National Food Flags

I saw this on Facebook and had to share. For any foodies, this post is absolutely gorgeous…and mouth watering. Advertising agency WHYBIN/TBWA created flags from 18 different countries formed out of the country’s most recognized foods. The flags were created as a promotion for the Sydney International Food Festival, but I think these prints would hang beautifully in any kitchen.

Italy, with it’s beautiful piles of fresh basil, pasta, and tomatoes, quickly won my heart. I’m also particularly fond of Great Britain’s scones, cream and jam. Not only because I’m an anglophile, but come on: that looks delicious.

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Italy…pasta marinara, anyone?

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Great Britain…of course it’s tea and crumpets. 

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And Brazil! Give me fresh fruit any day.

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Simply Having a Wonderful Sunday!

I awoke this morning to snow blanketing the campus–a rather rare occurrence down south. Of course, as a Northern girl, I scoffed a little at first at all of the emails and texts detailing the closure of campus for a tiny dusting of snow and ice. But I am absolutely in love with the lazy, cosy atmosphere that has washed over my school in it’s wake. Everyone is sweet and warm and taking a day to relax, do homework, and love being together.

It’s a beautiful thing to experience in the last few days before we head home to celebrate Thanksgiving.

Speaking of Thanksgiving, I have to share this awesome infographic from Love Taza and her sponsor, Sweetgreen! It’s everything you ever wanted to know about Thanksgiving–which, I’m the first to admit, is my favorite holiday, second to only Christmas. Any day with the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, green bean casserole, apple pie, and family time with Christmas carols in the background is a win in my book!

Eating locally isn’t a new trend - the first Thanksgiving featured seasonal ingredients grown in Plymouth Colony, and throughout the US, local produce is still incorporated into Thanksgiving meals today.  Since we are all about sourcing and eating local foods, we wanted to celebrate the regional cuisine that is consumed on this holiday. Check out our infographic to learn more about variations on the Thanksgiving meal across the US.

Dreaming of a Winter Wonderland

I’ll admit it: for me, we have officially reached the holiday season. I held out for as long as I could. I, too, scoffed at the sinfully arrival of Santas and snowmen to the store shelves. I denied myself the pleasure of Peppermint park and holiday cocoa.

But I simply cannot hold out any longer.

This morning, I decorated my room for the holidays, complete with garlands, snowglobes, and, of course, Christmas lights hung over the window. I listened to my Josh Groban holiday Pandora station as I drove cross town all morning.

And this evening, I will spend some time organizing my Holiday Bucket List.

Yes, the holiday season has officially arrived in Lauren’s heart, Are you all managing to hold out any longer?

Here’s a little piece of gorgeous inspiration for my decorating style. I can’t wait for snow and home!

 

Cooking Basics from Refinery29

Have you heard of Refinery29? If not, I encourage you to sign up for their newsletter. It’s full of little tips and tricks edited in fun, modern style. Exactly the kind of publication I’d love to work for! 

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The post that caught my eye today was on the most basic principles of cooking: boiling an egg, how to make French toast, the appropriate way to bake a potato…all the little things you feel like you should know, until you step up to the counter to cook. This came at the perfect time; just last night, I found myself craving deviled eggs…and wondering what the process for boiling was. It’s fun little things like this that remind you you’re still a child, after all 🙂

Hope everyone is having a lovely start to the week!

 

Fall Back…

It’s most definitely November. The wind has grown chillier and more insistent; evening comes on sooner. I find myself reaching for an extra scarf or heavier jacket most mornings, because I can’t believe how quickly this month has arrived!

I absolutely love the fall. The period between my birthday and New Year’s is my absolute favorite: a whirlwind of coziness, family and friends, decorations, Christmas music, and (best of all?) delicious food!

In my quest for a happy mind and healthy body, I’ve wracked up quite a few dessert recipes I’d love to try. Here are the ones currently at the top of my wish list.

White Chocolate Espresso Cake by pastryaffair

White Chocolate Frosted Espresso Cake from Pastry Affair…all of my favorites in one beautiful, pastry package.

White Chocolate-Topped Cinnamon Chip Cinnamon Bars

White chocolate topped cinnamon chip bars from Averie Cooks…the only thing better than cinnamon? Cinnamon paired with chocolate.

Apple-Gingerbread Cobbler | MyRecipes.com

Apple gingerbread cobbler from My Recipes. Everything that is good and right about the holiday season.

I probably won’t have time to make any of these delicacies for a couple of weeks, since my show opens this coming weekend. Cue excitement. Cue panic. Cue growing to-do list. But just putting them up here motivates me to get back in the kitchen and enjoy delicious food! There is much truth to the saying that desserts like these are good for your soul.

What I’m Loving

A little weekly roundup of things that have caught my eye!

1) College Prepster’s Bedroom…and PJ’s!

I just think she’s adorable. Carly recently added this Anthropologie wallpaper to her bedroom wall, and I’m in love with the print, the colour…it’s all good! I wish I could do something similar–but I think the RA’s might frown on wallpaper in a dorm room. 

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I do, however, plan on adding some comfy PJs to my fall/winter shopping list. I love that the ones featured here have a long sleeve top and shorts on bottom. Paired in a cute flannel print, they’re the perfect loungewear for cosy mornings spent doing homework and watching Halloween movies. 

2) Fizzy, pretty drinks!

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Moscato Blueberry Cocktail

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The Sarasota…so pretty!

Now that I’m 21, I find the prettiest, sparkliest drinks are catching my eye on Pinterest. My go-to is Moscato with cranberry sierra mist: it’s fizzy, fun, and a pretty pink color! These picks are a little more labor intensive, but they’re all lovely and look delicious! Maybe I’ll play mixologist this weekend. 

3) Reading Plays…

All of the plays. I just found out that auditions for next semester will be in two weeks. The same weekend that my show goes up. Oof. So I have been scrambling to read some new scripts. I’m a big fan of the stuff published by the National theatres of England, Ireland, and Scotland. They’re amazing, and the stuff is new and visceral and a little crazy. All good stuff, and a little outside the box. 

Hope you all have a good weekend! I’ll be spending mine with friends, celebrating the end of a long week, and in rehearsals, of course 🙂

Another Year Older

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I turned 21 on Monday! I’ve been having to remind myself that I am, in fact, now 21 ever since. I love that feeling of birthdays: you always expect to wake up and the world will have shifted, something will be illuminated. You’ll be another year older, and another year wiser. Usually, that doesn’t happen. But with 21, I have to admit, I do feel a little different.

As a society, we build up this birthday so much. Visions of drunken debauchery danced in my head as I planned my quiet, small gatherings with friends.  I even had the thought: am I doing this wrong?  Wow. That is how permeated we’ve become with the idea of a crazy, wild 21st. My friends, thankfully, reminded me that it was my birthday. I could spend it in any way that I saw fit.

So we had a fall celebration, complete with popcorn, candy corn, orange dark chocolate, and homemade dark chocolate yogurt brownies. There might even have been some hot cocoa with Baileys.

I am excited for this year. 20 brought challenges in many forms. 21 is sure to bring more. But I feel like I’m finally beginning to know myself. Even when I don’t know exactly what I want, I can recognize that I’m on a journey, and the present moment is just as important as the coming ones.

I’ll be posting my Bucketlist for Age 21 soon!

I Dream in Tory Burch…

Tory Burch happened to have a Friends and Family sale the other day. I was immediately excited–till I realized that the beautiful footwear I was lusting after was still a little out of my price range. But this fall, I’m enjoying even dreaming about owning a pair (or two or three) of her gorgeous designs.  What is calling your name?

Ballet Flats.

Navy/bright Navy Tory Burch Serena 2 Ballet Flat

The Serena 2

Caroline Ballet Flat

The Caroline

Tory Burch Kaitlin Studded Ballet Flat

The Caitlin Studded

Tory Burch Lizard Printed Serena Ballet Flat

The Serena Lizard Printed

The Boots.

Coconut Tory Burch Bristol Riding Boot

Bristol Riding Boot

Almond/charcoal Tory Burch Rosalie Riding Boot

Rosalie Riding Boot

Almond Tory Burch Milan Wedge Bootie

Milan Wedge Bootie

 

 

A Little Resting Now and Then…

brings peace to the wisest men. I’m taking a liberty with the Willy Wonka quote here, but you catch my drift. I’ve been feeling off the past four days: the worse kind of sick, where you’re just tired, achy, and gross enough to want to stay in bed all day…but not sick enough to actually do so. I think it might be a combination of a minor cold and exhaustion, so there really isn’t much medicine for that…besides rest. Not one of my strong suits.

take time to just rest ~ Day 44.01 Yesterday, I'm grateful that I was so restful I forgot to post in my gratitude journal. I must have needed the extra rest. :)

You know I’m feeling bad if I skip my runs, and I took four off days in a row. FOUR. That is almost unheard of. Every day, I told myself I’d get back out the door. But then I would climb the stairs to my room, feel absolutely exhausted, and remind myself that sometimes the most helpful option is to just let yourself take a break.  Note: I only came to this realization after frequent anxious texts to my wonderful mom, along the lines of, “But what if I lose my mile time?” Ridiculous, silly, and a good reminder that there are far more important things in life than working yourself so hard.

I had my first loop back in the running shoes today…and felt GREAT. I wasn’t miserable. I wasn’t achy.  I was just happy to be out running again.  It’s amazing: taking the couple of days off actually brought back the joy that attracted me to a running routine in the first place!

Gotta love life’s moments of realizations.

Hope for Today

It’s been a stressful couple of weeks, y’all. School has really kicked into high gear. I feel like I’m always saying that, but there’s something different about the balance of classes and rehearsals this year. In the past, I was busy rehearsing and running from thing to thing. Since I haven’t begun rehearsals yet (they start Friday! I can’t wait!), I’ve had more unstructured time. Note that I’m not saying free time. I feel like I’ve spent more time doing homework and trying to stay on top of things than ever before, but it gets overwhelming when the time is unstructured. Even though I’m an organized person, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. 

This post from MindBodyGreen could not have come at a more serendipitous time.  It made me feel so much better about life in general, and reminded me that, yes, there is life outside of college. And I am doing a good job. Sometimes you need that little reminder to get you through the week. Image