some favorite things

20140223-162704.jpg

Yesterday was so perfect; Andy and I went biking for about 1 1/2 hours. We explored some and then ended up over at my favorite park, Cherokee Park. We even biked on the street, a first time for both of us. Louisville seems to be pretty bike friendly and we only had to go a little ways on the street. For most four lane roads, people tend to stay in the left-most lane because people park in the right lane, so we felt pretty safe. If we hadn’t gone over so many hills, I could have biked forever. I think I would even choose biking over napping. I would be totally fine if we ever lived somewhere with warmer weather and I could bike everywhere.

I wanted to share my favorite things I’ve been enjoying lately:

This is my all-time favorite Instagram. There will always be a part of me that wants to move to a farm with my trusty side-dog and get to see sheep and cows every day. Who knew Insta-stalking could be so relaxing and beautiful?

British men reading poetry. I won’t tell you how often I’ve been listening to this, it would be embarrassing. Basically enough that now when I read, the voice in my head sounds like a British man, which is perfectly fine with me.

Andy and I have been re-watching Sherlock and I love it even more the second time around. It has been a year or two since we’ve seen the beginning, so it was nice not exactly remembering everything that was going on.

I hope you have a great start to a new week! xo

Advertisements

from the handcrafted magic of elves : the only shoes you need

IMG_1139

In 2012 I read Born to Run and Eat and Run and they both opened up my world and caused me to make some big life changes that have stuck. The odd thing is, they did not make me a runner (though it did spur me to seriously begin running for a time). One of the things it did make me was a “barefoot” shoe believer. I saw the beauty in how our feet are designed and wanted to embrace it. So, I began my quest for the perfect shoe. This took some time because I wanted a shoe that could do a little bit of everything: something I could run in, walk in, and live my life in without people stopping me every five seconds asking what I had on my feet. I wanted to pare down my closet to two or three shoes instead of add more shoes for running or walking. Eventually I found a review of a barefoot shoe and was sold–someone had ran in the mud  and then wore the same shoes to work the next day.

IMG_1101

That was the beginning of finding and loving Soft Star shoes. After reading about the company and finding that the shoes are handcrafted by elves (!) and that they seek to reduce their impact on the earth (like ship with minimal packaging) I knew I found the shoes I needed. I was worried about not being able to try the shoes on, but it is easy to measure your feet to find your size. You can also order two sizes and return the one that doesn’t fit if you are unsure of your size. And trust me, returning is so easy! The “elves” want you to have happy feet and you actually email back and forth with a real person in the awesome state of Oregon. The only thing about these shoes is it can take time to get used to. I recommend you read several articles about transitioning to a minimal shoe. I slowly transitioned and did not have any problems. Like all shoes, they also take time to become “your” shoes and for your feet to become familiar with them, but once they do you will love your shoes like you’ve never loved a pair of shoes. If you have back pain and a standing/walking job, this might just be the thing to try out. About a month ago, my husband got his first pair (RunAmoc, not Merry Janes!) and he has stopped complaining about his back and feet hurting. Now he has so much more energy after work.

IMG_1113

The Merry Jane shoe is perfect for women wanting a low to the ground, minimal shoe (especially if you run and work out in minimal shoes, why suddenly change when you’re working and running errands?) that looks adorable with skirts or jeans. (please note: I do not run in Merry Janes, but use RunAmocs when I exercise outdoors.) I love the Velcro strap; it’s so quick to slide my feet in right before I walk out the door running late. They are so comfortable and lightweight, they feel like an extension of my feet and I love being able to grocery shop, work, or bike in them. It’s true you can hike through mud in them and wear them to work the next day–dirt and mud just wipe right off! My favorite part about Soft Star Shoes (and Merry Jane’s if you are wearing socks) is they keep your feet warm in the winter. I’ve had to walk to work in the snow a few times the past month and I’ve forgotten my snow shoes, but I didn’t even notice because Soft Star Shoes keep your feet so warm and dry. If you want a good place to start wearing minimal shoes, or you already love your minimal shoes but want a pair that looks great with skirts or office clothes I highly recommend the Merry Jane. It’s cute, comfy, and great handcrafted quality (my RunAmocs I bought last year still look brand new and I wear them all the time)! Feel free to ask me any questions!

IMG_1280

please note: I received a free pair of Merry Jane shoes for this review. I have loved and supported Soft Star Shoes long before I received my Merry Jane shoes. I also own two different pairs of RunAmocs and highly recommend them as well. I wear these shoes almost exclusively every day. Links throughout the post are affiliate so if you purchase through them I will receive a small commission. All words, opinions, and experiences are my own.

IMG_1289

i love

Camelbak glass water bottle (this never leaves my side. it’s true what they say…I drink so much more water now. I tried to return it at first because I can’t stand to bite down on things, but Andy rigged mine to be a normal straw. Camelbak you should have different mouth pieces for people with teeth phobias!)

Crowder Radio on Pandora (more instrumental version of all your favorites.)

Dr. Bronner’s pure-castile soap (this is my face wash, dish washing soap, fruit and veggie wash, all-purpose cleaner, and if my hair will ever cooperate, shampoo. [I just use bar soap for body wash to reduce plastic consumption.] for tips on dilutions and different uses I like Lisa Bronner’s website.)

Charlie’s Soap (this is the only thing in my laundry room. I don’t have to use fabric softener, there’s no harsh perfume smell, and my clothes are clean. I get mine at  our local Amazing Green Planet because you can use your old container to buy in bulk and save on money and waste.)

The Jesus Storybook Bible (if you don’t have this you need to go to your book store and purchase it. I’m talking to you, adults. ;))

NIV Dramatized Audio Bible (this is my favorite audio Bible. Do you know how much you can read when you listen to something throughout the day–a lot! Plus, it is free online!)

Trader Joe’s pound-plus bittersweet dark chocolate with almonds (it satisfies our chocolate cravings for almost a month! If you are near a Trader Joe’s I highly recommend if you like dark chocolate. Anyone happen to know any good dark chocolate that is even “darker?”)

Bare Minerals makeup (I am still a new user, but so far it has what I want–very little ingredients, light, but buildable coverage, and very little time spent putting it on.)

Most of these are my essentials, but would also make great last-minute holiday gifts (or am I the only one that would love soap and dark chocolate for Christmas?). Do you have any favorite essentials?