Reasons I Smile

Hi everyone!

Hope you are all enjoying the very first stages of summer!

So inspirations been a little low on my end lately. I’ve had one jam packed day after another since my last day of college. Yes, a large reason is because I’m giving my body all the hours of sleep it has been cheated of the last four years (this, much to my mother’s dismay, means waking up at noon pretty much everyday), but beyond that I’m busy planning my post-grad life, A’s bachelorette party, A’s four wedding functions (Indian wedding are f-ing awesome…until you have to plan one), exercising (also for the wedding because let’s be honest, who in their right mind enjoys that s**t…seriously), and trying to keep up with my friends who are literally scattered around the globe right now.

I can tell you one thing…it ain’t easy. None of it is easy. And with all the stress going around, I have to remind myself of all the reasons to smile and be happy.

I know that everyone feels low sometimes, so I thought I’d share a few of my happy thoughts, hoping that maybe you can use them as yours too!

1. It’s summer

Sure, it comes every year, but that doesn’t make it any less wonderful! The warmth of the sun, the smell of chlorine, the sensation of freshly cut grass under your feet. Summer alone gives you over one hundred reasons to smile.

2. Family

Whenever I feel overwhelmed or down (and I mean whenever, even at 3AM) I pick up the phone and call someone in my family (depending on what the situation is). Having the most loving, giving, and beautiful family is always a reason to smile. How lucky am I, to have my mom, dad, and sister? The answer: so lucky.

3. TV

TV is good. Actually, it’s the best. All you really need when you’re feeling blah is a good show to watch. There are shows to make you feel like less of a failure, shows to make you feel less alone, and shows to make you feel nostalgic. My go-to show for an overall pick me up is The Mindy Project. Because she is amazingly hilarious, real, and people tell me I’m like her so I obviously love her. But sometimes all you really need is to get out of your shoes in order to realize that your shoes are exactly where you want to be.

4. Flowers

They’re beautiful. Need I say more? Hit up Trader Joe’s and put something fresh and colorful in every room. Then you can take artsy Instagram pictures and get a ton of likes and feel good about yourself (I’m totally being sarcastic…well kind of).

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5. Music

Turn off The Weeknd, Jeff Buckley, or whatever it is you’re listening to. While these are two of my favorite artists…are you trying to drown in self-pity? Put on some o’ dat Leighton Meester, Pharrell Williams stuff. Happy tunes = happy life.

6. Candles

It can be 90 degrees outside and I’ll still light candles. Because nothing is more beautiful than a dancing flame.

7. Kiddie foods

Popsicles, Dunkaroos, Moon Pies, Gushers. How can you not be happy in a world with all these delicacies?! The only thing that gets me through my beach/wedding workouts is knowing that soon I can eat all of these things. In one sitting.

8. My friends

I love ’em. I’m obsessed with them. More stuff you already know about me.

9. Anything colorful

I like being around anything that is bright and gives my life a little pop. I bought this turquoise blazer today with huge pink and red flowers all over it and I just wanted to sit with it all day. Being around pretty, lively things will make you feel pretty and lively…guaranteed. (This is also more proof for #4).

10. FaceTime

FaceTime is so fun. I could FaceTime anyone and the conversation would start with an ear-to-ear smile. Maybe it’s because it’s so awkward that you just have to have fun with it and smile. Or maybe it’s the thought that someone loves me and wants to talk to me so much that they’ll sit miles away from me, on their phone, staring at my face on their phone screen…I don’t know, but FaceTime is awesome.

11. Dogs (this is a bonus because the list was meant to end at 10, buuut…)

I’m obsessed with my dog. Every time I re-enter the room that she’s in I cover her with hugs and kisses and yes…baby talk. She’s happiest being at home, on the couch, with a comfortable blanket and a cuddle buddy. Which is perfect because that’s when I’m my happiest! We’re two peas in a pod. It sounds like I’m talking about my significant other but she’s way more significant than another “other” out there.

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12. Chipotle (another bonus…there are just so many reasons to smile!)

How could I have almost forgotten Chipotle? It’s been a long month without you…but I’m comin’ for you baby. Me and you, July 13th.

 

So guys, I’ve just given you twelve reasons to perk up and smile. Life ain’t so bad, sunshine!

 

Lots of love,

K

 

 

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How to Survive the Polar Vortex of 2014

So I’m sure a number of you have noticed that it’s, erm…bloody freezing outside. Here in Chiberia (yes, apparently that is the latest Chicago nickname) we’ve been through what now seems like almost a month of temperatures way too low to really sustain a happy life. Forget frequenting Hubbard Street at night, I can’t even muster up enough courage to drive to Trader Joe’s and stock up on goodies! I’ve had to shovel way too much snow, slush, and ice recently. And while I appreciate the forced arm workout (that’s a lie, I don’t), I’m sick and tired of this, guys! I’ve honestly caught myself (very profanely) cursing the harsh winter weather for killing my social life all too often this year. But we can’t change the weather, so how can we roll with the punches (to the gut) from good ol’ Mother Nature?

If you know me at all, you know that I love love love lists. I make at least one list per day. Really. I’ll find excuses to make lists. So, below I’ve compiled a list of ways you can all enjoy life in the great indoors as the polar vortex continues to kill your happiness, friendships, and pantry.

How to Survive the Polar Vortex

1. I highly highly recommend the buddy system. Yes. Roads are scary, parking is a nightmare, and you should probably go equipped with jump cables. But having a paly waly by your side makes everything better. In fact, the first time we were held hostages to the weather, I made sure I was with two of my best friends for the entire time. And we had the time of our lives. Sometimes being trapped is really fun if you’re trapped with someone you love.

2. Light your fireplace. I could probably conduct an actual scientific experiment on this and prove to you that by lighting a fireplace, your mood will improve at least five fold. But science really isn’t my thing so I’m going to just go ahead and tell you to light your damn fireplace and hope you listen to me. It looks pretty and gives off a lot of heat. Now that’s what I call a win-win situation.

3. Drink (a lot of) hot chocolate. Much like a nice toasty fire, a warm, filled-to-the-brim, mug of hot coca will surely boost your winter spirits! And you can get really creative with this. I’m talking adding candy canes for a little peppermint flavor, extra marshmallows, or even making it a little more adult and straight up spiking that already amazing goodness.

4. Build a fort. I am always trying to get people to do this with me and I don’t know why no one will. Dozens of pillows and blankets. Movies and magazines. THIS IS THE GREATEST IDEA EVER! If you’re trapped in the house, you might as well let your inner child out for a little play time.

5. Movies. Lots and lots of movies. This is a god-given “catch up on pop culture” opportunity for you.

6. Use the weather as an excuse not to go to the gym (hooray!)

7. Call up old friends and reminisce about how happy snow days used to make you as a child. Um, hello. The polar vortex is an excuse for you to relive your childhood (please reread #4 because I just cannot emphasize this enough).

8. Turn to your hobbies. Do you even know what your hobbies are?! Last week we were playing the typical classroom icebreaker games (another fun fact about me: I hate these. I really hate when people try to force me to have fun. Like…this is not fun. This will never be fun. Yes…even if you make it a Jeopardy! game) and the question, what’s your favorite hobby came up. And my group and I made a joke about how no one has time to learn what their hobbies are, let alone engage in them. Use this time to figure out what you like to do when you have some time off! Cook. Knit. Write. Learn how to give yourself a blow out. Read. Take photographs. Become cooler.

9. Order really cute winter gear online and have it shipped right to your doorstep! This is a great excuse to shop. You actually need new sweaters, gloves, scarves, and hats in order to survive this!

I suggest trying these places because of free-shipping and/or free returns: Shopbop – Zara – ASOS – Piperlime – Topshop

10. Nap. Nap like hell because I know you need it and you deserve it. Nap on the couch because it is so fun. Nap with three pillows and three blankets and maybe even your pet for optimal comfort. Nap nap nap.

I promise that if you take at least some of my advice, Mother Nature won’t seem like such a huge bitch. Ha! Jokes on you, gal pal (referring to Mother Nature, not you of course!)

Unless you have class on Mondays because, uh, schools are open. In that case, double up socks, grab those Uggs, put your leggings under your jeans, and grab that parka. Then go ahead and cry and complain to your mom, I know I will.

Here are a couple of my favorite memories from the snow/cold storm earlier this month:

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Slow sippin while staying toasty with one of my greatest friends, S!

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Catching up on (Bollywood) pop culture and giggling like a maniac when this question was asked!

Anyways…

Stay warm and bundled!

Love,

K