Wednesday, February 26, 2014

New Recipe + Coping Mechanisms

When my alarm clock went off this morning, I tried to think of every excuse possible to sleep in a bit motivate me to wake up and get moving.  I am so happy I did because I love getting a work out done and out of the way! Check!

Last night after the gym I headed to Trader Joe's in search of ingredients for the Apricot Chicken dish I have been eyeing.  I had a similar dish at Olive Garden which was surprisingly one of their lowest calorie dishes and I have wanted to replicate it for a while now.

I loved it!  It was easy and delicious.  I ended up packing it for both my lunch and Dustin's (meal prep!) Next time, I think I will add the onions they suggested or add a touch of chili powder to balance out the sweetness.  I always make a huge batch of brown rice for the week, so I love the simplicity of this new recipe as a way to jazz up a staple food that is already in our fridge.

The past few weeks, I have been determined to make a few changes to our apartment. Mainly because I am bored with our home decor and I change my mind every time I browse a pretty home blog. I tend to see house projects as a coping mechanism.  There are so many things that are happening that are out of my control, so I like to put my energy into things that I can control.  Make sense?  Call me crazy but the tiniest things make me happy right now, like changing throw pillows!  I am sure I am driving Dustin bonkers :).

For example, last week I had Dustin pick up new throw pillows at Target that were not available at the City Target but were in stock at another store close to his work.  They were navy blue and they were affordable.  But once I had them on the couch they looked cheap and small.  A part of me thought that I should keep them because they were budget friendly, but then I eyed a new set at Pier 1 with a slightly higher sticker price.  They were softer, bigger and looked so much better (in my mind).  So I swapped them out.  I am so happy that I did!  I am going to return some white cushion covers to justify my more expensive swap.  The best part?  I don't even think Dustin knows that I changed them.  That is when I know that my mind is overthinking a bit too much.

So while in project mode, naturally I needed to find new prints to help tie all of the colors together.  The  previous throw pillows that I had before went really well with the colors in my wall map.  Keeping with the "travel them" I came across this Space Needle print and a colorful photo of Cinque Terre.  I visited Cinque Terre for a weekend when I studied abroad in Italy. Our group completed the hike between the 5 fire cities and it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life.  The colors in the city + hiking along the coast line was simply perfect.  I love that I think of that hike every time I see that photo now.

The last small change I made was moving my brass hurricanes from our room to the side table.  I really like these and I wanted them to be in a place where I saw them more.

The hardest part about our living room is that I feel like I am decorating a corner of a shoe box.  We don't have a fire place or pretty windows to decorate around.  There is no focal point and it lacks natural light.  I think it is something I only notice and many others don't seem to be bothered by.  My last apartment had a pretty brick fireplace and lots of windows!  I really regret not playing them up a bit more when I decorated that space.  On the other hand, this apartment not only has a great location, it has a washer/ dryer, ample closet room and is very spacious which makes up for the shoe box living room ;-).

So here is the room after lots of moving/shifting things around. I am happy with it, for now!  Any advice is greatly appreciated!

Eventually, I want to upholster our dining room chairs with new fabric.  I'll let that sit with me a bit before pulling the trigger.  What are some of your coping mechanisms when things in life seem a bit crazy and chaotic?

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