Tips

Alone

Josie Feather URBN Home Office

I woke up at 3:30am this morning.

I wake up most days at 5am, but 3:30 feels much more brutal. 5am is quiet, but people are starting to rouse, there’s movement. The gym is usually humming along, working itself up to the buzz and bustle it hits by the time I’m leaving.

But 3:30. Everything is dead and silent. Especially during the winter, with only the wind briskly cutting through the silence. I wish I could say I am some incredibly deep individual who spent my extra time this morning thinking deep thoughts about how profound that silence is, but I most definitely did not. After dropping my husband off at the airport and realizing the work gym didn’t open until 6, I promptly fell asleep in my car.

Now that I’ve drug myself from my warm car nap, ran a few miles, forced my body to move and stretch a bit I feel much better, but 3:30 still lingers with me. I can feel it like a slight haze over my brain, with only my coffee to fight it off. What I am thinking about though is the week ahead. My husband has traveled for work since before we even started dating, so our entire relationship is dotted with these big and little gaps in time that we’ve spent apart. I’m an independent person though. To some degree I actually enjoy being alone, but I that doesn’t mean I can’t fall into a seriously bad headspace by letting myself hunker down alone for an entire week while Frank is away. In fact, last time I did that it turned ugly real fast.

So, if preparation for a little time with just me and my pups I have a few ground rules. These are things I would highly recommend if you have some solo time coming up, whether you struggling with being alone, or are just afraid of letting yourself turn into a monster person with the social skills of a yetti like myself:

  • Plan out dates. Reach out to close friends, or ones you haven’t talk to in a while and finally set that date to catch up. Brunch, coffee, a round of foosball, whatever it is, this extra time is the perfect time to do it. Even though I truly love a day spent alone at home catching up on things, when Frank’s away I’ve made it a rule that I have to go out and interact with someone every day, even if it’s just for little bit #introvertproblems

  • Make a list. Leading up to Frank leaving for a longer stint I like to make myself a list of all those little things I’ve been meaning to get to, but just haven’t. This keeps my brain engaged and keeps me from falling into a netflix trap. Whenever I start to feel myself get into a bad headspace I like to pick something off my list and jump right in. These things don’t have to be chores, sometime I add pampering things to it. Crossing “take a nice long bath” off your list feels twice as good.

  • Get those endorphins flowing baby. I typically don’t workout on weekend when Frank’s home to give us some extra time together, but when he’s away I make it a priority to do even just a short workout every day. Getting your blood flowing and your endorphins going can make a huge difference when it comes to keeping your mood up when you’re home alone.

That’s it! Even after 10 years together, with almost 8 of those being married, I still am trying to figure this stuff out. Even for someone a introverted as me some of his trips are easier than others, and I have found I still have to be really proactive to keep myself feeling my best.

4 Tips for living with Kitchens with no storage

Fine and Feathered - 4 Tips for living with kitchens with no storage

It's hard to believe that we've been in our house for over two years. It kind of feels like we just moved in, but memories of living elsewhere also feel so distant at this point. 

Both the house, and the apartment that we had lived in before we bought ours had one thing in common - big kitchens with tons of storage! It was a luxury that's easy to take advantage. Then we moved into our house which originally had the teeny tiniest kitchen. It was oddly set up, but thankfully we were able to knock out a few walls that completely opened it up! It was great, but since we have so many projects we're working on with the house, the actual remodeling of the kitchen has been on the back burner. So when it comes to storage our kitchen has a total of one cabinet. It's the lovely built-in that's original to the kitchen, but the top half has glass doors, which means that our storage space for all of those not so pretty things that we all have in our kitchen, is basically nothing. Over the last few years I've learned some tricks to making a kitchen with no storage (or counter space!) work, that have really helped me from going crazy over the lack of hiding places.

ROLLING CARTS ARE YOUR FRIEND 

Seriously, I love a cute little cart with wheels. Not only can you stick them in any little corner you might have, but I've really loved that I can roll them out of the way whenever we do any construction work in the kitchen and I don't have to worry about totally unloading everything to move it! 

I have both a large utility cart, and this one I thrifted a while back both in my kitchen housing appliances, dry foods, and cleaning products. I also am totally smitten with the cart in the picture above that I bought from Demi-Brooke, that I've turned into my coffee cart! Each cart has a specific purpose and I try to keep them super organized to keep things from getting messy. 

My favorite places to find carts are thrift stores (see this post for the before and after of mine) and garage sales. I also love places like Ikea and Target to find them cute, and at good prices (this one is a total steal, andthis one is totally stealing my heart).

MAKE YOUR STORAGE DECORATIVE

If your tight on hidden storage space make whatever you need to store out on your counters (or carts) cute! I am obsessed with pretty glass storage containers. I keep almost all of my dry food goods in them. These are super easy to find at almost any thrift store for cheap, but if you're looking for matching ones, places like The Container Store and Home Goods are great places to find them too. 

Fine and Feathered - 4 Tips for living with kitchens with no storage

KEEP THINGS ORGANIZED

This may seem like I'm stating the obvious, but I can't stress how important it is for everything to have it's "own space" especially in tiny kitchens. When every square inch of storage is packed, you don't want to have to pull everything apart just to try to find your favorite spatula. Part of keeping things organized for me, has been going through my kitchen once every couple months and seeing what I really need handy. Do I need that specialty baking pan ready to grab, when I've only used it once in the last five years? Probably not. I always walk away with a new bag to donate, as well as a little box to put into long term storage in my basement. 

TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE REST OF YOUR HOME

When things are tight, expand! I was so happy once I brought my coffee cart into my dining room. Not only does it free up a lot of space in the kitchen for more important things, but it looks so cute! Even if we didn't have a dining room, I think a coffee cart would be cute in a living room or office. Think outside the box and take a look around to see if there's anything that's taking up space in that little kitchen of yours that could find a home in another part of your house. Use your imagination, and don't be afraid to experiment and see what works! 

Fine and Feathered - 4 Tips for living with kitchens with no storage

Inspiring Podcasts for Blogging and Creativity

Fine and Feathered - Inspiring Podcases for Blogging and Creativity

I am flat out addicted to podcasts. Ever since I started listing to them, it's changed my commute from a big chunk of wasted time, that I spend wondering how far humanity is from making teleporting real, to a time when I'm learning, being inspired, and getting excited about creative endevours. You'll notice that a lot are from the same few podcasts, and I highly recommend taking a listen to other episodes from the same ones, but these are some of my favorites that got me really excited, and I think they may do the same for you!

Elise Gets Crafty // Ep.39 - Maintaining a Creative Habbit

Smart Passive Income // Ep.140 - Productivity and the Early Morning Routine

The Accidental Creative // The Necessity of Unnecessary Creating

Elise Gets Crafty // Ep.67 - Brainstorming for Creative Projects

The Lively Show // Ep.74 - How to Get the Most Out of Your "Fringe Hours"

 How They Blog // Ep.23 - The Power of Taking Action 

You might go ahead and guess that Elise Gets Crafty is one of my favorites. I subscribe, and have yet to dislike an episode. Even when I think it won't relate to me, somehow I still end up liking it. 

Just to be real here, I also have a whole slew of totally uneducational, goofy, and useless podcasts that I listen to as well. Some days you just gotta laugh.  

I will be adding to this list also, as I come across any new ones I love! Fell free to share with me some of your favorites too! I'd love to hear:)