Home is where one can find a little peace, a little rest, and a little warmth for a short while.
Skirt: c/o Anthropologie Knit Headband: c/o Krochet Kids Intl. Hair + Photos: c/c Jamie Garner
As winter approaches I find myself becoming electrified by the things that are ahead. It seems to be an annual theme that when the weather takes a chilly turn and our noses begin to turn pink against the wind, I begin to dream. Perhaps the New Year for some begins on January 1st, but for me the New Year always seems to start as the holidays rear. What is it about this time of year that brings such a vast amount of hope, inspiration, and progressive thinking? Perhaps the glistening aesthetics of the holiday season acts as a catalyst for filling our hearts good vibes or maybe even the crisp air that refreshes the mind with a sense of newness. Below are three things that are bringing me vision and insight this week.
1. The Presence of Positive Friendships and Connections. This semester has been special and unique in regard to the friendships that have fallen into my path and the connections that have grown stronger. I have always been the type who seeks authenticity and value in my connections with others, and at times it can be difficult to stumble upon such relationships in a college town that acts as a host to such a vast multitude of faces. However, this semester has changed the game entirely. I have seemed to cross paths daily with individuals who have inspired me to be a better person and who have grown to be my friends. I have also watched established friendships take new turns and become more valuable then ever before.
2. Taking Chances...Again. This time of year I seem to find myself nearing deadlines for school projects and internship applications. I am a perfectionist through and through when it comes to the projects that I produce, so putting my heartfelt work out in the open can be a vulnerable matter. But, taking chances and putting your efforts out on a line for others to see is a part of taking forward leaps and falling in love with life! This week I am inspired by the strength that comes from being comfortable and excited about risks despite the it's challenges.
3. Liking The Skin that I Wear. I at times fall victim to being incredibly hard on myself. Its easy to begin thinking that there is something that you could be doing better, ways that you could be trying harder, methods you could be using to better hide the vulnerable corners of yourself. Over the last year I have been learning lessons about how it is perfectly okay to simply be a human who is in progress and to love that person . Every flaw, every mistake, and every quirk that inhabits us is a part of what makes us beautiful and what allows us to connect with others.
What are the positive things fueling your shape of self this time of year?
PS. ON A SIDE NOTE: Have you heard of Krochet Kids Intl.? The above photo set features my favorite orange knit headband that was handmade by a Peruvian woman named Katerine Hilario . Krochet Kids is a company empowering the women of Northern Uganda and Peru with the assets, skills, and knowledge to lift themselves and their families out of poverty. The Woman of Krochet Kids are given the opportunity to design beautiful knitted apparel under the highest level of care and the sign the tag of the item when they are finished. By having their name on your hat one is able to acknowledge their abilities and share a little connection of happiness through apparel. Today, over 150 people in Uganda and Peru are working, receiving education, and being mentored toward a brighter future in . Katerine hopes to one day open her own small business! Who made your hat? Check out: Krochet Kids Intl. and get involved in the #KnowWhoMadeIt campaign!
Lately I have been trying (really hard,mind you) to domesticate myself a little bit and not feel so awkward in the kitchen. Fall foods are without a doubt my absolute fave', but I'm also trying to make sure that the things I attempt to make have at least partial nutritional value. I am a busy student and I can definitely feel the difference in my energy levels when I am eating the right things! This recipe was for Harvest Bread, which is essentially pumpkin bread for my recipe. I wasn't really sure where to find red kuri squash and didn't really want to spend all day hunting it down, so I substituted canned pumpkin. This bread is a-w-e-s-o-m-e.
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted slightly and whisked to a creamy texture
1/3 cup white sugar
1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
3/4 cup red kuri squash puree (or canned pumpkin)
1 cup mashed, very ripe bananas (about 2-3 medium bananas)
2 tablespoons dark rum
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
Preheat the oven to 350. Grease an 8 x 4 inch loaf pan.
In a large bowl, whisk together the butter, sugars, eggs, squash puree, bananas, rum, and vanilla. In a separte bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and ginger. Add half of the dry ingredients to wet and stir a few times. Then stir in the remaining dry ingredients until just combined and no flecks of flour remain. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan.
Bake the bread for 50-60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (if the bread is browning but not quite finished, cover lightly with foil). Remove the bread from the oven, let cool in the pan for 8 minutes, then turn out and cool completely on a wire rack.
Recipe Source: The Vanilla Bean Blog + Smitten With Squash by Amanda Kay Paa