Author: Josie

Like The Noonday

Remember how I said fear doesn’t get to drive?  Well I started a new adventure today.  I have been researching a company called Noonday Collection recently and have decided to join this fascinating fair trade company.  I know I’m not very good at sales (I’ve tried before…), but I am really excited to help support a cause that I feel strongly about.  If you would, please take a second to watch a couple videos about what Noonday Collection does, and I think you will see why I made the decision to join other like-minded women on this journey. If you’re interested in hosting a trunk show or maybe becoming an ambassador yourself, please don’t hesitate to contact me! Noonday Collection – Our Story from Noonday Collection on Vimeo. #NoondayStyle in the Making: Metropolitan Earrings from Noonday Collection on Vimeo. Ambassador Trips 2018 from Noonday Collection on Vimeo. Photo and video credits: Noonday Collection

Fear Doesn’t Get to Drive

Just because you have never done something before doesn’t mean you can’t.  I believe in that statement.  Whether it is taking on a new job, trying out a new hobby, or speaking in front of a crowd of people.  The school year has kicked off for this counselor, and I hope to encourage my students to take a few risks.  I like doing things I have never done before.  I’m not always good at it, especially not right away.  There is something that clicks in me when I am faced with a new challenge.  You could call it stubbornness or maybe determination.  I think the point is that I want to say I tried.  I want to be the kind of person that isn’t afraid to work hard, fail at something, and try again.  I want to be the kind of person that looks at something new as an opportunity to learn and change rather than to fear. Granted, this is continually a work in progress.  Fearing change is natural to me, as I am …

Just Going For It – Desktop Background

The words artist and designer seem so huge to me.  Like in order to fulfill one of those roles, you have to be comparative in talent to Monet or Chanel.  Sure, I like to sketch and come up with fabric patterns in my spare time, but I don’t consider myself a designer.  This hesitant feeling and lack of confidence in my work has prevented me from even ordering a few yards of my own designs from Spoonflower.  Nothing ever seemed finished or worthy of being printed.  I was even asked by someone if I would put my designs on Spoonflower, and my response was that I wanted to wait until I had a whole collection of works that I was really proud of. Just a few days ago, I remembered that the beauty of Spoonflower and other printing sites like it is that you don’t have to be a “designer” to anyone else but yourself.  No one else has to like or share my work for it to be valid.  It is mine, and I …

Bourbon Plum Butter

When we moved to California, we were lucky to find the perfect little starter house for us.  It came with a plum tree, or as I came to learn, a pluot tree.  These lovely little fruits are in season right now, so naturally, this last week’s menu has been saturated with pluot recipes.  I whipped up a pluot and sweet cherry torte for a pot luck, muddled up a few in some drinks, and finally used the remainder of our bounty in a breakfast butter.  The butter is slow cooked to create a beautiful deep red color.  It would be a perfect addition to your next brunch served on toasted crostinis with goat cheese.  Enjoy! -Josie Ingredients: Roughly 1lb. of pluots 1/2 c sugar 1/2 c water 1/4 t cardamom 1/4 t cinnamon 1 oz bourbon Method: Pit pluots and cut into 1 inch pieces leaving the skin on.  Place into a medium, non-reactive saucepan.  Add sugar and water to pan with fruit.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and cook until fruit is very …

Gems of the Pacific Northwest

One of the really incredible things about living in Sacramento is how close you are to so many different climates and scenery.  Within roughly two hours you can be at the beach, the mountains, a forest, or the desert if you so desire.  If you hop on a plane, you can be in Washington in the same amount of time.  And I must say, it is one hundred percent worth it. Josh and I went up to the Olympic National Park for this birthday weekend, and it was spectacular.  It helped that the area was experiencing relief from the ever present rain that weekend.  The sun was out and the weather was absolutely perfect.  We decided to rent a car and take a little road trip around the perimeter of the park so we could see a good portion of it on our short weekend trip.  We made a few stops along the way, which I am eager to share with you. Stop #1: Port Angeles I love being around water.  On it, in it, …

Texas-Style Guacamole

As previously stated, my husband and I love to cook.  One of our favorite dishes to bring to gatherings is a super easy and very tasty bowl of guacamole.  We started our quest to make a delicious guac after having some of the best at San Antonio restaurant, Zinc.  (You should have the Zinc burger, too.)  After throwing together a few batches, we came up with our own version of classic guacamole.  The important thing to remember about this recipe is that you can make any changes you want.  The amounts are relative to your tastes, so have fun creating something unique to you! Josh & Josie’s Guac What to make it with: 2 Avocados, smashed 1 Roma tomato, diced 1/2 Small red onion, diced 1 Garlic clove, minced 1 Small bunch cilantro, roughly chopped 1 Serrano pepper, minced 2 Limes 1 Orange Kosher salt to taste What to do: Peel and mash avocados roughly in a large mixing bowl with a fork.  We like to leave our guac a little chunky, but the consistency …

Grace Over Guilt | Looking At Wellness Differently

Do not eat that girl scout cookie.   Don’t do it. Stop. Ugh…you have absolutely no willpower.  Unbelievable…. While slightly humorous, so goes the inner self-deprecating dialogue that attempts to guilt me into making healthier choices for myself.  I ask myself what negative self-talk has ever actually done for me.  Nothing, except make me feel worse. I have recently started to follow a blog by Robin Long called The Balanced Life.  Robin creates online pilates programs for busy women and is passionate about finding a balance with health and fitness.  Her belief is that guilt doesn’t work as a long-term motivator, and she reminds her followers to choose grace over guilt. It can be extremely difficult to change your way of thinking when it comes to how you see and talk to yourself.  I know this from personal experience.  However, after a particularly difficult week working with young adolescents facing suicidal thoughts and actions, I am realizing just how important it is to take care of yourself physically and, maybe especially, mentally.  These children shared their stories …

Paris Restaurant Guide

  Oh Paris…  You were wonderful.  Beautiful views, spectacular architecture, and absolutely incredible food.  It should be, right?  I mean, Julia Child wouldn’t have totally changed the focus of her life after having your sole meunière if it wasn’t something truly scrumptious.  Traveling to Paris and watching Julie & Julia on the plane ride home had me itching to come back and offer up a few eateries for you to try on your next trip. Le Mary Céleste Located in the Marais district of Pairs, this little gem should not be overlooked.  Especially if you like oysters.  I don’t even like oysters, and I could’ve eaten the entire half dozen we ordered.  They were fantastic!  Cold and flavored perfectly with a slightly spicy citrus sauce…  Don’t stop there, though.  The tapas style menu allows you to sample as many delectable dishes as you choose.  While the menu changes daily, I definitely recommend getting the braised beef if it is available.  Braised for 24 hours, you aren’t going to find a more tender, deliciously seasoned beef …

V-Day Card Roundup

Sometimes it can be hard to find the perfect card.  There have been countless times I’ve stood in a store and hated absolutely every card in sight.  Here are a few of my favorite Valentines Day cards from some of my favorite artists/stationery companies. “Sending You A Boatload Of Love” – Rifle Paper Co. “All Yours” – Red Cap Cards “So Happy To Have You In My Life” – Ferme A Papier “I’m So Lucky I Found You” – Hello!Lucky

36 Hours in Your Home: “Staycation” Essentials

Text conversation with a friend: Her: Hey, would you be interested in seeing La La Land with me tonight? Me: Oh man, yes I would but we are in San Diego… Her: [Crying emojis] Bummer. What days of the month are you typically home? Me: Tuesdays haha Her: So Tuesdays you guys are home and you go to your jobs on those days? Otherwise you’re in Texas, Chicago, SD, or Bangladesh? Ok, so maybe my husband and I go places a lot (Bangladesh is a stretch)…  It’s true.  With our families living in different states and our love of seeing new places, we travel all the time.  In fact, we were supposed to be going to Florida over our long weekend, but plans changed.  I have to say, though, that staying home has its advantages.  No delayed flights, mediocre airport food, time changes, or jet lag. Staying home can also be the perfect time to focus on yourself and get in a few things you enjoy before starting the work week again.  I love taking weekends …