July 24, 2017

The Halo Top Movement


Ok, where do I begin...

Last time I posted about Halo Top, I mentioned how the texture was terrible and the flavor was weak. It left a bad taste in my mouth - pun intended - and I was ready to write it off completely until I tried mixing it into my smoothie. I found a way to make it work, but for a $5 pint of ice cream, I shouldn't have to find a way to make it work. It should just work, straight from the container.

Still, more and more people continue to rave about it. My bad review was really the only one I could find, which made me think maybe I needed to try another flavor. 

So, I tried two.

July 17, 2017

recipes i've tried and modified


I'm playing around with a new series here that's all about the recipes I've tried and modified and how they turned out, but I need to remember to snap a photo of the finished product before digging into my meal. I've included a list at the bottom of this post of meals that will likely get their own feature here in the near future, because I love sharing a good recipe.

Today, however, I just sharing a few food pictures in my phone. The greens theme continues, for the most part.

July 13, 2017

we filled our hearts

Amelia Island, Florida

There are some vacations made for letting go of yourself and others are made for finding yourself again; this vacation was made for both. 

July 3, 2017

sweet charlie's

Buckhead, Atlanta

I've had rolled ice cream on my foodie to-try list for a few months now. This weekend, I made it happen.

May I present... the process, in succession, in photos:

July 1, 2017

july wallpapers


Last month, when I was making a wallpaper for June, I went ahead and made a coupe for July too. So let's ring in the month properly. With more download files.

June 22, 2017

reading a book is consumption of art


The past year or so has been hit or miss when it comes to my book selections.

I get recommendations from any and every where: Instagram, Youtube (BookTube), blogs, word of mouth, what other people are silently reading at coffeeshops, anywhere. Lately, though, if a story doesn't catch me in the first couple chapters, I put it down and/or return it to my local library. As far as I'm concerned, reading a book is consumption of art, the same way walking through MoMA or going to a play is. It's supposed to grab your attention. When you're in a museum, you leisurely browse and walk past various pieces before one of them makes you stop and stare. With books, I'm always looking for something that makes me stop and stare, one that quickly makes an impression and all but swallows me whole by the end. Quite a big ask for a novel.

Below are the books that have recently evaded my DNF (did not finish) list. I'm sharing the goodness since summer is here, and I always love a good read during my summer travels.

June 21, 2017

summer begins


There has always been something vividly appealing about the summer solstice.

June 13, 2017

heart blanche


It seems as though i'm late to this party.

June 12, 2017

this past week...


June 1, 2017

june wallpaper


June is here! (Duh)

I was using this wallpaper from The Everygirl for the month of May, and I loved it. Their June wallpaper options though? Meh. So I decided to make my own and share it here. Because sometimes we don't know what day it is until we look at our computer (or phone).

This one's all delicate and feminine, which is off-kilter for my style, but I liked the similar image I used in my Mother's Day post so much that I'm just gonna go with it.

Download the wallpaper here. Happy June!

May 22, 2017

beetlecat brunch

Inman Park, Atlanta

I had a chat recently about how I don't eat out much these days, and it's true. Lately, if there's something I'm craving, I just make it myself: it's better for my budget, it's generally better for my health, and I can tweak and tailor the ingredients. Win, win, win. However, there are two exceptions: tacos (duh, who didn't see this coming) and brunch.

Ahhhh, brunch. Glorious brunch. There is no better meal in all the land. 

This past Saturday was gorgeous, the kind of day that audibly calls for a good brunch. I dragged the mister all the way across town to Inman Park, to a spot that's been bookmarked on my Yelp list for a few months: BeetleCat.

During normal business hours, BeetleCat is a seafood restaurant. I'm not a seafood fan, so normally, I'd dismiss this place without a second thought. However, two words made me do a double take - DONUT BRUNCH. 

May 15, 2017

5.15


Future self,

This post is back-dated, since you were too busy to post on your actual anniversary. You posted this the day after instead. But that's okay, because like I said, you were busy.

May 12, 2017

good motherly nurturing


There's this weird phenomenon that happens, as a woman, when you get married: everyone starts checking for your uterus.

It's like God flips a switch in the brains of each person who knows you, which prompts them to ask when are you guys having kids? or something along those lines. Just last week, I had a friend who I hadn't seen in about a month or so text me out the blue and ask are you pregnant? She didn't even try to bury the lede with a what's up, or hey, what's new... just a hard and fast are you pregnant? She's not the only one who does this. It's gotten to the point where I casually mention that I'm not pregnant when I'm catching up with friends.

In case it's not already clear enough, this is not a post in which I announce my pregnancy. There is no pregnancy happening at this time in The Active Spirit land. There is, however, pregnancy happening all around me. Two of my closest friends from school announced their pregnancies around the same time, and my dear niece is also pregnant. Everyone is overjoyed, including me, and all three ladies are due roughly around the same time, so I'll be getting lots of newborn snuggles in towards the end of summer / early fall.

In general though, I've just had lots of thoughts swirling in my head around the idea of motherhood. Probably thanks, in part, to all the HCG in the air and also because I'm still chewing on the central themes in The Mothers, by Britt Bennett. I think I can safely say it's the best book I'll read all year, which sucks since it's only May.

But in the spirit of Mother's Day, I thought I'd share some thoughts.

May 8, 2017

(more) views


Well, well, well. Look who decided to show up with a new post today. I've been making an effort to take more pictures of my everyday run-of-the-mill routine, i.e. my life at the moment, but all I have to show for the last few weeks are the few photos above.

Views around town because commuting is <sarcasm font> fun </sarcasm font>
Rainy afternoons that render our new patio set useless
The dog, who is turning her nose up, probably because I made her get her paws wet

April 21, 2017

solid views

Vinings, GA

I've been trying to make it a point to take more photos during the week, of anything that's outside of my normal wake-work-sleep routine, but i've been failing. Mainly because i haven't been going anywhere besides work and home and maybe to the grocery store for that one ingredient i forgot to grab on the weekend, but also because it's tough getting into the habit of taking pictures all the time. (maybe that's why i suck at instagram) BUT TODAY. Today I had a team meeting with some solid views of downtown Atlanta way in the distance, so here are my snaps.

April 13, 2017

angelic perfection

Buckhead, Atlanta

Jojo's concert here in Atlanta was this past Saturday, and I'm just too little too late for this post (get it? GET IT?!). 

Like a slacker fan, it's taken me five whole days to post some photos. Because did I really even go if I don't post the photos?


April 3, 2017

the edges but never the heart

Decatur, GA
I found this after the fire today. This is what I was feeling after I saw this.

No matter how people try to destroy the word of God or what God has for your it can never be done. They may get the edges but never the heart of what God has for you. So stand strong in your faith and remember through Him we can do it all.

Photo of the fire here. 
J sent this to me while he was at work last week. They were putting out an apartment fire, and it got pretty bad before they were finally able to extinguish all the flames. Most everything was charred to a crisp, but as they were wrapping things up, he came across this Bible that was fully intact; it was burned around the edges, but not a single page was missing. The words above are the thoughts that came to him, which he shared with me, which (with his consent) I'm sharing here. 

Happy Monday :)

March 27, 2017

for a special man in your life (giveaway closed)


So here's the thing about watches. I don't like them.

I love they way they look displayed on shelves, on other people, and in my jewelry box, but when I put them on my actual wrist, those gushy feelings don't translate. It may be more related to the fact that I just don't like the way any kind of accessories look on my wrist, since even the Apple Watch didn't appeal to me. The only time I ever wear a watch these days is when I have some important meeting/interview/presentation/etc and I want to cover my wrist tattoo in hopes of looking as professional and put-together as possible. Even then, I take off the watch as soon as the meeting is over. 

It's strange. Watches have been such an important wardrobe staple for so many years, and even as the big tech companies release fancier high-tech versions, the classic timepiece proves to be timeless. The best ones do nothing but tell you what time of day it is, and that kind of simplicity will never go out of style. They're just not my style.

So when Jord reached out to me for a collaboration and giveaway, I was all set to decline (as i've done in the past with other brands before them), but I clicked on the link to their website out of curiosity.

*Cue ooooo's and ahhhhh's* (and/or jump to the bottom for the giveaway details)

March 20, 2017

not even a dab of concealer needed


The quest for not even a dab of concealer needed skin continues...

March 15, 2017

nola

New Orleans, LA
Things I learned during my first visit to New Orleans:

1. It's its own little pocket of culture. The city as a whole has an atmosphere that is unlike anywhere I've ever been. I get why people love it.
2. "Ay baybeh" will never sound as adorable coming from a man who was born and raised in NOLA.
3. Catching an Uber to or from anywhere in/near the French Quarter will take just as long as it would take you to walk there. Save your coin.
4. Because of number 3, even if you're not trying, you will get anywhere from 18,000 to 20,000 steps in a single day.
5. Bacon and Shrimp Bloody Mary's are a thing.

March 5, 2017

Cheers to many more years

Poncey-Highland, Atlanta
I'm wishing a very happy birthday to a very special lady today! A group of us all got together for brunch, and what I expected to be an afternoon of loooooots of picture taking turned into a more finely intimate chit chat among loved ones, so here are two of the photos I managed to snap. One of empty plates and glasses half full, and another of the birthday girl, Laura, and her dad - a man who's celebrating are few wonderful things this weekend.

Cheers to many more years!


March 3, 2017

The Mothers, by Britt Bennett

photo source »»
It's been a while since I dedicated an entire post to a single book. It's also been a while since I've read a book that I could not put down. I downloaded The Mothers, by Britt Bennet, through my local library's e-loan app, and after reading about three pages, I knew it needed to be in my personal collection, so I ordered a copy from bn.com that day and proceeded to spend all of last weekend face down in the next 270 pages. When it ended, I wanted more. 

The last book to have me this enthralled was The Ocean at the End of the Lane, by Neil Gaiman, and I loved that one so much I was reading pages in the Chick-Fil-A drive thru line. And even that title didn't get its own post. This book, though? If the only update I posted all month was this entry right here, i'd be okay with that.

It tugged on ever single one of my heart strings, and here I am, almost a week later, still not sure I have the proper words to describe it. But i'll try.

February 19, 2017

February has been a slow one.

A whole month has passed since my last update, and the only thing new around these parts is this plant - this single, lonely houseplant. 

January 18, 2017

Green, green, green...

I was going through recent photos on my phone and realized there's a theme happening as of late: green.

January 10, 2017

bourgeois seasoned potatoes

A few weeks ago, Alexia was kind enough to provide a complimentary bag of their waffle fries, and they sat in the back of my freezer for for all of two or three days... When I went to finally try them for lunch one afternoon, they were all gone. J had eaten the whole bag, behind my back while I was at work. At first I wasn't sure I was going to post about these, because they're a $6 bag of waffle fries, but when the man of the house enthusiastically signs off on a food item, it's worth writing about, since he's a boring and picky eater. Alexia was kind enough to provide another complimentary bag, so I'm finally giving them a try for myself.

Here's the thing: I'm a bargain shopper when it comes to groceries. Back when we were newlyweds trying to get on our feet financially, the only grocery store I shopped at was Aldi. The prices are so low you don't even need coupons. The trade off? You have to be okay with mainly buying/eating store brand foods. Cheerios are traded for Crispy Oats, and Hillshire Farms is subbed for Friendly Farms. It wasn't a huge deal for me, but sometimes you really can tell a difference in taste (*note: they do still sell some national brands but not many). 

Now, even though our budget is more stable, I still shop at Aldi for our weekly groceries. The habit has formed, and I don't think I can ever go back to traditional grocery prices again. I go there to grab my main staples like almond milk, fresh produce, sparkling water, pasta, and rice, and I also pick up a bag of their store brand waffle fries almost every week. They're good, but they're bland, so you definitely have to add your own seasonings for flavor. In addition to my weekly Aldi run, I've branched out to Trader Joe's and (very occasionally) Whole Foods since it's only about 5 minutes away from our house. Whole Foods is where I first noticed the Alexia brand of fries.

For fun, here's a peek inside our freezer (admittedly something I never, ever thought I'd post, ever):

January 8, 2017

regarding intention, branding, advertising, and spending money

I was playing around with my camera and taking random pictures on this bright Sunday morning, and I realized I didn't include any books in my 2016 favorites. I thought about going back to update/revise the post, but honestly, I didn't have any favorite books last year. I had favorite music picks, easily (thank you, Meredith for my vinyl copy of ASATT - I love it); I had favorite movie picks too, but as far as reading goes, 2016 was a slump year for me. 

I started reading so many titles only to have my library checkout expire before I could really dig into it. Nothing really held my attention past 20ish pages, except for The Vegetarian, by Han Kang, and even that book didn't really end on a fulfilling note. I also have a handful of titles in my personal library on which I have yet to crack the spine.

Like many, I've hopped on the train of "intention" recently. I only want to bring things into my home that really deserve to be here because I really love them. I'm not buying more books unless I've read them already and love them enough to re-read again and again a few years down the line. I'm not buying music unless I can listen to the whole record, without wanting to skip a single song. The downside of vinyl is that you can't just jump to the next track, but this is also a good thing as it forces you to enjoy every song the way the artist(s) intended for them to be enjoyed. Also, no more buying clothes if the item doesn't go with a bunch of other things already in my closet. 

January 1, 2017

party it up!


We made it! 

Instagram

© The Active Spirit. Design by FCD.