twenty-eight days?

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Monthly Reflections | January

Wrapping up the month and sharing what I've been up to in life and on the blog. What is your favorite moment of January? #currently

Waking up to snow on the ground. Squishing lime green playdough between my fingers and hearing my nephew giggle. Baking not one, but two birthday cakes and not eating a bite of either. Pushing my laptop aside so my cat can sit on my lap and get cuddles. Reading stacks of books and screens of essays. In January, these have been a few of my favorite things.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

A Unique Valentine's Day Gift with Jord Wood Watches

A Unique Valentine's Day Gift (and giveaway!) with Jord Wood Watches

I would like to thank JORD Wood Watches for providing complimentary product for this post. They offer hand-crafted wood timepieces featuring raw materials and a refined design. As always, I only partner with brands that I love and truly believe in. All opinions expressed here are my own. For more information on these types of posts, please see my disclosures page.

I've never been good at Valentine's Day. I'm not a romantic person and receiving gifts is not one of my love languages. In relationships passed, I've always felt very awkward when partners have given me the traditional flowers, candy, or stuffed teddy bears and jewelry was always out of the question because I rarely wear any. My preference leans toward giving and receiving more practical gifts - things that have a purpose and will get good use.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Simple Gratitude | 109

I'm sharing my #gratefulheart on the blog. What are you grateful for today? #gratitude #feelingthankful

"The ones who say 'you can't' and 'you won't' are probably the ones who are scared that you will." - Ziad K. Abdelnour

Thursday, January 25, 2018

In Love on Instagram | Winter 2018

I'm sharing four Instagrammers I think you should be following this season. #instagramlove

Winter is well underway and the days of January are quickly ticking by. That means it's time for me to share some of my favorite Instagrammers of the season with you. You all know I love introducing you to people and content that I'm currently enjoying and this is one of those posts that I have so much fun writing, not because I get anything out of it, but because I get to share the love and encourage you to check out some of the awesome friends I've made in the land of photos.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Simple Gratitude | 108

I'm sharing my #gratefulheart on the blog. What are you grateful for today? #gratitude #feelingthankful

It's difficult to stay in a bad mood if you are looking for the silver linings in your life. When I started writing this post, I was feeling pretty crappy. I was discouraged about a few things, feeling pretty hopeless about a few others and wasn't feeling well, physically. After sitting down with my gratitude journal and reading about all the little joys I've experienced throughout the last week - some so small that they might not even be worth writing down - my spirit was lifted. 

Monday, January 15, 2018

Simple Gratitude | 107

I'm sharing my #gratefulheart on the blog. What are you grateful for today? #gratitude #feelingthankful

"Pursue what catches your heart, not what catches your eyes." - Roy T. Bennett

Friday, January 12, 2018

Links to Love | 117

Stop by to see my favorite links from the week!  #linkstolove #fridayfavorites

It has been a cold and dreary day. One of those days where it's tough to get out of bed. Which is precisely what happened and why this post is up a day late. Because it's been a nasty day, I wanted to share some articles I found encouraging, including one about a father who is teaching his daughter that it is okay to be and look strong. I love when dads empower their girls!

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

If You and I Had Coffee | vol 20

Join me for a conversation over coffee? #coffeedates

If you and I had coffee...

We'd find the coziest cafe with a real wood-burning fireplace and plan to meet there. The sub-zero temperatures outside make it hard to leave our warm homes, but I don't want to miss a date with you. We'd arrive bundled in our scarves and gloves, order our lattes and then settle in next to the crackling centerpiece that never fails to draw people closer together, even in flu season.

Monday, January 08, 2018

Simple Gratitude | 106

I'm sharing my #gratefulheart on the blog. What are you grateful for today? #gratitude #feelingthankful

It's one of those two-cup mornings for me. How about you? I don't know if it's the bitter chill outside or the approaching winter storm, but I want nothing more than to curl up under the covers for a bit longer. Alas, there is work to be done. Hope you have a fantastic Monday and find a few things to be grateful for.

Friday, January 05, 2018

Links to Love | 116

 Sharing my favorite reads from the week.  #linkstolove #fridayfavorites

I'm sitting at my laptop, listening to the wind howl outside and watching the real-feel temperature quickly drop into near negative double digits. The meteorologists are calling this weather event a "bomb cyclone" and from satellite images, it looks like a giant hurricane hovering off the east coast. Niagra is frozen over. The Outer Banks are covered in inches of ice. I read this evening that most of North America is colder than Mars right now. All this to say, wherever you are reading this from, I hope you bundle up and stay warm this weekend. Also, please make sure your pets are indoors. Cheers!

Thursday, January 04, 2018

What I Read | December

A look back at what I read last month. #ASGbookshelf #whatIread #printable

Last year, I set a really big goal for myself. I wanted to read a whole lot of books in the year and in December, I met and exceeded that goal. I read some REALLY excellent books last month and I wanted to share them with you. A few of them, I am waaaaay late to the game on (see my must read and noteworthy picks below as an example,) but I finally gave them a go and I'm not sorry.

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

Reading Challenges for 2018 | The List

Check out my master list of all the books I'll be reading in 2018! #books #reading #asgbookshelf

I can't lie... This is probably one of my favorite posts of the entire year. I get to sit down, pick out all the reading challenges I plan on participating in, then make a list of all the books that fit the prompts for each. I'm like a kid on Christmas.

Tuesday, January 02, 2018

Hello January | Goals

I'm starting the month with some good intentions and a few goals. What is a goal you've set for this monht? #goals #goalsetting

January is like pulling out a brand new notebook. Crisp sheets that snap apart when you separate the pages from each other. The smell of a fresh binding. The smooth glide of a pen on the freshly-printed lines. It's like a newly-opened box of colored pencils. The first turn of the sharpener hastening the points and leaving colored shaving swirls in its wake. Oh, how sad the world would be without the clean slate of January and the chance to set some goals.