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  • LIFE Some Things on a Sunday

    Some Things on a Sunday, 8

    Some Things on a Sunday, 8

    Welcome to my series, Some Things on a Sunday!
    Every Sunday, I like to share my random thoughts & cool things I’ve found, along with a weekly recap and some photos from the week. Enjoy!
    This post may contain affiliate links.


    • First of all, we’ve got to talk about E3 (if you don’t care about video games, then just skip ahead a few lines!). There were a ton of new games announced that I’m super excited for, most of all FALLOUT 76. I honestly can’t wait until it comes out in November.
    • If you guys didn’t know, I’m kind of totally obsessed with Fallout, you can watch me play it on Twitch and on YouTube.
    • One more thing, I finally posted some pictures from my PUBG cosplay, you can see them on Instagram!
    • Ok, done talking about video games. Onto food. This no-churn cookie dough ice cream is everything.
    • DIY Pocky? Yes please.
    • Jessica from How Sweet Eats has a new series called Summer Fridays, go check it out. I love it so much.
    • How to make a 5 year plan. Super simple and super helpful. Creating goals and planning to meet those goals is something I need to get better at.
    • Cheeseburger fried rice? I’m drooling.
    • And one more cheeseburger recipe, because cheeseburger chopped salad? That’s everything I’ve ever wanted.
    • These curtain tiebacks? Anthropologie, take all my money.
    • This breakfast grilled cheese would be perfect with a tofu scramble.
    • 3 words: FROZEN. S’MORE. SANDWICHES.
    • I’m all about reusable cups and straws (gotta cut down on plastic waste!), and this love potion tumbler is perfect.
    • Speaking of reusable, I hope everyone buys a set of reusable straws!
    • I’ve been obsessed with Instagram stories lately, so this guide on creating beautiful Instagram stories is awesome. It took me a really long time to get into, but honestly now I watch stories more than look at photos.
    • Last but not least, here’s one of my favorite videos of all time from Jenna & Julien. I can’t begin to explain how hard I laughed at this. Enjoy.

    Posts from this week:
    I Started Using Coconut Oil as Moisturizer, Here’s What Happened
    Chai Breakfast Cake

    You can follow me here:

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    I hope everyone has a great week! ♡

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  • LIFE Lifestyle

    5 Tips for Better Mornings, & My Favorite Dirty Chai Recipe

    Do you wake up most mornings tired, groggy, and stressed? Are you lookin for a way to overcome that? Here are my 5 tips for better mornings, plus my favorite coffee drink to wake you right up!

    5 Tips for Better Mornings, & My Favorite Dirty Chai Recipe

    Every morning, we wake up with a whole new day in front of us. It’s exciting, but more often than not we’re tired, groggy, and hitting that snooze button. If that sounds like you, it’s ok! Waking up stressed and groggy is actually something our brain naturally does: it’s called the negativity bias, and it can be super difficult to control. But waking up early and sticking to a morning routine can help you overcome it, in addition to setting your whole day on track.

    Waking up early has tons of benefits for both your brain and your body: it enhances your productivity for the day, helps your mental health, kicks your body into go-mode earlier (which can lead to losing weight and having more energy), and can even prevent certain diseases. And once you get into a routine, waking up early can be super easy. Here are my top 5 favorite tips for better mornings!

    5 Tips for Better Mornings:

    Drink some water.

    Drinking water first thing in the morning is one of the healthiest things you can do: it instantly raises your metabolism, gets your system working, keeps you hydrated, and flushes out toxins from the day before. If you can’t drink a whole glass of water, it’s ok! A few sips is better than nothing.
    I also take a minute in the morning to fill up a gallon-sized water bottle for the day. If you have water right next to you during the day, it makes it a lot easier to stay hydrated.

    Make breakfast work for you.

    I’m one of those people who eats right when they wake up, usually before I even shower or get dressed or anything. But not many people are like that. In fact, only about 30% of the US population eats breakfast every day, and over 31 million people (about 10% of the US population) don’t eat breakfast at all!
    Yes, they say breakfast is the most important meal of the day: it gives you a boost of energy and gets your system working. But if you’re not hungry in the morning, don’t force yourself to eat. If you’re a little hungry, grab a granola bar. And if you’re really hungry, sit down and eat breakfast.

    Get up and move.

    It doesn’t have to be a full workout, but try to go for a 15 minute walk, do some light yoga, or just stretch to wake yourself up for the day.

    Make a to-do list.

    I usually find it best to write my to-do list the night before (or at the beginning of the week), but writing in the morning is helpful too. Write down everything you need to do for the day and everything that’s on your mind, either in a planner, journal, or on a scrap of paper. Just take a minute to get everything out of your head and onto the paper and feel the stress melt away!

    Take a moment to be grateful.

    Taking a moment before you fall asleep at night and a moment right when you wake up to say thank you is something that we should all be doing. Feeling grateful will put you in a good mind set for the day, and it’ll help you to start thinking more positively (a good step towards overcoming negativity bias!).

    But my top tip for a productive morning? Coffee. Here’s my favorite dirty chai recipe that really kicks my brain into overdrive. Enjoy!

    5 Tips for Better Mornings, & My Favorite Dirty Chai Recipe

    My Favorite Dirty Chai

    Prep Time15 mins
    Total Time15 mins
    Course: Drinks
    Servings: 1
    Author: Brit Wolfe - Panthers & Peonies

    Ingredients

    • 1 cup nondairy milk
    • 1 chai tea bag I like Tazo Chai Vanilla Caramel
    • 1 cup freshly-brewed strong coffee
    • Sugar to taste

    Instructions

    • Add the milk to a small saucepan, set over medium-low heat, and let warm until the milk is steaming and small bubbles start to form around the edges of the pan.
    • Once steaming, remove the pan from the heat. Add the tea bag, cover, and let sit 15-20 minutes.
    • Pour the milk into your favorite mug, top with freshly brewed coffee, and enjoy!

    Notes

    If you want your drink sweeter, add sweetener of your choice to the milk after you pour it into the mug.
    5 Tips for Better Mornings, & My Favorite Dirty Chai Recipe
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  • DIY LIFE

    How to Repurpose Anything from the Thrift Store (AKA the Easiest DIY EVER)

    Have you always wanted to learn how to repurpose things from the thrift store, but don’t know where to start? Here is my ultimate guide on the easiest DIY ever!

    Anybody who knows me in real life knows that I’m a HUGE fan of thrift stores. I could spend hours looking through clothes, books, furniture, knick knacks, etc. Most people don’t like thrift stores because it’s time-consuming and you really have to dig to find the good stuff, but honestly that’s kind of what I love about it. There’s always incredible things hidden within the junk! But I totally understand that it can be overwhelming to learn how to repurpose the things you find.

    So let’s start small! I have a ton of DIY projects that I want to share in the future (like the chameleon habitat I made out of an old glass curio cabinet), but first let’s start with something a little simpler! Something that even thrift store newbies can follow along to.

    How to Repurpose Anything from the Thrift Store (AKA the Easiest DIY EVER)

    At my local Salvation Army, I found these two wood things in the home decor section and immediately loved them. One is a mail holder, and one is a small shelf unit. They were both pretty beat up and made of this horribly ugly wood, but I knew I could make them into something awesome.

    Here’s what I used:

    • my lovely thrift store finds
    • sandpaper
    • spray paint (and acrylic paint in the same color, optional)
    • literally, that’s it, just 3 things
    Step 1. Sanding

    Sanding down the wood removes a lot of the marks and scratches, and it also provides a smooth surface for the paint. Once they were sanded, I wiped them down with a damp towel and let them dry outside.

    How to Repurpose Anything from the Thrift Store (AKA the Easiest DIY EVER)

    Step 2. Painting

    Once the shelves were totally dry, I laid them out on a big tarp and spray painted both of them with 2 coats of paint each (make sure to let the first coat dry before you apply the second coat). I used Rust-oleum Paint & Primer In One (one of my favorite spray paints for DIY projects) in the color Black Gloss.

    Step 3. Touch-ups

    Once the spray paint was dry, I went back through with black acrylic paint and touched up any small areas that didn’t get hit with the spray paint. If you’re awesome at spray painting, you can skip this step but I am not, so I won’t.

    How to Repurpose Anything from the Thrift Store (AKA the Easiest DIY EVER)

    Step 4.

    There is no step 4, there’s literally only 3 steps. Told you it’s easy!

    How to Repurpose Anything from the Thrift Store (AKA the Easiest DIY EVER)

    We hung the mail holder right by the front door, and it fits perfectly. It holds all our mail and bills, plus it has little key rings along the bottom.

    How to Repurpose Anything from the Thrift Store (AKA the Easiest DIY EVER)

    The second one is hanging in our bedroom, and holds a ton of my junk knick knacks: sunglasses, chokers, random mushroom ornament I’ve had for years, tiny otter, rose ring holder, and my favorite gift I’ve ever received (crocheted penguin made by one of Mike’s clients).

    Looking for more DIY projects? Check this out!

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  • Animals & Veganism LIFE

    Adopt, Don’t Shop! – Why Rescue Animals Make the Best Companions

    This post is sponsored by KitNipBox.

    If you know anything about me, you know that I am a huuuge advocate for “Adopt, Don’t Shop”. Adopt, Don’t Shop is the mentality that if you want a pet, adopt from a shelter instead of buying from a breeder.
    I truly believe that rescue animals make some of the most loving and loyal pets.

    Adopt, Don't Shop! - Why Rescue Animals Make the Best Companions

    Why “Adopt, Don’t Shop!” is Awesome:

    Adopting a pet means you’re saving a life (technically, more than one!).

    Millions of unadopted animals are euthanized every year. By adopting, you’re helping to clear out shelters and make room for more animals that need help!

    Rehabilitating an animal is so rewarding.

    Cassie was really badly abused before I rescued her, and it still shows. She’s been my pet for almost 8 years now, and she still flinches when I move too quickly. But after learning little tricks to make her feel safe, like making sure she always has an escape route and doesn’t feel trapped, she’s learned to trust me. I literally tear up when I think about her past, but I know I’m giving her a good life to make up for it.

    Adopting a pet is cost-effective.

    Animal shelters sell pets at a very cheap price, sometimes you can even get one for free! Plus all pets get their shots, vaccinations, and fixed before you take them home.

    Rescue animals are just as healthy as regular animals.

    Animals brought into a shelter always undergo a full medical examination and get treated for any illnesses they may have, whereas animals from a puppy mill can carry all types of diseases without ever being treated. Most shelters even have a 24/7 vet on staff! Rescue animals have a bad reputation of being old and sick, but most are perfectly healthy animals that have just been abandoned.

    They only want love.

    All Cassie wants is love. She’s so content just laying next to me while I’m on the computer, or sitting next to my feet while I’m baking. I try to spend as much time with her as I can, but this month, I wanted to do something special. So I got her a KitNipBox! I love this company for two main reasons: you get so much stuff for a great price, and every month they donate to different animal welfare causes.

    Adopt, Don't Shop! - Why Rescue Animals Make the Best Companions

    Truth be told, Cassie tends to be a little picky when it comes to toys and treats. But as soon as I set the box down, she went crazy pulling toys out and throwing them all over the house. This month’s box was Rock n’ Roll-themed, and included a bag of catnip, Wellness Kittles Treats, and 5 toys: a keyboard, a microphone, a catnip-stuffed t-shirt, a red crinkle pillow, and a leopard-print wand. She’s especially fond of the crinkle pillow!

    Adopt, Don't Shop! - Why Rescue Animals Make the Best Companions

    Please go check them out, they’re an awesome company and fellow Adopt, Don’t Shop advocates.
    Aaand I always have people ask about Cassie’s adoption, so here it is!

    Cassie’s Adoption Story:

    I was in LA going to culinary school, and since I was living alone, I wanted a pet to keep me company. I started looking through cats on the humane society website, and immediately fell in love with “Sasha”, this sad-looking cat with a huge stripe down her face. My dad said her face looked like a Picasso painting, which made me love her even more.

    When we went to the shelter, and I noticed a tiny little face poking out of a cat tower. I asked the girl helping us, and her exact words were, “Oh you don’t want that one”. I snapped, “Don’t tell me which cat I want, tell me about that one” (PS, WHY would you tell someone not to adopt an animal?).

    She finally told me about this little stripe-faced weirdo, who happened to be the exact cat I had been obsessed with. Sasha was a stray they found wandering with her four kittens, clearly abused and very dirty. They brought her in, cleaned her up, and got her healthy, and all of her kittens got adopted (adorable). She had been in the shelter for over a year: no one wanted her because she was super skittish, anxious, and “ugly”. Immediately, I was like “That one. I want her. Give her to me, now”, and she’s been my best little buddy ever since!

    PS my dad named her Pablo Picatso, but it’s Cassie for short.

    Adopt, Don't Shop! - Why Rescue Animals Make the Best Companions

    Thank you guys so much for reading! If you have a rescue animal, tell me about them in the comments! ♡

    Thank you to KitNipBox for sponsoring this post!
    (All opinions are 100% my own. I only partner with brands that I use in my everyday life.)

    Adopt, Don't Shop! - Why Rescue Animals Make the Best Companions

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  • DIY LIFE

    DIY Recipe Binder (how I organized my recipe mess for $10)

    Recipe collections can get out of hand SO quickly. You cut a recipe out of a magazine and set it aside, and all of a sudden your cabinets are overflowing with random cutouts and little scraps of paper. But never fear, even the biggest recipe collections can be tackled with ease, and I’m here to help you. Let’s make a DIY Recipe Binder! Ready?

    DIY Recipe Binder

    I’m not going to lie to you, my recipe collection isn’t falling out of my cabinets. My recipes are all in binders, on a shelf, in my office (it’s my OCD, I need everything to be in order, always, at all times). But even though my recipes are physically in binders, the binders are disorganized and it drives me crazy. It’s a project that I’ve never wanted to start because it’s so overwhelming. In comes my new DIY Recipe Binder to save the day.

    DIY Recipe Binder

    Here’s half of my recipe binders. Sooooo. Let’s get to organizing!
    First things first, I went to Staples and got all my pages printed out on really nice cardstock. This whole project only cost $10 (including the binder)!

    DIY Recipe Binder

    PS, this entire DIY Recipe Binder set is available in my Etsy shop in tons of different colors and patterns, so head over there and grab one for yourself! All the DIY Recipe Binder Printables include a cover page, category dividers, and fun pages like a weekly meal plan, kitchen conversion chart, and grocery staples list! Plus it includes blank category dividers and recipe tabs, so you can add your own font and organize your recipes however works best for you.

    DIY Recipe Binder

    DIY Recipe Binder

    Organize that Mess:

    First, I emptied all the recipes out of the binders and sorted them. A ton of recipes were illegible, and some of them I just didn’t want. I made this binder my Dessert Binder, since I have more dessert recipes than anything.

    DIY Recipe Binder

    Make Those Tabs:

    I added my own font onto the category tags, printed them, cut them out, folded them in half, and used washi tape to attach them to the category pages. If you want it to look extra professional, you could laminate the tags before you attach them, but I didn’t do that because I’m no professional.

    DIY Recipe Binder

    DIY Recipe Binder

    I put the category dividers in page protectors and added the tabs, then started adding the recipes. I hole-punched everything instead of putting everything in page protectors. Recipes might get ruined (and food-stained) quicker, but honestly I like it so much more. It feels much more homemade, and I love that.

    DIY Recipe Binder

    So that’s a stack (you can’t tell how big it is, but it’s taller than the 3″ binder) of papers in need of a hole-punch. I sped through it while watching Pretty Little Liars, which is the worst show I’ve ever seen but somehow kind of addicting? I don’t understand anything that’s going on, all I know is that I love Caleb forever and ever.
    And yes, that’s a page of my favorite bread recipes from Pioneer Woman, and my handwriting from 10 years ago was just awful.

    DIY Recipe Binder

    DIY Recipe Binder

    I’m so happy with how this turned out! My very first section is Recipes to Try (like these Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies from Joy the Baker), and there’s a section in the back for my own recipes. This project is so easy and so customizable, I loved organizing the binder to fit my own needs.

    DIY Recipe Binder

    DIY Recipe Binder

    Thank you guys so much for reading, and let me know if you try this project!

    DIY Recipe Binder (how I organized my recipe mess for $10)
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