a tea + my thoughts // no. 4

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Happy Monday! We’re back with the fourth edition of tea + thoughts, the series I started back in January at the start of the new year. Next month will be a little different when it comes to scheduling, so there won’t be another tea + thoughts until June.

The tea I’m sharing this month is Trader Joe’s Moroccan Mint Tea. I try to drink a lot of green tea because it’s so full of antioxidants and good for balancing your hormones. This one is laced with spearmint, which makes it even more delicious than straight green tea. I love adding a little bit of honey to make it even more indulgent tasting. My one qualm is that this product does come in individually plastic wrapped bags which is a lot of waste, but I know at least I have sent TJ’s an email about it and I’m sure I’m not the only one!

The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Pt. 2 //
Have you started watching?? I am so hooked on this show. I love dark humor and love that this show is dark and kitschy in a way I’ve never really seen before. Plus, it’s full of badass female empowerment. And magic. It really is the perfect show. I will say it’s better, in my opinion, to watch during the fall but that’s not stopping me. I just finished the new episodes over the weekend and can’t wait for season two!

Trader Joe’s Umami Seasoning //
You know the TJ’s Everything But the Bagel Seasoning? This new Umami Seasoning has the potential to unseat it as the greatest cult item TJ’s has to offer. It’s a blend of porcini mushroom, white button mushroom, kosher salt, mustard seed, red & black pepper, and thyme. It’s a delicious, savory flavor that you can put on everything from avocado toast and salads to proteins and roasted vegetables. Take it from me, a person who does not typically eat mushrooms because of the texture, this is delicious.

Hu Kitchen Almond Butter + Puffed Quinoa Chocolate //
I heard about this chocolate from one of Romee Strijd’s videos and she so highly recommended it, I knew I had to try it. Of course, once I did try it, I started seeing it everywhere in the zeitgeist. I ended up finding it at Whole Foods (it was hidden in a different section than the other chocolate, FYI) and oh my lord, it’s so good! First of all, this chocolate is free of: dairy, emulsifiers, GMOs, soy lecithin, gluten, refined sugar, cane sugar, and sugar alcohols, as well as being fair trade, vegan, organic, and paleo. Plus, it tastes amazing and is not at all lacking on flavor or sweetness. You have to try it!

Planting Mint in the Herb Garden //
I was recently reading the latest issue of Garden + Gun by the pool and stumbled upon an advertorial for Mint Julep Month sponsored by Maker’s Mark. It had all sorts of recipes for different variations of juleps, but what stuck out to me was that they offered a tear out sheet that you soak in water, plant in a pot, and it grows a mint plant! I was so excited because I’ve been wanting to add mint to my herb garden and it literally just fell into my hands. I planted it last week and am now waiting a couple more weeks until it’s ready to go!

the weekend list no. 58

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If your actions create a legacy that inspires others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, then you are an excellent leader.
— Dolly Parton
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I’m still just getting comfortable sharing my lows. I’ve actually considered for a second not having this section because I hate to feel like I’m complaining. But I’m going to keep it for now because it also rubs me the wrong way when bloggers never talk about anything other than the positive. My lows this week are really just two things. One is that I kept waking up with different aches and pains. It was like each day had a different random ache! The second is that my skincare routine is no longer working very well, so I’m having random, unusual breakouts but I’m remedying that so hopefully it goes away quick.

Okay, one big high is this: I’ve been wanting an instant camera for awhile but just couldn’t justify spending $60-$90 on one when I already have my iPhone 8+ and Fujifilm X-T20 to shoot with. The good news is that I scored one on Poshmark for literally $12! It was actually $30, but I somehow had $25 in credit (I must have sold something and never transferred the money over), so it came down to $6 plus $6 for shipping, thus I got a minty blue Instax 8 Mini for $12. 😊

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Last Sunday, I started the week off with dinner at my friend’s house after begging her to make me her signature meal, a piccata with fresh, homemade pasta topped with feta. We laid by the pool, had dinner and drinks, and talked all about our upcoming trip to Europe which is coming up so quickly. The rest of the week was pretty much working, running errands, and a lot of reading! I got some new things from the library that I’m excited to recap at the end of the month.

This morning, I’m heading to the beach to do some reading, get some sun, and go swimming for the earlier part of the day and then later, just running some errands and come home to finish up extra work. Then, next weekend, I’m planning on getting up early to go to the farmer’s market.

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I’m loving Kate Middleton’s new stylist and have got to try that leg makeup trick!

Get ready for a summer roadtrip with Jacey’s essentials!

Such a delicious smoothie recipe.

I want to live here.

So excited about the Sussex instagram account! 🙌

Ten spots in the U.S. to add to your summer travel plans.

Julia’s spring accessories picks are so lovely.

Love these nail polish colors for spring.

This article on the negative impacts of cruises is an indictment. Wow, wow, wow.

Very important.

These are great ideas for incorporating mindfulness into your daily routine.

Some good ideas for boosting circulation, something I’ve been thinking a lot about lately.

six self-care posts for a refreshing weekend

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I’m curious, what are you doing for yourself this weekend? A big facet of this month’s content theme is savoring all the senses as a way of being mindful. So, I dug up some self-care posts from the archive of my blog to share as inspiration for ways that you can get quiet and savor the senses this weekend:

five quick tricks to feel healthier now // Ever have those days or moments that you feel a little off health-wise? Here are five quick ways to get back on track.

the 2018 summer wellness guide // Get ready for the summer by creating a wellness plan for the season that will keep your mind, body, and soul engaged and healthy.

three quick ways to feel happier // Savoring your senses in one way to feel happier. Here’s three more!

how to create a bath sanctuary // This post is perfectly aligned with this month’s blog theme of focus and savoring the senses. Use these tips to create a relaxing sanctuary at home in your own bathroom.

planning the perfect staycation // Another great way to savor the season is to plan a staycation that allows you to really appreciate the space you call home.

spring cleaning your wellness routine // A new season is always a great time to set up a new wellness routine. Here’s one that’s inspired by the idea of spring cleaning.

ten daily mantras for spring

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For a little Wellness Wednesday post, I wanted to share some ideas for mantras to incorporate into your daily rituals this spring. You can, of course, use these mantras any time of year but I think they’re really nice for spring since it’s a time of renewal. I like to go through my mantras right when I’m waking up and doing my skincare in the morning and then I usually repeat one or two in my head throughout the day depending on which one resonates most. But, you can also write these down on notecards or Post-Its and hang them on your mirrors as a reminder!

Whatever your mantra routine, try these ten:

I am exactly where I’m supposed to be.

I am warmed by my own light.

I am warm and kind and vibrant.

I am aligned with my purpose.

I am doing my best today.

I am open to receiving all that I deserve.

I can and I will.

I am grounded and serene.

I am ready to make today a great day.

I am trusting that everything is unfolding in perfect timing.

ten movies to get into french cinema

Pierrot Le Fou, 1965

Pierrot Le Fou, 1965

Are you all as happy as I am that it’s finally officially spring? Granted, the weather here in my area has been pretty springy for quite awhile but I’m happy to know that everyone else is finally feeling in the mood for warm weather and pastels. Something about spring always makes me want to watch my favorite French movies. I’m not entirely sure why but it might have something to do with all the pretty colors that tend to be in them and the overall quirky vibe they tend to have.

So, why should you even get into French cinema? I heard someone recently say that their idea of having a fun, fulfilling life was to follow the concept of having ‘majors’ even after you’re out of school. Whether it be wine, music, or in this case film, it’s fun to pick a thing or two then going all out to learn as much as you can about it. One of my life majors has always been French film, so I wanted to put together a little list of some of my favorite French movies to potentially inspire someone else to get into them!

Mon Oncle (1958)
It’s maybe not the most “accessible” on the list, but Mon Oncle is such a visual feast full of modern design and architecture from the ‘50s that it’s beautiful to look at. It’s about a man who lives in the city and doesn’t get why his sister moved her family into a super modern house in the suburbs. But then, his sister conspires to convert him to the suburban lifestyle, trying to set him up with a wife.

The 400 Blows (1959)
I’d argue that The 400 Blows is the most iconic film of the new wave and a must see for any film lover. It’s a gorgeous Truffaut film about a young boy who lives quite a hard scrabble life in Paris among neglectful parents and irresponsible adults. Afterwards, watch The Florida Project and draw some comparisons.

Breathless (1961)
Tying with The 400 Blows for what I consider the most iconic new wave films, this one by Godard stars Jean-Paul Belmondo as a Parisian thug who idolizes Humphrey Bogart. After committing a crime, he goes on the lam with an American journalist played by Jean Seberg who doesn’t yet know why they are running.

Band of Outsiders (1964)
One of my very favorite Godard films, this one is about two cinephiles Franz and Arthur who idolize characters of classic film noirs and Westerns while pining over Odile (played by the iconic Anna Karina). After many gorgeous sequences including a run through the Louvre, the trio pulls off a heist of their own.

Pierrot Le Fou (1965)
I love the visuals of this film so much. Jean-Paul Belmondo stars in this as well with Anna Karina. Ferdinand runs away with his family’s nanny Marianne. They travel across France in a beautiful red car and end up being chased by thugs before going on a crime spree because what more can you expect from Godard?

Day for Night (1973)
Directed by and starring Truffaut who, of course, plays a director making a movie all the while observing the persona lives of the actors in the movie. It’s one of those movies that everyone in Hollywood loves because it’s all about the inner workings of the industry.

Amelie (2001)
This is probably the most universally popular movie on the list and for good reason. It’s a great entry point into French film as it’s really entertaining and fun to look at but has the quality of classic French films. It’s about a girl named Amelie who lives in her own fantasy world as she navigates Paris. It’s super quirky and feel good, perfect for a sick day.

The Triplets of Belleville (2003)
I love that I’m able to throw an animated film into the mix. I believe I first saw this in one of my high school French classes and just fell in love. It’s about a woman whose cyclist grandson is kidnapped. She sets out with her dog to find him and meets three sisters who are former vaudeville actresses. It has such a distinct, grotesque look that you can’t take your eyes off of it.

Rust and Bone (2012)
This movie has a very contemporary sounding plot but it’s actually so different than what you’d expect. It’s ultimately such a beautiful, slow, graceful kind of film. Marion Cotillard plays a whale trainer who loses both of her legs in an accident at work. She meets a former boxer who saves her from a bar brawl and they go on to fall in love and continue saving each other in different ways.

Clouds of Sils Maria (2014)
Okay, so this is a slow, deliberate movie that may not work for every taste but I hope you’ll give it a chance because it’s one of the most stunning films I’ve seen in the past few years. Juliette Binoche is a once very famous actress who reprises her breakout role 20 years later. The movie is about her relationship with her assistant played by Kristen Stewart as well as the actress’s painful self-reflection on herself.