wellness

What You Want

05.25.16

what you want

Okay this isn’t the first life lesson I have posted about (see here, here and really just keep scrolling back a while), but I thought it was time for a little update to the whole thing. Actually, my update is a retrograde to structuring my thoughts more like how I used to in those posts. Just a bit more like a journal entry.

We spend a lot of time thinking about the things we want. At least I do. I think about the things I want nearly constantly. From objects, to personality traits, to experiences, to changes… I want a lot. Always yearning in the Rachel Camp. Sometimes I get what I want, sometimes I don’t, but nearly always I forget to take time to reflect on these things. I want (see there it is again) to be the kind of woman who is more deliberate with her wants, slower with her wants, and gracious about the outcomes no matter what they look like.

So, some practice. When I first had the idea of moving away from home last year (I’ve always had this idea, but it waxes and wanes) I had this image in my head of Snoopy and I walking down some stairs, stepping out on the street and just going for a stroll. That was my visualization of moving. I began to dig a bit and I imagined a job I loved, I imagined some sort of industrial flat. I imagined driving a big truck across the country, mile by mile getting closer to my new start.

And guess what. I got everything I wanted, sometimes in the most uncanny ways. I got a princess palace on the cheap in a cool side of town, a great job that paid me well and inspired and challenged me, streets bustling with opportunity and undiscovered restaurants. I got to refine my routines. I got to experience loneliness (something I genuinely wanted). I couldn’t really imagine a better experience, moving away. And yet, I am leaving it all behind this week to go back home, which really isn’t something I want, but something I need to do. And reflectively, I feel so gosh damned lucky right now. Even though I’m sad and stressed and headed toward a small home, in a city I’d very much like to avoid, with no job prospects at all… I am so so deeply thankful for getting exactly what I wanted and that’s enough for me right now.

xx

image credit: cereal magazine
more posts about life lessons

recipe book

Healthy Foods

05.24.16

softspirit_healthyfoods

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I have this really strange curiosity about what other people eat. I find it so fascinating because we all eat so differently. I’ve really spent the last year refining what my diet looks like. I have a lot of room to grow here in terms of nutritional content and staying consistent, but a year ago I couldn’t have told you much about what I ate. It was all very unintentional and happenstance.

WHAT I EAT

  • Breakfast – rotate between three main meals – chia pudding, overnight oats, frittata.
  • Meals without sides (one main dish typically).
  • Quinoa instead of rice (healthier & faster!).
  • Selective sweets: homemade peanut butter fudge or chocolate covered bananas (milk chocolate ftw).
  • No drinking on weeknights (Friday & Saturday only).
  • Change it up seasonally: Summer = Fish & Salads, Fall = Stuffed squash & Soups, Winter = Chile & Stew, Spring = Grain salads.
  • Cheat Meals (for emotional nights or quick meals, never more than once a week): Annie’s pastas or Ramen noodles.
  • Eating out only happens a few times per week (2 is my goal) unless there are unusual circumstances.

HOW I EAT

MEAL PREP! I’m obsessed. It’s a huge component of my weekly and daily routine. I typically spend an hour on Sunday morning planning my meals for the week. Then Sunday afternoon I go shopping. Sometimes I have to hit as many as 3 stores to get everything I need, so it’s a real affair. Sunday night I cook my most complicated meal of the week and then on Monday night I cook an easier one.

  • Choose recipes that will yield at least 4-5 servings, or double them.
  • Choose one meaty recipe (fish or turkey or chicken) and one veggie one (typically grain based).
  • Cook Sunday and Monday nights and portion meals before putting them in the fridge.
  • Eat leftovers for both lunch and dinner all week. This takes training to get used to but it’s awesome to reach into the fridge and pull out your meals.

TIPS

  • I use Pinterest to find most of my recipes, but occasionally I will simply Google whatever I am looking for.
  • Create an account with My Fitness Pal and use their recipe calorie calculator to find your nutrition. You can use this to track your meals also, if that is something you’re into.
  • Use an inverted pyramid: higher calories earlier in the day and taper down toward evening.
  • Drink hot lemon water or tea before anything else in the morning to rev up your digestive system.
  • Eat fruit (or veggies) for snacks and pick different fruits every week for the best variance in nutrients.
  • Try to keep snacking to a minimum. This also takes training, but it can be done. I very rarely eat between meals.

Here’s a breakdown of my meals on a random day:



6:30AM: Pre-Breakfast
– Hot Lemon Water

8:15AM: Breakfast
Overnight Oatmeal or Chia Pudding with a handful of blueberries and sliced almond
– 1 cup of coffee with 2 creamers, no sugar
– Fill up my water bottle for the day

12:00PM: Lunch
Garlicky Kale Salad or Balsamic Chicken Salad with Lemon Quinoa

3:00PM: Afternoon Snack
– 1/2 Cup of Cottage Cheese or 1 Bag of Natural Sea Salt Popcorn or 1 bottle of Kombucha
– Afternoon Coffee or Green Tea

6:00PM Dinner
Tilapia & Feta Cucumber Quinoa or Alkaline Green Soup

8:00PM Dessert
– 1-2 pieces of Natural Peanut Butter Fudge
– Hot Tea or Lemon Water



Tell me about how you eat in the comments, or if you have and tips or tricks you’ve learned over the years. Also let me know if you have any questions about what I eat!!

xx

wellness

Funemployment Files | 01

05.20.16

funemployment

T-Minus 1 week until my last day at work, after which I will be officially joining the ranks of the unemployed. I thought it might be interesting to see this journey as it unfolds for anyone else in a similar boat, thusly the #funemploymentfiles. I’m so funny.

THE SITUATION

I have enough money and help from the boyfriend to sorta make it for a while. Obviously it’s not ideal. Paying health insurance out of pocket is a blow. Not contributing to my retirement is keeping me up at night. Among all the day to day worries with basic finances, I am also having an existential career crisis. I don’t know what I want to do next. I’ve long felt the unfolding of a deep feeling that maybe I don’t want to be a graphic designer. In my current role, I act as a Creative Director and very rarely am hands-on with design and it actually is much more rewarding for me. BUT, Creative Director jobs are hard to come by when you’re 26 and don’t have a stunning portfolio of high-profile client work. I also want to find a job I can stay with for 5+ years. A job where I can grow and where I believe in the company and what I am doing. I know I’m asking for a lot here, but I’m at a point in my life where I am trying to be intentional about the things I do. I don’t want to take some job that I feel only okay about and leave in a year. I want to hold out for the right job. I don’t even know what that is, but I am hoping I will know it when I see it.

THE INTENTION

I kind of anticipate being unemployed for a while. Maybe it’s a few weeks, maybe it’s the summer. And if it was a while, I’d be okay with it. If it wasn’t, that’s okay too. I’m happy with my situation and I intend to not let my unemployment go to waste. I am preparing to make myself a daily schedule, weekly goals and plenty of routines to keep me focused and working. Here’s my initial brainstorm on some of the things I hope to accomplish during my indefinite period of joblessness:

setup my new home
practice meditation daily
explore denver
get outdoors
fitness, every day
journaling, reading & blogging
refining my goals for the next phase of life
volunteering
spending time with family/friends
art projects, learning new things

THE EXPECTATION

I fully expect to have moments of painful boredom. I expect moments of feeling lost. I also expect to find some freedom. How often in one’s life do they get to be unemployed for the summer with no seriously pressing financial stress? I expect to possibly find a part-time gig. I also expect life to be vastly different from my expectations. Isn’t that sorta how it always goes?

My next step is to start putting together a daily routine that I’d like to try and adhere to. No sleeping in (okay maybe a little sleeping in) for this woman. I also want to make a more specific list of goals for myself and further my exploration of what my dream job would be.

xx.

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fashion

maniamania

05.19.16

softspirit_maniamania

I cannot be trusted with nice things. Sunglasses, boyfriend’s debit cards, expensive jewelry… I have been known to lose all of these things with an uncanny rapidness. It’s always been a bit of a struggle for me when I see other women wearing really pretty jewelry or tucking away their expensive sunglasses. I wonder how they are so put-together. What girl, you don’t get sloppy drunk on Friday nights and lose all your belongings? Heh, me neither. Oh you don’t break everything that passes within a cubic foot of your body? I also don’t have that problem. Like HOW. How do you not lose/squish sunglasses? HOW do you keep your rings on your fingers? I cannot even keep polish on my nails for more than a few hours, let alone bear the burden of expensive jewelry. I am just not a dainty woman. I’m a rough and tumble tomboy at my core.

All that being said, my very sweet boyfriend bought me a beautiful ring for Valentine’s Day this year. It’s a proper womanly ring. Also to be fair, I did ask for the ring. I decided it was high-time I owned one nice object. I had been searching quite extensively for jewelry I might enjoy wearing. I may be a tomboy, but I am a pretty damn picky tomboy. And when I found ManiaMania, it was true heart-eyes-emoji love. I literally love every single thing they make. All of it. It’s just… well it fits my aesthetic to a T. Check them out, you will not be sad you did. I want every single ring they ever make.

I would also like to note, while we’re on the subject, that if I am a bit of a masculine lady… I have picked a partner who is a bit of a feminine man. And somehow, that works out just perfectly. Dude has more than twice the amount of shoes I have. And also, he’s prettier than me. And once a little kid loudly asked his mother “mom, why does he have long hair and hers is so short?” We chuckled pretty good at that one.

xx

wellness

Headed West

05.18.16

headed west

This is a hard post to write. I’ve been searching in myself for the words I want to say for several weeks now and I still keep avoiding it. I’ve said it a few times and in a few places, so anyone who reads this blog probably already knows that I am moving back home in less than two weeks. It’s hard to know where to start to make it all make sense and not ramble forever, but I suppose I’ll start from the beginning.

In November I flew out to Louisville for a job interview. I took the job when it was offered to me and I had four weeks to pack and move. My boyfriend and I went on our first date in October and it felt very silly at the time to turn down a job for a two month relationship. If it was meant to be, it would be, I told myself. He helped me move out here, albeit reluctantly but supportively nonetheless and we planned initially to try and see one another at least once a month, if not more.

To say it was hard would be an understatement. Falling in love with someone who you rarely see, in a different time zone, is it’s own unique kind of torture. But he flew out here every three weeks for the first few months. It wasn’t until my first visit home, only two full months after coming here that I started spiraling down. With a whole slew of family issues and my heart feeling like it was no longer in my chest but beating 1,000 miles away from me, I began to get pretty depressed. My visit home wasn’t some glorious event where I saw my old life through rose tinted glasses or something. In fact, it was really hard. It reminded me of why I moved away in the first place.

I didn’t (and still don’t) really want to be in Denver. I liked the distance from everything I grew up with. In Louisville I am what I say I am. I get to be a version of me that doesn’t exist in Denver. Which is why the decision to move home was ridiculously difficult. But I thought about it and I talked about it with my closest people a lot. I faced a good deal of resistance to my idea of moving home, in fact, my two best friends were (and kinda still are) pretty ardently against the notion of me moving back. This is my big chance in life, the big opportunity to go do something different. And I would move back over family stuff that’s out of my control and even worse, for a man? I feel guilty even writing how much my friends oppose my decision, because it may all blow up in my face someday. But at the end of it all, this is my decision.

If everything was perfect, you would never learn and you would never grow. – Beyonce

 

The thing about me is that I always follow my intuition. And uniquely, my intuition isn’t just my “gut feeling”. I’m very good at combining feelings with logic. It’s always been a skill of mine. My gut is telling me to go home. My gut is telling me to give my relationship a shot. My brain is going through the catalog of my existence and it keeps telling me the same thing: I always learn from my mistakes. I am a person who makes a lot of mistakes, but I don’t make the same mistakes twice. It is one of my deepest held beliefs in life that the path to wisdom is a series of lessons that one must learn and that the universe (or whatever you believe in) will guide you down your path. When you encounter obstacles, you always have to make choices and experience the pieces of life that have been made available to you. It is your choice whether to learn from the experience and move forward, or to stay there and continue experiencing the same thing over and over (usually asking yourself “why me?”). Thus far, the worst and hardest experiences in my life have taught me the most important lessons. I am always learning, even if sometimes it’s the hard way.

So no matter what happens next, maybe my relationship falls apart, maybe we get married and live happily ever after. Maybe I hate that I moved back home and I find another out of state job. Maybe I go home and redefine my life and my friendships completely. This is my life and I am learning the lessons I need to learn right now.

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travel

2016 Travel Wishlist

05.17.16

2016 travel wishlist

Two things:
1. 2016 is freaking flying past. It’s a bit alarming really. IT’S ALMOST JUNE.
2. I haven’t traveled this year (unless you count my trip to Vegas for work, I don’t)(or the two trips I have taken home, but I don’t count those either)

Soooooo, I’m really counting on the next 7 months being the months I will be traveling. I mean to be fair, I did move across the country in January, so i feel that it’s okay to not have been very ambitious about travel so far this year. A human can only handle so much in an period of time. And since I will be back in Denver the rest of the year (please no more cross country movies, father son holy spirit), I think it’s high time I make some plans and don’t let the rest of the year escape without a bit of adventure.

I feel out of breath and I’m typing. I’ll just get to the point now.

2016 travel wishlist

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GUESS WUT. Boyfriend and I booked a trip to Maui!! Hip hip, hooray! We’d been discussing the need for a few weeks of beachy relaxation and thought perhaps Tulum or maybe somewhere in the Caribbean, but the season is off. No point spending all that money if there’s a decent chance that we’ll get rained out. So we decided to stay in the country and go to Hawaii. He’s been to Oahu many times and I’ve been to Maui once, so we know the ropes a bit, alleviating some of the planning stress. Oh and we’re going in less than 6 weeks, so we needed to pick a place that was a bit familiar. We booked 16 days on the island (hehehehehehehehehe) and plan on staying in three different locations. Don’t worry either, I also made a collaborative google map and day-by-day itinerary because I am an overachiever. Now if only I could lay off the wine and candy in time to pull out my swimsuit.

2016 travel wishlist
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Continuing my passion for seeing all (okay, maybe just most) of the National Parks in the US, I really need to get over to Zion. I’m desperate to hike The Narrows and stop at Antelope Canyon on the way. Oh and maybe the Horseshoe Bend. Do you guys have a National Parks Passport? My friend introduced me to this thing last year and I love it so much. It’s just a little passport book you carry around and get stamps & stickers at the visitor’s centers in all the parks! I have quite a few stickers and want to make sure I am getting more every year.

2016 travel wishlist
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I’ve only been to New Mexico once and have been dying to go back ever since. I’ve long been yearning to go to Ojo Caliente Hot Springs & Spa and show Michael the beautiful artsy town of Santa Fe! I’ve also seriously talked up New Mexican food and the friendliness of the people down near the border. One part adventure, one part relaxation, this trip will be amazing if we actually find the time to do it!

2016 travel wishlist
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Michael is originally from Buffalo and it’s where his mom still lives. We don’t have any concrete plans to visit, but if we could go somewhere else this year, I’d love to see Buffalo. Growing up in Denver, people don’t talk about Buffalo like it’s any place worth seeing, but they also didn’t talk about Detroit that way and I was completely fascinated with that city. It would be so cool to go retrace his steps growing up there. I’d definitely take a trip to Niagara Falls and spend some time getting as near to Lake Erie as I could. Also, Buffalo is known for its crazy abandoned buildings, which sounds right up my alley.

2016 travel wishlist
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Colorado is full of quaint mountain towns, but we didn’t really visit them much when I was a kid. I’d love to check Telluride off my list if I could this year. Last year I was able to get Aspen off the list and Salida the previous year. There are just SO many! But Telluride is world renowned and is also home to Bridal Veil Falls, which I’d love to photograph.

xx

home / wellness

Cleaning Tips

05.16.16

spring cleaning tips

I had a good weekend. It shouldn’t have been a good weekend… It should have been an emotional, anxious, tears all over my pajamas weekend.
1. My boyfriend was gone. When he’s gone I basically stay inside for weeks on end (you think I am exaggerating, but I’m not), only coming out to walk my dog once a day and go to work.
2. I didn’t feel good last week
3. I was stuck inside the whole weekend

But somehow, it all sort of worked out. I stayed inside except to get my groceries and I cleaned. That’s right folks, I’ve been using my own cleaning guide. And holy schmidt, it’s harder than I thought it would be. I got through the first seven days of the guide with only a few minor hiccups (wheezing over my nail polish collection, getting anxiety about throwing away polishes I’ve literally had for a decade). I also managed to get a good deal of food prep done AND I found a bit of time for relaxation. So ten points for Gryffindor over here.

I also spent a bit of time reflecting on my feedback of the guide so far and thought I’d make a separate little post about my page on cleaning tips. It’s perhaps the most original part of the guide. I came up with two of these tips on my own, one of them I am pretty sure deserves a Pulitzer or Nobel Peace Prize or something. I’m serious. It’s the Clean 30s portion of my guide. I came up with this idea in high school and it has revolutionized not only the cleanliness of my home, but also my life’s whole workflow. Bite size chunks of productivity, followed by periods of relaxation and enjoyment. Interval style pieces of productivity keep me constantly going. Anyway, you can read my tips on keeping a clean home below and also make sure to check out the full guide!

SPRING CLEANING TIPS

CLEAN 30
Forever my favorite cleaning trick, I developed this one in highschool when I often got hassled about
my dirty room. Clean 30s are exactly what they sound like: cleaning reps. Between leisureful activities,
you will find me stopping to clean 30 things. Every object you put away is a single number. Larger
tasks like doing the dishes are typically counted as a grouped number such as 5. I like to do clean 30s
between chapters of books or episodes of TV shows. It’s how I let myself relax and be productive at
the same time!

ACCOUNTABILITY TEXTS
I once had to clean my whole house in a dauntingly small amount of time and asked my friend if I
could text him everything I was doing to keep me accountable and focused. He gladly said yes and
we’ve been doing it back and forth for years now. Every time I have to go on a cleaning binge, I text
him after I complete several tasks. It feels so good to tell someone how much ass you’re kicking in
your house. It’s just good motivation. I always promise myself I cannot check my phone until I finish
cleaning a whole room and then I list everything I did in a text to my friend.

CLEAN AS YOU GO
Wisdom passed down from my grandmother: she calls it the “clean as you go” lifestyle. She was
specifically talking about dishes when she explained it to me, but it applies anywhere. Clean up your
messes as you make them. Train your mind to factor in time and energy for cleaning in any activity.

NEVER LEAVE A DIRTY ROOM
This is a tip I have yet to explore. The idea is to clean up every room, every time you leave it. You
should ultimately get into the ultra-quick process of always being clean. It takes an extra minute or two
most of the time, but means your house is virtually always picked up. Just imagine.

xx

spring cleaning tips

home / wellness

The Spring Cleaning Guide

05.11.16

softspirit_springclean1

My goal this month revolves around breaking up with a lot of my possessions through some good ol’ fashion spring cleaning. If the term “spring cleaning” strike up some strong emotions in you, it’s a good thing. It means you know what a serious chore it can be. Never fear though — I’ve been putting together something that will help guide you through the process of “out with the old” and give you some tips on cleaning up your abode.

softspirit_springclean2

My guide is available as a free PDF that you can either check out on your phone or print out and keep around the house this spring. I’ve set it up to guide you through 30 DAYS OF SPRING CLEANING. YAS QUEEN. I’ve broken down a thorough list of items throughout your whole house to inspect, organize or throw away. It’s a day-by-day type of thing, so you only have to do a few things everyday and then voila, clean house/clean mind.

I sincerely hope it helps you, because in all honestly I designed it as a self help thing and then thought, I should pretty this up and give it out. I’m moving in like 2 weeks… or 3… I’m honestly not even sure how long anymore. So I’ll be doing a condensed version of this over the next few weeks (starting tonight oh em gee). I’m feeling pretty nervous about the whole thing, but I’m glad I can break it down into smaller chunks.

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curio

Balance Bitch

05.10.16

softspirit_balancebitch

I’ve been thinking a lot about the term “creative director” lately. At one time, up until oh say… 3 years ago, “creative director” was an actual job title and not something that described many concepts. It was fairly straight forward; creative directors were very high level creatives. In the advertising world, they come from one of two disciplines: design or copywriting. Elsewhere, it may be a bit more ambiguous, but they are usually the head of the design department. These are the honchos up there approving the final designs. I’m not even going to make a Mad Men comparison but you get it. Big idea folks.

Nowadays, everyone and their hipster mother is a “creative director”. They organize their own Instagram account and then voila, they either become a “creative director” or “curator” (both of which are very prestigious titles). Anyway, I’ll just leave that there and refrain from further comment.

ANYWAY. As a person who will soon be without a job (like 3 more weeks, wtf), I’ve been thinking a lot about what it is I want to do next in my life. Also what do I want to do with the rest of my life? How in the bloody heck do people figure this out?! Thankfully I have the opportunity to take some time off from working and contemplate what it is that makes me happy in a job sense and all that. I always thought I’d like to work up to being a creative director for some really amazing brand that I firmly believed in. Now? I don’t know. I’m not sure I want to be a graphic designer for the next 10-15 years before I am qualified to be a cd.

Sometimes I fantasize about becoming a yoga instructor or florist or anthropologist or something absolutely different from what I am now.

xx.

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wellness

Goal | 012

05.06.16

softspirit_goal12

People as inconsistent as me really ought to not carry on blogging. It highlights just how deeply inconsistent I am. I’m an emotional creature, who is quite easily thrown out of balance and when balance is gone (I’m a Libra, for pete’s sake), well all else is a mess. Especially this blog. In an ideal world… well I don’t know. I don’t even know what an ideal world is anymore. I suppose in an ideal world, I would have the time, energy and creativity to blog consistently (dare I say daily).

Anyway, I mentioned that I am moving back across the country this month and truly I am having so much anxiety. I’ll be in a very tiny little home, which my boyfriend currently occupies with all his own stuff. So uh, I need to do some real spring cleaning now. I have been carrying way too many things, for much too long. And I’ve been mentally preparing to live more like a minimalist for years now, so it’s time. I’ve read the minimalism books (well half a book honestly), studied the blogs and reflected pretty deeply on the state of what I own and what I want to own. In fact, I’ve already begun cleaning out my closet. I threw out several trash bags of clothes when I moved here and have been steadily building a pile of several more trash bags worth of items I shouldn’t be keeping. But more on that soon.

My goal for this month is to methodically and diligently clean out my whole house, my car, my closet and my digital life in the next four weeks and let me tell you, I am already several days behind. So… wish me luck!

Oh, I forgot the best part! I’ve been slowly building a guide about spring cleaning for you! It will be published soon, so you can clean along with me.

xx.