In light of the events that have been going on over the world within the last few months, I haven’t felt the motivation or energy to put into blogging. Not because my life is in a bad place. On the contrary, I am doing great! But I have felt like the world is so caught up in the other events that it seems pointless to blog as normal.
I am also tired of constantly hearing about the events so I have avoided the internet as much as possible since this all started. I could go into more detail but for now, I won’t.
I also have been very busy and adjusting to my new life. I now work from home full time permanently and so all of the systems and routines I had in place are still being adjusted.
I also have changed since I started this blog and have a different perspective. I would like to bring these changes to my blog whenever I feel like its time to start blogging again.
So for now, I have some ideas and some posts I would like to write but not ready to jump back in yet. Just be aware that at some point I will be back with fresh ideas.
I am so glad I did because our guide Susan and her husband were friendly and courteous. They also provided historic information and insight on more than just the witch trials and gave an overall history of the town.
This 17th-century house was made famous from the National Hawthorne novel “The House of the Seven Gables (also conveniently located near the Salem Maritime Historic Site).
The house was built in 1668 for Captain John Turner I, the head of one of the most successful maritime families in the New England colonies
Also on the property are other homes that range from the 17th – 19th centuries.
Dinner at a Seafood Place
When you are near the sea you have to eat seafood. We ate at Sea Level Oyster Bar and it was good. But we were told by our walking tour guides that Turners is the best seafood in Salem. Next time that is where we will be heading.
This was the BEST BREAKFAST I HAVE EVER HAD IN MY LIFE!! Really, I mean it. It was packed so prepare to wait. Also, the coffee was so good I started ordering it and shipping it to my home in Pennsylvania. You can order it from Atomic Coffee here.
I have to admit that I did not get a chance to go to the museum when I visited, but I really wanted to! I am an art nerd so this is right up my alley but alas I didn’t have time.
Walk the Salem Heritage Trail and Do Some Shopping
I like walking and window shopping so between the consistent rain during our stay we did walk through the town a little bit.
I didn’t get to do as much shopping as I wanted to but I didn’t find a unique top at a boutique that I really like.
Other Things To Do…That I Didn’t Get Time For
Of course, there are other things I didn’t get to do while I was in Salem besides more food and visiting the Peabody. Hopefully next time I can get to some of these but in the meantime, YOU can check them out on your trip!
I know this isn’t for everyone, but if you have an open mind the Satanic Temple has an art gallery and a huge life-size statue of Baphomet that you can sit on for some wicked photo ops
Tourist Trap and Spooky Tacky Attraction Warning
Word to the wise…there were a lot of what I would say tourist traps and cheesy attractions/tours in Salem. In my opinion, there are more tacky tourist traps than legitimate attractions so just because of not wasting money or time on these.
Let me know what you think of these tops spots in Salem in the comments below.
I am so excited to share with everyone the steps I took to create a morning routine that has positively change my life.
I can honestly say that by making small changes and following the below steps I am 90% happier, more productive and overall just feel good.
Anyone can apply these steps to create a morning routine to change their life just like I did.
It’s not hard but it will take some motivation and time to get it together.
My Morning Routine Experience
Before I created my daily routine I was waking up between 7 and 7:30 AM.
I rushed around the house feeling stressed and not having a clue what to wear.
I was getting to work between 9 and 9:30 and coming home around 6.
I was pressing the snooze button EVERY DAY.
I was oversleeping on my days off or lounging in bed for a few hours after waking up.
I felt like I had no time to do the things I needed and wanted to do.
Most importantly, I was absolutely MISERABLE.
I hate waking up and getting my day started.
I felt unmotivated and fatigued.
Then one day I decided enough was enough and started to get up earlier and create a morning routine.
Fast forward to now and I wake between 6:10 and 6:25 on workdays. I also wake up around 7 on weekends.
I now get to work around 8:10 every day.
Most of the time I wake up on my own WITHOUT AN ALARM!
I am excited to get up, start my day and go to work or get things done at home.
I get just the right amount of sleep and feel motivated and energized.
Seriously, adding a healthy morning routine has been LIFE-CHANGING!
I feel like a new person.
Why You Should Create a Morning Routine
If my experience wasn’t enough to convince you that having a morning routine is going to change your overall happiness and life, then keep reading below for more valid points.
Great Way to Practice Self-Care
One of my goals for 2020 is to focus on self-care. Therefore, my whole morning routine encompasses self-care. I am able to physically, mentally, and emotionally work on myself during my morning routine.
Once you have a routine set up and in place, the stress just goes away. No more rushing or worrying about if you have time to do this or that. Your routine will make mornings a breeze.
I truly believe that having a morning routine creates a positive mindset and that a positive mindset increases productivity. From perfecting my routine I am able to get things done in a timely manner and prioritize what’s important to me.
Good Start to the Day
You really have to do it to experience it, but having a morning routine and starting off your day in a great mood just makes that mood continue throughout your day. It may take some getting used to but once you get in your groove you’ll look forward to your AM time and ACTUALLY want to get out of bed.
Morning Routine Tips
These are the biggest takeaways from creating a great morning routine.
Don’t snooze your alarm
If you struggle with this try setting your alarm or phone across the room or even in another room if you can still hear it.
Having to consistently get out of bed to hit the snooze will wake you up and prevent you from going back to sleep.
Drink water first thing…better yet add lemon
If you feel groggy and sleepy in the morning it’s probably not because you need to get more sleep, but more likely because you are dehydrated and need water.
Try drinking a full glass of water in the morning to keep your hydrated and help wake you up.
You can add lemon to your water which has numerous health benefits including aiding in digestion, anti-inflammatory properties, and a good dose of vitamin C.
You can learn more about the health benefits here.
Prepare the Night Before
This has been HUGE in helping me have a successful morning. Get your meals prepped and ready the night before, lay out your outfit and have everything you need to take with you for the day by the door.
I even have my medication, probiotics, and skincare products sitting out on the bathroom counter so I don’t have to search around for them or forget to take them.
Don’t Go Straight to Your Phone
Heading straight to my phone to read, check my blog or social media or watch youtube videos is what had me sitting in bed for an hour or two on my days off.
A phone is a huge distraction for getting up and out of bed.
My suggestion would be to wait until you are eating breakfast or have downtime to check your phone.
How To Create a Morning Routine
And now we can get to the good part…how to create an epic morning routine of your own.
If you need an example of what a morning routine looks like, you can click HERE to take a look at what my morning work and weekend routines look like.
If you completely change what you do in the morning all at once you may feel overwhelmed and give up.
Start smalling by adding one part of your routine at a time.
For example, I chose to try to wake up earlier first, so I woke up 10 minutes earlier than I normally did for a few weeks.
Then once I had made that a habit, I set my alarm earlier for another 10 minutes and continued the process.
Make a list of what you want to get done
This is where you’ll want to plan out your ideal morning.
List the non-negotiables like drinking the lemon water we mentioned earlier, taking a shower, brushing your teeth and getting dressed.
Then make a list of the things you would like to do in the morning.
This can include other forms of self-care like yoga, meditation, journaling, or positive affirmations.
If you need some additional self-care ideas to check out my self-care idea blog post.
Time Each Activity
Next, you will time each of the activities you want to do in the morning.
For example, I give myself 10 minutes to get out of bed, drink water, take my medications and brush my teeth.
This is also where you want to see how much time you have to work with.
You may need two hours before work to get in the activities you want to accomplish and therefore will need to plan to wake up at an appropriate time.
Don’t forget to factor your commute so you leave in ample time and can avoid being late.
Once you figure out the timing you can prioritize what is most important to you after your non-negotiables.
For example, getting 10 minutes of yoga during my morning is the highest priority after my non-negotiables.
You know what is important to you, what you want to accomplish and how much time each task takes. Now you will want to organize them into a routine that makes sense for you.
If you want to work out in the morning then it would make sense to get up, get your water, work out, then shower and get ready.
Set Your Alarm
At this point, you will have a morning routine set up and know exactly what time you need to get everything accomplished.
Now all you have to do is set your alarm. I still set two alarms 5 minutes apart in case I am in a deep sleep and don’t hear the first one.
Prep the Night Before
Don’t forget to prepare in advance the night before to make your morning easier and hassle-free.
Track Your Habits
Start tracking your progress in a journal, planner or self-care worksheet.
You have all the tips and tools on how to create a morning routine that will change your life. All you have to do is apply the steps and get started!
Don’t be hard on yourself if you don’t get to do everything on your list at first. Believe me, I am still struggling with getting 10 minutes of yoga and it rarely happens. This is something I am still working on but even just doing my non-negotiables and being prepared have GREATLY changed my life.
Let me know how your progress goes in the comments below!
Hey Everyone! I decided to start an “If We Were Having Coffee” series here on Some Roots Wander!
I first became familiar with the virtual coffee date based posts on Twitter.
I thought it was a really cool idea.
I am also a huge coffee and tea drinker!
I will probably be posting these every month or so.
Make sure you subscribe to the Some Roots Wander newsletter to receive emails with the latest series post.
Now, grab yourself a cup of delicious coffee or tea, light a candle or some incense, grab your cats to cuddle with and keep on reading.
If We Were Having Coffee…
I’d tell you that I haven’t been on social media lately.
Particularly Instagram. Honestly, I hate social media. It seems so fake to me. I really go back and forth on whether I should be more active on Instagram to funnel traffic to my blog or just say fuck it.
I deleted Facebook a few years ago and would never ever go back to that.
I use Twitter for my blog as there seems to be a good blogging community there, but otherwise, I can’t stand reading most people’s tweets because they are so hateful, opinionated and judgmental.
I would tell you how excited I am that spring is almost here and have very exciting plans to celebrate Ostara.
Ostara is the spring equinox and is part of the pagan or witches wheel of the year. It has similar themes to the modern Christian Easter which is where Easter got its roots.
Ostara is on Thursday, March 19 so I took off work for a nice four day weekend.
On Thursday and Friday, I’ll be cleaning, cooking and doing some tarot readings.
On Saturday I’m having an afternoon tea for Kevin and I.
I think I am going to try La Gourmandine Bakery for the baked goods. They are one of the top bakeries here in Pittsburgh.
I also don’t think I will have the time or motivation to bake tons of little desserts.
I am, however, going to make hot cross buns.
On Sunday we are going for a hike at Raccoon Creek State Park and taking the afternoon tea leftovers with us to have lunch in the woods.
I’d tell you I’ve been reading into zero waste and sustainability.
I’m not exactly sure what I think of it of the zero-waste concept overall.
I have started recycling, buying second hand more frequently and stopped purchasing paper products.
However, I’m not exactly sure if moving to zero waste products like metal straws are actually better for the environment considering what it takes to mine for metal.
Part of me also thinks it’s just another marketing ploy for brands to sell you more stuff.
Perhaps I’ll dedicate a full post on this later.
I would tell you that I am looking into giving my blog a bit of a makeover.
I may possibly be changing my theme and logos around.
I ordered my theme through Etsy and the seller is no longer on there. So I have no way to get any tech support on the theme or get into the FAQ section that originally came with the theme.
I am still researching this and looking to find a theme I really love and fits my personality. I also want to make sure I am creating my dream brand.
Along these lines, I have been taking some Pinterest courses. I am experimenting with the strategies I have learned in these courses to get more traffic.
To be honest, I never put too much effort into Pinterest and just pinned my images.
I am hoping by optimizing my pins and profile I can get a significant increase in traffic over the next few months.
What Would You Tell Me?
If we were having coffee what news would you tell me?
Let me know in the comments below what you would tell me over a cup of coffee or tea.
If you are a blogger, leave me a link to your “if we were having coffee” post.
Don’t forget to subscribe to receive the latest virtual coffee dates.
SELF-CARE…it’s been all over my Pinterest feed and on Instagram as the new year started. At first, I thought self-care was just pampering yourself with beauty products and using it as a hashtag to look cool. I got curious and decided to research more into self-care and what it meant.
What Self-Care IS NOT
Despite all the lovely #selfcare photos on Instagram, it is not just about pampering yourself or taking selfies at the gym.
Here are a few more examples of what doesn’t count:
Consistently staying inside in your pajamas binge-watching Netflix and eating junk food because you had a bad day.
Eating one healthy meal and then eating junk the rest of the week and saying you practiced self-care. Self-care isn’t a one-time thing.
Retail therapy because you had a bad day and blew hundreds of dollars on clothing you really don’t need.
What IS Self Care
Self-care is balancing and maintaining your physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, and social health. It’s about making your life happy, balanced and preserving your well-being.
Creating boundaries for yourself and saying no to things that do not bring health and happiness to your life.
Eating a healthy diet and spending a few hours a week meal prepping healthy meals.
Getting 7-8 hours of sleep at night consistently.
Treating yourself every now and then to a tasty dessert with friends.
What Self-Care Means To Me
After processing all of this information on self-care, I decided I didn’t have enough of it in my life.
When I sat down to create my goals for 2020 I made self-care a goal. I made a list of ideas that appealed to me. Then I incorporated them into my daily routines and scheduled time to do things for myself.
Two months into 2020 and focusing on my goal, I have significantly increased time for my well-being, feel less stressed and overall happier.
Self-Care Idea List
As I mentioned previously, self-care isn’t a one and done thing. It should be consistent and part of your lifestyle for it to be effective. All of these ideas can be added to your daily routine to create healthy habits.
Have a Spa Night
Order Take Out and Watch Your Favorite Movie or TV Show
Drink a Cup of Herbal Tea
Go for a Walk
Touch Base with your Goals and Planner
Take Yourself on a Date
Catch Up with a Friend
Bake or Cook
Get in the Woods
Unplug from the Internet, Your Phone and Social Media
Listen to Music
Get Creative (color, draw, doodle, paint, etc)
Buy Yourself Some Flowers or a Houseplant
Take a Break/Time Off
Light a Candle
Diffuse Essential Oils
Create AM & PM Routines
Learn Something New
Eat healthy foods
Call a Family Member
What are your favorite ways to practice self-care? Are there any that didn’t make my list? Let me know in the comment sections below.
The Skincare Mistakes I Wish I had Known About In My Youth
About a year or so ago I started to notice some not so great changes in my skin and the skincare mistakes that may have led to them.
It started off by noticing the wrinkles in my forehead. I couldn’t believe at the age of 28 I had them.
Then a few months ago I was putting on some powder eyeshadow and noticed my eyelid skin was saggy and wrinkly. It was the first time in a while I had put on powder eye shadow and was mortified to see how unfirm my skin has become.
I knew I had to do something about my skin so I bought some new products and added skincare into my nightly routine.
I really wish I would have put more effort into caring about my skin when I was younger so I wouldn’t have the flaws I do now. Of course, I have learned to live with them and the fact that we all age and that is nothing to be ashamed of.
I can’t help but wonder if I had known what I know now about skincare if my skin would be in better shape now.
I will never know, but if I could go back in time and tell myself to avoid these 5 skincare mistakes I definitely would!
Mistake # 1: Not Quitting Smoking Sooner
I had my first cigarette when I was 15 at a football game.
I smoked occasionally until I turned 18.
Then I started buying my own packs while still hiding my bad habit from my parents.
But once I moved away to college I became a full-time smoker.
I quit smoking cold turkey 1 year 7 months and 10 days ago at the age of 27.
I don’t regret smoking altogether, but I do wish I would have quit sooner maybe when I was 25 or younger.
This is probably the biggest skincare mistake I have made on this whole list.
Of course, there’s no way to know for sure if smoking is the result of aging that has appeared within the last year.
I HIGHLY recommend anyone no matter what age they are to quit smoking.
Or better yet just never start and save that precious skin and body of yours.
Mistake # 2: Not Wearing Sunscreen Everyday
I always put on sunscreen as a child when we went outside in the summer for long periods of time. If we were outside for several hours we would always reapply sunscreen.
I continued this habit as an adult, but I am ashamed to say that only recently did I realize I was supposed to wear sunscreen on my face every day (google it if you don’t believe me).
No matter how long you are outside, no matter what season you are in, you are supposed to wear sunscreen on your face.
To be totally honest I still make this skincare mistake and am working on making this a habit.
Mistake # 3: Not Drinking Enough Water
In my youth, I rarely drank water. Within the last 3 years, I’ve made it a habit to keep water bottles nearby at work and at home.
Nowadays, I drink roughly 16-32 ounces a day of straight water.
Mistake # 4: Not Using Natural Organic Products
I am probably not the only one to realize that organic and natural products are better for your skin.
This has become a hot topic recently and many sources have pointed out the harsh chemicals and toxins that are in beauty products.
Recently, I have become interested in making my own beauty and skincare products and will continue to do so.
I also have been buying organic only products to supplement what I cannot make myself.
Mistake # 5: Not Washing Off Makeup
I am so guilty of this. I have always known you should wash your makeup off before going to bed.
However, due to the laziness and long nights of my youth I used to fall asleep with makeup still on.
Fast forward to now and you rarely catch me with makeup on at all.
If I am wearing makeup I take it off before I go to bed which is now part of my nightly routine.
Are you guilty of these?
Have you made any of these skincare mistakes or others that are not on this list? Let me know in the comments below.
What I loved and what I sent back in my winter 2020 Stitch Fix Review!
Hey everyone, today I am doing something I have never done on my blog…A REVIEW! I thought I would do a winter 2020 Stitch Fix review since I recently received a new “fix”. So without further ado…here’s my latest fix and review
WHAT IS STITCH FIX?
Per their website, “Stitch Fix is an online styling service that delivers a truly personalized shopping experience, for you and your family.”
You create a style profile and a stylist picks out curated items for you based on this profile. The items are shipped to your door with a $20 styling fee.
Once you receive your items, you can try them on at home and send back anything you don’t want to keep in a prepaid packaging bag.
If you choose to keep any item your styling fee will be credited from the item total. If you choose to keep all of the items, your styling fee is credited and you get a 25% discount off the entire purchase.
Depending on what your style profile is you can receive items such as clothing, coats, shoes, handbags, and jewelry.
MY PREVIOUS STITCH FIX EXPERIENCE
I tried Stitch Fix several years ago when subscription clothing services first became a thing. Although I enjoyed receiving new clothing every few months, I canceled the service. Not because I didn’t like it, but at the time the cost was out of my budget.
However, this year I started testing out subscription services again. Before going back to Stitch Fix I received two shipments from Nordstrom’s Trunk Club.
Although I did like Trunk Club, I canceled the scheduled shipments to try Stitch Fix again.
I may schedule another Trunk Club shipment for review purposes later in 2020.
WINTER 2020 STITCH FIX
I received 5 items in this fix.
The boots I received are shown in the images below with other items I received.
I was not able to model the skinny jeans. Keep reading to find out why.
Overall I enjoyed everything that was sent and felt that it was really on point for my style.
Knotted Olive Green Striped Tee//Nine Briton//$34
Pros: I love stripes and olive green so I was super excited about this when I opened the box.
Cons: The material was stretchy and thin which I didn’t like. I also wasn’t a fan of the knot on the front.
Verdict: I returned this because after trying it on it just felt boring and didn’t really add to my wardrobe.
Black Lace-Up Combat Boots//DV8//$99
Pros: They look cute.
Cons: Very small width and tight across the foot. They feel and look cheap for the price tag.
Verdict: I returned these boots because they were definitely not built for the high price tag. They also were uncomfortable and didn’t fit well.
Burnt Orange Cardigan//Market & Spruce//$68
Pros: I love burnt orange! Burnt orange is a color I keep in my wardrobe palette. The pockets of the cardigan are deep and unique in design.
Cons: Didn’t have one.
Verdict: I kept this item. This is the only thing I kept out of the whole fix and already wore it once. You can check out the outfit with the cardigan on my Instagram.
Pros: Soft and comfy.
Cons: Sleeves were too long. The colors were too bright for my palette.
Verdict: I returned this because it didn’t work for my wardrobe. I thought it was really cute but the bold colors were not my thing.
Stiletto High Rise Skinny Jeans//Sam Edelman//$88
Pros: I liked the wash of these jeans.
Cons: They were way too small!! My least favorite item out of the whole fix.
Verdict: I returned these jeans because they didn’t fit at all. I wear a size 16/34 in Gap, Express, and Madewell so I expected these jeans to fit. When I put them up against my other jeans from the above-mentioned brands they were 1 – 2 inches smaller. Yikes…
This is now my second fix of the year. After receiving this fix I canceled the automatic shipments. Again, I canceled due to budgeting and financial priorities. We are trying to save to buy a house and I don’t need any clothing right now so I couldn’t justify automatic shipments.
Although I canceled all of my clothing subscription services, I still like the idea of getting a surprise batch of clothing shipped to you.
I would definitely recommend Stitch Fix to anyone who just wants a few fresh pieces of clothing every season at an affordable price.
Most importantly, Stitch Fix is super convenient since you get the items shipped right to you and can easily return what you do not like.
Let me know in the comments below if you would like to see other clothing reviews!
A recap on how I spent my winter solstice. PLUS a winter home decor tour!
HOW I SPENT YULE 2019
Happy Yule and winter solstice! Yesterday was the darkest day of the year before the sun returns to lengthen the days with light.
I wanted to share with you all how I spent my winter solstice and show you my simple winter home decor.
I started my midwinter morning with some yoga and coffee.
Then I cleaned up the house a bit and did some cedar smudging.
I wanted to do something simple for the evening, so Kevin and I made dinner together. We had apricot cornish hens, candied yams and apple gorgonzola salad. For dessert, I made cranberry bliss bars.
After dinner, we lit up the yule log that I created. I found a nice chunk of oak in the woodpile at my family camp and decorated it with fresh cedar greens. I opted for battery candles instead of real candles for safety reasons.
Kevin was tired and went to bed but I stayed up to enjoy the darkness.
I made a cup of lavender chamomile tea, lit my candles and turned out the lights. I sat on my couch for a few hours doing some self-reflection. I also did a simple bay leaf ritual where I wrote down two things I wanted for the new year and then burned them in my little cauldron.
This morning I gave Kevin his Yule gifts ( I picked out my own gifts because Kevin is terrible at shopping. I got him a metal detector. He has been interested in metal detecting for a while. Especially because he is a big fan of the show The Curse of Oak Island and always wants to go hunt for treasure.
I can’t wait to get a chance to use it in the field and see what we find!
WINTER HOME TOUR
For the seasonal occasion, I also wanted to share my winter home decor with you all.
As with the Yule tradition my decoration inspiration is bringing nature in. I do this by accenting our apartment with pinecones, artificial pine, and berries.
I also add lots of candles for that warm and cozy hygge vibe!
I always make sure my candle and wax melt scents match the season. This year I bought three winter candles from Magnolia Home at Target. All three smell amazing!
Typically, I keep the winter decorations up through the beginning of February or sooner if I get tired of looking at them.
We don’t have room to set up a Yule tree so I bought a festive Island Pine at Home Depot as a replacement.