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The Joy Issue NOVEMBER 2016 | Series No. 4, Issue No. 4

Make Good Food & Grace-Full Mistakes with

ALSO

Nicole Bunting of “It's Just Food”

M A KE A CO NNECT I ON • OPEN YOUR HOME • SI MPLI FY


We believe in choosing, embracing, unleashing, and celebrating who you've always been – who you already are – who you want to be.

Be YOU...the Perpetual You.


L E T T E R from our E D I T O R

THE

T H E OF F I CE

The Perpetual You 101 Putnam Ave. Hamden, CT 06517

T H E LI ST

To receive each issue of the magazine directly to your inbox, join our mailing list at: theperpetualyou.com/read.

T H E COM M U N I T Y

Look for us on social media @theperpetualyou.

W

hen you’re in the hustle and bustle of modern society, grace can seem like an unattainable state of being; but, I like to think of grace as the GPS voice on my intentional living journey: I do the living; Grace does the reminding, forgiving, and still-small-voicing. This was an important realization to me, because—despite my commitment to intentional, genuine living—I often take wrong turns. Sometimes I pull over and stop driving altogether. Maybe I’m out of gas, or maybe I’ve forgotten where it is exactly that I’m going. Or maybe, I’m just lost. But that’s okay--because I have Grace. If I have two more beers than I intended, Grace says, “No worries. Next time you can make a different decision.” If I sleep through an important workshop, Grace says “You know what—your body really needed that rest.” At no time is this concept more important to my inner sense of Joy than during the holiday season, because Grace isn’t just there for the times when I’m lost, but all along the way. If I want more joy out of my holidays, I can actually consult Grace prior to making decisions. I can slow down, sit still, turn down the chatter, and pay attention. I can ask for, and accept, grace—any time I want.

lee lee p.s. Thank you to everyone who has supported us by making a monthly pledge on our Patreon page. We couldn’t do this without you!

The PERPETUAL YOU


Grace will take you places hustling can't. – ELIZABETH GILBERT

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SHOP N OW

Shop the Marketplace The Perpetual You's curated marketplace of responsibly-made, small batch goods is online! theperpetualyou.com/the-marketplace

Collaborate with Us

The Perpetual You offers coaches + creatives the opportunity to showcase their work and/or viewpoint to an audience of women who value intentional living, purposeful buying, and thoughtful growth. The PERPETUAL YOU

To find out how you can collaborate with us, visit theperpetualyou.com/our-needs.


IN THIS ISSUE

Create Joy by Celebrating Grace The J OY I S S U E

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F I N D U S @ T H E P E R P E T U A LY O U

Realize Celebrate the everyday rituals and the special occasions; notice the details and highlight the small stuff; enjoy simple beauty and relish in small treats. Take a break and just breathe.

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Dwell Clasp onto those pieces of your home that illuminate peace and honor stillness. Remember what you bought where. Admire your everyday pieces and set the table with your fancy dishes.

The PERPETUAL YOU


M O N T H LY M U S I C

Pay attention to details: listen to our "Smaller is Better" playlist on Spotify.

Celebrate Carve out the time you need to enjoy your holiday entertaining, whether doing it all yourself; delegating to a

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trusted friend; or hiring a personal chef—who can do it all for you.

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Live Concentrate on your imperfections and listen to your inner voice. Find big joy in the simple things. Discover the places grace is hiding in your life.

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F I N D U S @ T H E P E R P E T U A LY O U

THE MAKERS

Our makers joyfully share their time & talents. Grace + Gratitude goes out to these ladies.

Willy

Sarah

Cover Story Photographer

Dwell Feature Photographer

@lifeunstill dayinthelifeunstill.com

@sarahannfowlerphotography sarahannfowlerphotography.weebly.com

Willy is an award-winning portrait photographer specializing in documentary commercial and family photography. Her work appears in the upcoming book Photographing Motherhood and she is the founder of the 100 Days of Ten Project. Willy exercises her creativity daily with a continuum of art photography projects, which she often integrates into client work.

Sarah Fowler is a Southern Maryland photographer who specializes in family photography, but enjoys all types. Sarah has always loved photography, but got into professional photography this year after taking a class at her local college. She strives to continue improving her photography skills, while building her new business.

The PERPETUAL YOU


P.K.

Lianne

Micayla

Proofreader

Editor

Book Editor

Connect on Facebook.

@hilodaisy

@uggly_mugg zucchiniontheceiling.com

Jen

Becca

Lindsay

Collaborating Photographer

Collaborating Photographer

Contributing Photographer

@jenwenzelphoto JenniferWenzelPhotography.com

@beccaolcott beccaolcott.com

@lindsay_stanford lindsaystanford.com

Nancy

Debra

Rowena

Contributing Artist

Contributing Photographer

Contributing Artist

@arabesque.art.design arabesqueartdesign.com

@debracowie debracowie.com

@ArtyYotty danaayotte.com

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F I N D U S @ T H E P E R P E T U A LY O U

THE TEAM

Lee Lee

Jessie

Creative Director & Managing Editor

Art Director

@leeleeinp

@littlelegendsdesign littlelegends.com

The Lee Lee is the #ladyboss of The Perpetual You. A writer by trade, designer by heart, and mother by choice, she seeks intentional practices and a positive mindset. If you’re near Hamden, CT, she welcomes you to stop by her front porch.

Jessie Leiber is a multi-disciplinary designer striving to make her world more pixel-perfect. When she's not poring over mockups, she can be found singing (loudly) in her car or compulsively buying striped shirts.

Kay

Kirsten

Staff Photographer

Senior Designer & Illustrator

@walkerstudiosllc walkerstudiosllc.com

@kirstenmarieart kirstenmariedesign.com

Kay Nass travels New England and beyond chasing sunsets, circling dance floors, capturing tears & laughter, all in the pursuit of preserving stories of love, friendship, and family.

Kirsten Eike is a designer, illustrator, and lover of plants. When she's not creating whimsical botanical drawings in the wee hours, she enjoys sleeping, sipping buttery chardonnays, or watching Cary Grant movies.

The PERPETUAL YOU


to align your daily practices with your ever-evolving desires


A R T W O R K by @ A R A B E S Q U E . A R T . D E S I G N

The PERPETUAL YOU


T H E L A DY

Tamar Adler Culinary up-and-comer and author of the cooking memoir An Everlasting Meal: Cooking with Economy and Grace, Tamar Adler finds joy in the process of cooking simple meals with fresh ingredients. Well-known for both her homey kitchen with mismatched dishes and penchant for re-imagining leftovers, Tamar is redefining

I L L U S T R A T I O N by @ A R T Y Y O T T Y

the way we cook, as well as the way we eat.

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One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well. – VIRGINIA WOOLF

The PERPETUAL YOU


REALIZE

C E L E B R AT E

Connection with Debra Cowie

“I need more dinner parties in my life.” Last September, I had just returned from a holiday in Italy and was telling a friend about a dinner party I’d attended in Rome. Through a company called EatWith I had bought a ticket and attended a dinner party in the home of Barbara and Federica.

I

had had such a great time, eating good food and connecting with strangers from all over the world who had come together to share a meal. I left my Roman dinner with a bunch of new Facebook friends and a good dose of inspiration to create more connections over food in my life at home. The thing is, moments after I’d said that I needed more dinner parties in my life my enthusiasm started to wane. Sharing meals with friends is one of my favorite things. I love to cook and I pore over cookbooks and recipe websites for fun, but my experience with having dinner parties was that they were complicated and exhausting. I dreaded a little the flurry of emails to try to coordinate schedules and availabilities. I also wasn’t anxious to give up an entire weekend to the cause—a Saturday of shopping, cooking and cleaning and a

Sunday to recover from the festivities and the guests that inevitably linger long past my usual bedtime. I felt tired before I even started to organize my own dinner. My desire for connection though, was strong, as was my desire to bring my friends together around my table. I started to brainstorm how I could bring about the connection without the complication and exhaustion. This led to a few innovations over my old dinner party hosting model. I called my new idea Sunday Dinners. Choosing to have the dinners on Sundays created ease in the process; giving me more time over the weekend to prepare, shop and pace myself when cooking. Hosting dinners on Sunday evenings also meant that guests wouldn’t be lingering late into the night.

continued on next page

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Start Today

I suggested that guests arrive at 6pm for dinner at 7, knowing that most have to work Monday morning and would want to be home by 10. The biggest innovation was giving up the responsibility of managing a guest list. Instead of choosing invitees and canvassing for available dates, I decide the date for the dinner and post an open invitation on Facebook. “I’m hosting a dinner party on October 4th. You are all invited but I do have some space limitations so the first nine people to respond will claim a chair at the table. Dinner won’t be fancy but I can promise that it will be tasty and the company will be great because y’all are fabulous people.” Within two hours of posting, the seats were filled and I had a waiting list. One year later, I have hosted eight Sunday Dinners and have brought friends from all parts of my life together around my table. My favorite comment to hear from my dinner guests isn’t a compliment on my cooking (though those are always nice!); instead, I’m thrilled every time I hear “Your friends are all so NICE!” I’ve witnessed new connections, such as an experienced consultant offering advice on incorporation to a new entrepreneur, and vigorous debates—one over the best recipe for flaky pie crust—and even celebrated a couple of birthdays. Sunday Dinners have fulfilled my desire for more connection to a level that I’m not sure I imagined. Not only do I get to connect and reconnect with my Facebook friends in real life, these friends are connecting with one another. As I go into year 2 of Sunday Dinners, I’m looking forward to expanding my network and experiencing new connections.

Debra Cowie is a photographer and stylist whose clients are creative entrepreneurs with impeccable taste. Follow her on Instagram @debracowie.

The PERPETUAL YOU

Keeping the idea of connection at the forefront can help to reduce the stress that can come with hosting a dinner party. Here are a few tips for hosting without the stress:

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Keep It Simple. You don’t have to host dinner for ten. Maybe there’s one family in your neighborhood that you’d like to connect with. Keep the meal plan simple; rigatoni & meatballs is a crowd pleaser around here! Or—as we recommend in this month’s food article (p. 20), offer several different appetizers and call it a dinner.

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Accept Help. People always want to know what they can bring. Wine, a dessert, or salad are easy things to delegate. I’ve also learned to let my friends help with clean-up. The first time my friends loaded my dishwasher for me I felt a little guilty, now I’m just grateful (p. 34).

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Relish Imperfection. I might not get around to washing the floors before my guests arrive, and not all my dishes turn out perfect. But I’ve realized that sticky floors or mushy potatoes don’t lessen anyone’s enjoyment of the evening. For more no-stress entertaining suggestions, check out this month’s Beauty article (p. 32).


Keep up with all our book suggestions by following us on Pinterest. C E L E B R AT O R Y TA L E S

Dirty Chick

What if this is Heaven

Lives of Girls and Women

by Antonia Murphy, Pub. 2015

by Anita Moorjani, Pub. 2016

by Alice Munro, Pub. 1971

In search of a more joyful existence, Antonia Murphy moves her family to rural New Zealand to raise some chickens, commune with nature, and make cheese. In her memoir, we witness the so-called “simple life” become fairly complex for these back-to-the-land newbies, and the hilarity that ensues is as pleasurable as it is inspiring. Antonia learns the value of community, and the generous way that life rewards those who continually dig for their own brand of joy.

After a close run in with her own death, author Anita Moorjani has been on a mission to help people live joyfully now, by steering past limiting beliefs about our own ability to change. She sheds light on how to lead a generous, abundant life, and models what it takes to cultivate joy in the most difficult moments. Crafting a joyful existence means stepping into generosity, and most crucially, practicing self-compassion.

Set against the backdrop of 1940’s Ontario, we meet Del; an opinionated small town girl, growing up amongst a group of vastly different women. The people in her town display some interesting sides to womanhood. Del sets out to discover what she is and what she can be, all the while learning the importance of cultivating joy, in an often unkind world. In this classic text, we see how moving through the world successfully requires a true grace.

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The PERPETUAL YOU


REALIZE

C E L E B R AT E

Small Plates with Rachel Haas

There is a connection between the sharing of food and the sharing of life.

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reaking bread together is ancient, a primal link between our past and our future. Something beautiful happens when people bring out the appetizer plates and gather around a communal table, when family secrets are communally shared between smears of sweet jam and the salty bite of pancetta. When we open our homes and gather around food, we are sharing something deeply personal, as if we are saying, “Let the thing that keeps me and my house alive now keep you alive.” Intimacy is found in bites passed from hand to mouth.

Open your doors. Set your table. Bring out the special stash of small plates and spread the word. Each person can bring a dish that means something to them. Small doesn’t have to mean insignificant; sometimes the most treasured memory is just a mouthful. Sit down; spread out or draw near. Feast together on childhood memories. Savor the goodness of a matriarchal recipe brought across oceans on salt-stained paper.

Feast on more of Rachel's food experiences at her Instagram @rlhaaswriter or on Facebook. Photo courtesy of @jaynacowal.

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Keep up with all of our cocktail suggestions by following us on Pinterest

The PERPETUAL YOU


REALIZE

A Simple Drink Whether the end of a challenging day or the end of a long week, partaking in a simple Scotch is a moment not to be taken lightly. Perhaps the fire is crackling – or perhaps the evenings are just cool enough for a heavy woolen blanket. We were eager for the chill of Fall and now it is here, in full-fledged force. Welcome it; let it linger. Warm yourself with positivity, savor stillness, and invite the good graces of a glass of Scotch. Ice, or straight up. Peaty, or smooth. 14-year, or that bottle you’ve been saving for a special occasion. These decisions are as meaningful as the details of life itself. In this way, pouring yourself a Scotch might be the most intentional action you take all week. Relish the responsibility – you deserve its reward.

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REALIZE

C E L E B R AT E

Breathing with Lydia Mandell

The PERPETUAL YOU


Movement is constant and happening all around us. What would happen if we went inward to create grace through movement? With each inhale and exhale, through the movement and flow of our breath, we can feel grace. This is not the grace of the ballerina or the trained athlete. This is grace in its purest form: the breath that is natural and easy. Through slight rhythmic changes, or by adjustment in pace, we can breathe consciously. Breathing can create excitement or calm; movement or peace. Take a deep breath, exhale slowly. Accept the grace of being alive. The J OY IS S U E

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Product Placement If you’re a shop owner or small batch maker who would like to be featured in one of our winter issues, fill out our product collab form.

Thank you! We’re thrilled to feature the amazing D.C. shop, The Cookery, A Culinary Marketplace. Thanks to owner Cary Kelly for her entertaining product recommendations. Follow them on Instagram @Cookeryshops. The PERPETUAL YOU


REALIZE

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5

4

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C E L E B R AT E

The Table The Cookery, a culinary showcase and marketplace, is an expansive space filled with small batch goods, many local to the Washington DC area. We were fortunate to visit the shop this past summer, and wholeheartedly recommend you make a stop if you’re ever in their area. Check out their website–CookeryShops.com–to plan your visit to one of their four locations. Click on the product name below to shop.

1 | Hand-blocked Napkin Set by Tulusa, Alexandria, VA ($48/Set of 4)

2 | Almond & Sesame Chocolate Bar by Zivaara, Washington, DC ($7.50)

3 | Greeting Card by Marcella Kriebel, Washington, DC ($12/3-Pack)

4 | Scottish Shortbread by Allens, Charlottesville, VA ($75/multipack)

5 | Terra Cotta Cazuelas Dishes by La Tienda, Williamsburg, VA (from $17.95)

6 | Fig Almond Spread by The Gracious Gourmet, Bridgewater, CT ($10)

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Handmade modern heirlooms for your home

Modern ar t inspired jewelr y for the mildly rebellious flow-goer

casaandcodesign.com

leocadiak.com

Soy Candles | Ar t | Home

Handmade Leather Travel Notebooks

raynehomedecor.com

redpentravelers.com

The PERPETUAL YOU


REALIZE

C E L E B R AT E

Your Heritage with Kirsten Price

Over the summer, I had the opportunity to travel to Norway with my family. Everything was authentic; from the little chocolatiers, to the hand painted Norwegian art shops nestled inside the base of the cliffs. I was surrounded by beauty, both in nature and in a country that my relatives proudly call home. The J OY I SS U E

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Norway contains much of our family heritage, and allowed us to visit with our Norwegian relatives, most whom I had never met before. It was a very personal experience, and I am extremely grateful for it. The most memorable part of the trip was visiting Geirangerfjord. Some must-see spots include the Seven Sisters waterfall, Dalsnibba'a Plateau, and the numerous hiking trails.

1 Cruise Copenhagen. We flew to Copenhagen, and then boarded a cruise ship that would take us to a few different Norwegian cities along the coast.

Experience the culture. We walked all over the main town of Geiranger; taking in the architecture, the natural landscapes, visiting the handmade shops, and trying new foods.

The PERPETUAL YOU

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3 Eat like the locals do. We visited several cafĂŠs and coffee shops that served fresh fish caught daily.

4 Experience the fjords. Visit Geiranger's most popular tourist spot, Dalsnibba plateau. Once you reach the top, you get a 360 degree view of the snow-covered mountaintops, lush green vegetation, and massive fjord walls.

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REALIZE

Celebrate the Little Things with Leigh Schwab

Beauty routines are both necessary and rewarding during the entertaining season.

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love entertaining. Maybe it’s the southerner in me, but throwing a get together—no matter how big or how intimate—really helps my creative juices flow. Concentrating on the menu and libations before the main event allows me to sit back and relax (for the most part) when my guests arrive. Thinking of the little things that will make my guests feel their best helps me feel like I am truly giving them a special evening. Whether it is a specific cocktail, a tried and true dish (that turns out right every time),

The PERPETUAL YOU

or a delicious new hand soap for the bathroom, little things can make you feel pulled together and completely prepared. Don’t forget to treat yourself too! After throwing a party, I like to take a little time to relax with either a face mask while I finish cleaning the kitchen or a well-deserved soak in the tub with a cup of lavender tea. Entertaining can be a time of joy, if you remember graceful, simple beauty routines.


BeYOUtiful

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Entertaining need not be so taxing. Offer the brands you love, stick with the routines you know, and take a much-deserved soak in the tub after it’s all over!

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Offer What You Have. Having the details in place when inviting someone into your home can make entertaining extra special. Fresh hand soap and a luxurious hand cream are nice treats that also serve as an introduction to your favorite brands.

Leigh recommends: • Willow & Birch Apothecary's Lemon Zen soap • Beautycounter’s Citrus Mimosa Hand Cream

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Stick with What You Know. Save new makeup trends or outfits for the parties when you aren’t also the host. Feeling natural and following your tried & true routines will ensure you feel confident rather than self-conscious.

Leigh recommends: • Beautycounter’s Winter Warmth Palette • RMS Rose Marie’s Essentials

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Take the Break You Deserve. Take time to pamper yourself after entertaining. Simple acts like adding a luxurious body oil to a warm bath and then slathering your tired hands and feet with a rich balm can bring renewal and restoration.

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Leigh recommends: • Captain Blankenship Avocado & Peppermint Hand, Cuticle, and Foot Balm • Khaki's Bomb Balm's Dusk Radiance Treatment Serum

Leigh Schwab uses her love for skin care to help educate women about the ingredients in their products and the need for proper skin care legislation in our country. Learn more about her passion for a healthy and simple life on Facebook and Instagram @leighschwab.

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REALIZE

October's

Rosemary

Self-Care

Frankincense

Toolkit

Moonstone Sige

C E L E B R AT E

Daily Rituals with Ashley Dees

The PERPETUAL YOU


Everyday life can bring us joy. When I sweep the house, I am clearing my home of any negativity; when I take out the trash, I am making room in my home for new opportunity; when I wash my hair, I let go of everything that is not serving me. Remaining mindful in our daily tasks helps us to see the grace in each moment.

H E RB

ESSE N TI AL O IL

CRYSTAL

GO D D ESS

Rosemary

Frankincense

Moonstone

Sige

B E N E F I TS

BE N E FI TS

BENEFITS

BEN E FITS

Aids in memory and mental clarity

Reduces muscle pain and headaches

Connects you with your intuition

Encourages silence and stillness

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garden favorite, and a kitchen staple, Rosemary is the herb for memory. When you have a busy day and need to be on top of your to-do list, add a little rosemary to your eggs for breakfast, or keep a garden sprig in your pocket throughout the day to smell when you need a pick-me-up. One of the oldest resins, Frankincense moisturizes, reduces scars, and helps heal skin irritations. Frankincense is also an analgesic and can reduce pain in muscles or alleviate headaches. Add 10 drops each of frankincense and myrrh essential oils to a 2 ounce spray bottle with water and use during meditation. Moonstone can bring women closer to themselves and to their own journey. Meditating with moonstone helps connect you with your intuition and guide you in the right direction. This stone holds night energy and is

great for sleep issues. Place under your pillow or by your head on restless nights. Sige, the Gnostic goddess, tells us “that in silence, we find our true origin and self.� Quiet time can be a hard place to be in, alone, silent, with your true self; ways to better achieve silence and peace in your life are to go on a retreat, listen more, and meditate. Take every opportunity you can to turn small stuff into meaningful moments. Remaining mindful in daily tasks can cause us to celebrate those rituals that better our life, our home, and ourselves.

Learn more about Ashley, and how she teaches and gathers goddesses together at Green Harmony Aromatherapy. Photos of Rosemary & Frankincense courtesy of @catballou24.

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REALIZE

Celebrate the Details with Caitie Sherrick

Notice the way the sunlight dances on your hardwood floors. Warm up in the morning by holding your cup of coffee with two hands. Listen to the way your bracelets jingle as you sip that coffee. Notice the small stuff -- the details that make life joyful.

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eing mindful of the details when getting dressed allows us to appreciate the pieces that bring us joy. Styling the same piece in new and thoughtful ways gives more value to the pieces you already own because you wear them more often. Mindfulness also makes accessorizing more intentional because you already know what jewelry you’re going to wear, no matter the occasion; for example, wearing the same necklace for Friendsgiving and Thanksgiving. Ditch your shoes when you’re at home or at your bestie’s. Throw on a beanie for today’s errands and next week’s hot chocolate date. Paying attention to details leads to appreciation and gratitude for where you’re at right now. Joy and grace naturally follow.

The PERPETUAL YOU


Style Statement

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Bold, unique, and chic, a statement necklace is a quick and easy way to stylishly layer any outfit.

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Simplify Your Style. Whether you’re arranging last minute appetizers or drinking wine at your table, start with your favorite dress pants. Wear a blouse with a statement necklace and go barefoot. Cook, entertain and eat in style knowing that your accessories won’t get in the way.

Pictured: black capri trousers, black and white blouse, Leocadia K. Turquoise Tribe Necklace

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Accessorize Your Basics. Whether you’re drinking coffee in the park with a friend or simply running errands together, wear skinny jeans with some ankle boots, throw on a sweater and grab that necklace. The necklace adds a charming detail to an otherwise plain sweater.

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Pictured: skinny jeans, gray sweater, black ankle boots, Leocadia K. Turquoise Tribe Necklace

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Maximize Your Minimal Look. Whether you’re eating dinner at your mom’s or having dessert at your in-laws’, keep it fresh and comfortable by pairing your favorite jeans with those same black boots, a white tank, an oversized black blazer and your necklace. The necklace adds a stylish layer to your minimal look.

Pictured: skinny jeans, white tank, black blazer, black ankle boots, Leocadia K. Turquoise Tribe Necklace

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Caitie Sherrick is a jewelry designer + stylist for mildly rebellious flow-goers at Leocadia K. She’s deeply inspired by modern art, has a boho heart + loves the warm, unconditional love of a good cup of chai tea. Join her on Instagram @caitiesherrick for daily inspiration + visit her shop for more every day outfit ideas.

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P E R S P E C T I V E S from T H E PA N E L

How has something small, a detail, a word, an action, positively influenced your life?

The smallest thing that changed my life is when I finally came to understand the difference between joy and happiness, and that joy was actually what I wanted in my life. Joy wasn’t just about feeling good, but about being fully present. This has fundamentally changed how I live my life as a parent, partner, friend, and overall person.

The word stillness has positively influenced my life. Being alone and not constantly doing something—just settling into the stillness has created more calm, peace, and acceptance in my life. When I feel overwhelmed, I remind myself that stillness is always available to me.

I’ve never forgotten the small act of kindness of a stranger holding an umbrella over my head as I ran by him on my way to get a seat on a busy train, one rainy day in NYC. I try to make sure I take a moment in my day to be a little kind to someone -even myself- and hope it brightens their day

Marie

Lydia

Deirdre

Parent Educator Boston, MA

Coach/Creative Counselor New Haven, CT

Social Media Trainer Denver, CO

@marielpbalance createbalancedlife.com

@lydiamandell newhavenbreathwork.com

@littleredpromotions littleredpromotions.com

The PERPETUAL YOU


My love language is gift giving; things people have given me have brought me tremendous joy. People assume gifts need to be extravagant, but among my top five gifts of all time are the bouquets of weeds I’ve received from my kids and a tub of buttercream frosting with the words "YAY" iced on it from a friend when I passed a major exam.

Mom always told me that I was the only one who could make myself happy. As a kid I hated when she said that. In a disheartening experience this past spring, Mom’s words came back to me, but I rephrased them. I told myself, “I must guard and protect my joy.” Those words helped me focus on what mattered and became my power mantra.

I developed a bad habit when playing the cello that resulted in my being too quiet, and had to reteach my arm how to move correctly in order to be heard. This made me realize I was being shy (and feeling unworthy) in other areas of my life. Reminding my arm of the correct movement serves as a reminder that I need to be heard.

Ana

Alexis

Danielle

Dreamer, Doer, Writer, Model, Mom Houston, TX

Writer, Artist, Advocate, Filmmaker Edmonton, Alberta

Artist & Art Educator Northford, CT

@powertoprevail

@alexismariechute alexismariechute.com

@helixis7185 storyartbydanielle.com

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- CARA ALWE LL LE YBA

The PERPETUAL YOU


to align your physical space with your ever-evolving self

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A R T W O R K by @ A R A B E S Q U E . A R T . D E S I G N

The PERPETUAL YOU


candlestick /'kandl-stik/ noun​ [invented A.D. 70] Device which holds elegance and illumes simplicity.

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The PERPETUAL YOU


DW E L L

Moment of Joy Just as Emily Dickinson revered a certain slant of light, the intentional designer finds poetry in the everyday moment.

“M

oments� in design are called vignettes, and the popularity of styling a vignette is seen in the use of modern design magazines, home renovation shows, and design hashtags: #pursuepretty, #livethelittlethings, #cornersofmyhome. Where a vignette can bring you joy is in the simple stillness of the moment; both the moment of design itself, as well as the moment later on, when, in the rush of a life welllived, something that is so beautifully styled stops you in your tracks. Design is not frivolity, nor pleasure in design superfluous. Feel the pull of the glowing lamp or flickering candle. Soak up the goodness of something green and alive. Answer the beckoning call of your favorite armchair. Sit, be still, and feel joy in the moment.

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The PERPETUAL YOU


DW E L L

S M AL L S PAC E;

Big Reno Simplicity and style make up for the lack of space in this “Old School Charm meets Industrial Cottage” bathroom.

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ou wouldn’t know it by looking at these stunning pictures, but prior to their bathroom renovation, Jennifer Wenzel and her partner, Alex, had never taken on a full-scale remodel. Still, when they envisioned the perfect bathroom, they knew it would be a “little place to relax and pamper” themselves, which would require some pretty big updates. “We took notes from our house,” says Jen, a bungalow outside of Jacksonville, Florida. “I really wanted an inviting and calming atmosphere.” Two major design decisions to support that goal were the addition of

the claw-foot tub and the “white white white” color palette—the only other color coming from the bronze fixtures and green plants. In addition to creating an open feeling, the minimal color palette allows the special parts of the room to be the focus, from a trio of old books to the round mirror, which was a gift from Alex’s mother. “I love implementing unexpected items in the room,” says Jen, “Seeing it all come together was exciting and rewarding.” continued on next page

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Despite “little surprises” along the way, such as busted cast iron pipes and a rotting sub-floor, these new homeowners were able to stick to a $3500 budget by balancing their desires for a high-end look with their DIY eagerness. The industrial cottage design showcases a willingness to compromise; for example, the “ship lap” is actually 6-inch plywood boards painted white.

Though the bathroom is generous enough for a bathroom, the room itself is still small; however, anyone who’s been through a renovation knows that it can be a benefit to start small. When Jen looks around at her room, which she now describes as “happy, lovely, and inspiring,” she feels proud about all that they learned along the way.

Cutting costs in one area meant they could splurge in another. “Oil rubbed bronze adds a pretty penny to the cost,” say Jen, “but I wouldn’t change any of it.” Other choices, such as using reclaimed wood to add muchneeded storage shelves, weren’t as much about cost as they were about maintaining the integrity of the overall design.

“We had a lot of reservations about taking on such a huge project. Our blood, sweat, and tears went into the space. Many of the days we looked at each other like What the heck did we get ourselves into? But it was all worth it. I really love this space. It turned out better than we could have imagined. We loved making it our own and doing exactly what we envisioned.”

The PERPETUAL YOU


Dwell on This Having a single bath home means you may have to share an already fraught space with guests, making the layout and atmosphere that much more important. Keeping this space pleasant and presentable will relieve entertaining stress, but doesn’t mean it needs to be perfect 24/7

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Embrace Good Enough. Bathrooms are where the stuff of life happens; no one expects ultra-cleanliness. Keep the sink toothpaste-free by doing a quick wipe down every couple of days, and keep a toilet brush handy for weekly swishes. If it’s good enough for your family, it’s good enough for guests too.

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Offer Just Enough. Overnight guests tend to bring what they need, but if you do want to have extra toiletries on hand focus on the most critical items: soap and TP. Keep a reserve of small batch soap for those guests you know will appreciate the ‘local’ touch.

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Add Enough Green. Whether you’re looking for an easy last-minute detail or a decorative “forever friend,” plants fit the bill quite nicely. I love the idea of a hanging plant in the bathroom as a way to have gorgeousness + vitality, without taking up any precious counter space.

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Know You Are Enough. Keep your expectations—of yourself and of your guests’ reactions—in check by keeping in mind that your guests are coming to visit because they want to see YOU, not your fancy and/or impeccable bathroom. Sure, they might be wowed by recent improvements but they’re mostly just happy to be with you.

Have a great space? We’d love to interview you! For the chance to be featured, send an email to hello@theperpetualyou.com.

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SENSORY DESIGN T H E STO RY O F A D I N I N G RO O M

Words by Lee Lee Thompson & Sue Henry Images by Sarah Ann Fowler

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DW E L L

In modern culture, the dining room and kitchen are often one and the same. Effecting intimacy in an “open floor plan� atmosphere is vital to the preservation of historic traditions, but it is no less important to the progress of modern ideals. Sensory experiences and a genuine design aesthetic can bridge the desire to hold our family together and the need to see each of our family members learn to stand on their own.

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Collect things you love, that are authentic to you, and your house becomes your story. – ERIN FLETT

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quirky furniture pieces mingle among the modern accoutrements of daily living: computers, pillows, dishes, fruit. By far, the pièce de résistance of Sue’s home is the open and airy dining room/kitchen combination (though the gigantic plant in the upstairs bathroom comes in a close second). An oversized dining table looks perfectly at home in the space, partly due to the largeness of the room and partly because of the amount of windows surrounding it.

Lee Lee I met Sue Henry virtually this past year through a mutual friend, so I was excited to meet her in person on a trip to Virginia over the summer. I knew from viewing her textile designs online that her aesthetic was one I admired: organic but fresh with a touch of whimsy. It came as no surprise that her home-based studio, in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, was also a blend of the modern and the raw, and I immediately felt comfortable and at ease in her space. The rest of Sue’s home is both grand and inviting, a place that caters to all of your senses at once – chunky beams make up a staircase that seems to float all on its own; expansive windows bring in light and warmth from the surrounding neighborhood;

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As Sue shared stories of Thanksgiving pasts, in which her mother and husband compete for the hearts and taste buds of their friends and family, I found myself looking forward to a holiday that typically engenders nothing but overwhelm. The story of her dining room – both how it came to be and how it has since been used – felt integral to Sue’s enjoyment of her own home. As Sue continued her tour, providing further anecdotal evidence of a well-loved and thoughtfully designed house, I reaffirmed my core design philosophy: that our dwelling space is both representational of and influential to our mindset. Witnessing Sue’s relationship with her home—indeed, being invited fully in to this relationship, of only for an afternoon—was a gift of authentic, immediate grace.


Sue My husband, John, and I built this house from the ground up in 2009. We had the land for 6 years before we were able to move in; about 3 years were spent planning, adjusting, and gathering the resources we needed. From the beginning, the dining room was meant to be the main hub of the house—the literal heart of the home—so it was the first room we thought about when designing. When you build a home from the ground up there are about 30,000 decisions you have to make. We worked with an architect, but not a designer so

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"Renovating From the beginning, the dining room was meant to be the main hub of the house, so it was the first room we thought about when designing."

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we had a lot of choices to make on our own. John became a master at understanding how a kitchen should flow with workstations, seating, and the equipment. He was wise enough to put in two big sinks on separate counters: one for food and one for dishes. For my part, he turned to me one day and just said “you need to go shopping� Lucky me! I spent hours and hours in tiles stores and fell in love with so many different surfaces and patterns. We ended up picking simple white, handmade square tiles for the kitchen. The process of getting to that point was wonderfully fun for me.


Also, we had a great time picking out the lighting. On one end of the kitchen we hung some iconic Poulsen lights. You can see them from the street, set against the vertical board and batten barn wood siding. The modern organic vibe really starts there, on the outside. On the other end of the space is the Moroccan chandelier that hangs above our dining table. We found a store that had hundreds of glass lanterns and pulled the ones that we liked the most and put them all together. You would never think that these two lights would be found in the same space, but it speaks to our design philosophy: just go with what you love. One of the things that we wanted were clean lines and a lot of visibility, but we also needed a good amount of storage, so we opted to only have bottom cabinets, then added a huge pantry and a bar with more cabinets. Having only lower cabinets allowed us to have a whole wall of eastern facing

windows that let a huge amount of light in, and we also have great sight-lines into other spaces in the house. The last thing to think about was color. We separated the dining room and kitchen by color. The dining room is my favorite color in the whole house: a beautiful lavender that sets off the wood, rolls beautifully into the white tile walls of the kitchen, and looks great against the salvaged paint worn doors that enclose our pantry. Since the dining room is part of the kitchen, a big part of the design has to do with the functionality of the room as a whole. This is where our family spends the most time and even though we have a lot of other space in our home it’s always where the party ends up. Because of that we needed this room to be highly functional, have flow, and be warm and welcoming at the same time. continued on next page

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Shop the Look To get a closer look at Sue’s designs, flip to page 62.

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We love to blend new and old; the overall style of our home is Modern Organic. Lots of big wood pieces and elements in the form of beams and countertops, old rustic doors, and our big teak dining room table combined with stainless steel countertops and vintage metal barrister cases that hold glassware. I buy things that I love instead of pieces that would traditionally go together. Pieces that are in the center of the table change often. I love to have huge pieces of crystal or hunks of rose quartz alongside succulent plants with a variety of table runners and other pieces that pull everything together in different ways, depending on the season. There is also a carved teak boat that sits on the counter or on the center of our table and holds all our fruit and vegetables. On the wall behind the dining room table and above the banister cases, there is art: a piece from my childhood, a simple graphic poster that has always been with me, a piece by the artist Woody Long, two drawings my husband did, a poster from a band, and a photograph from our favorite town in Colorado. Again, it’s all different— totally eclectic—but works together well. The room changed while we were designing the house; things were flipped around and changes made along the way, but as it stands now I think it’s pretty close to perfect. The only thing that I would like to change is the white countertop that sits on the drawers that hold our dishes. I would love to have a beautiful slab of marble there, to make that particular area feel “finished.” Overall, the space gives our family the ability of all being together without being on top of each other. It’s highly functional yet also a warm and sweet gathering place.

Intentional Design 101: A Personal Aesthetic The most authentic rooms tell the story of their occupants’ lives, not of any specific design trend or philosophy, but popular design elements can help you discover who you are and share that with the world.

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Take a Shelfie. ͞Books aren’t just for reading – from organizing by color of spine to arranging thematically throughout different rooms of the home, books have become a great way to showcase who you are. To get the most out of this reclaimed design element, free yourself of any libraryesque traditions; buy the books you love, group them however you like, and house them wherever you want.

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Paint a Picture. The popularity of the gallery wall holds strong simply because it’s an accessible, forgiving way to portray your favorite memories. Include handmade creations alongside your treasured collections increases the fuzzy feelings without negating the artistic effect. The means by which you adorn your gallery wall—from a simple, easily changeable display to a crafted installation you won’t ever change—also speak volumes about who you are.

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Play with your Food. The art of displaying food is a tried and true method for stylists and designers; why not play around with some fruit and veggies of your own? Not only are bowls of overflowing food fun to fill and to look at, they come in handy when snack hour rolls around! The particular shapes and colors you choose to display can tell as much about you as which foods you choose to eat.

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Add Personality. Textiles are hands down the easiest way to add personality to a room. From popular ‘mantra’ pillows to your brand new curtains to that rug you’ve been carrying around since college, the fabrics you put in a room speak to your sense of self as much as they do your sense of style. Going through a transition, personality-wise? Try mixing in a few textiles that represent who you want to be, too!

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tip back a glass of wine or bubbly. A place for conversations with one or with a few dozen friends. A place that needs people in it and around it.

The kitchen and dining room are special because this is where everyone gathers. We have had Thanksgiving dinner for 20, birthday parties, luncheons, and regular Sunday night dinners here. This is the place where people want to be in our house, which is what makes it special. The direct access to a large pergola-covered porch gives us a whole other space to gather in warmer months. For me, joy is having friends and family around. They bring so much with them. They make us laugh, celebrate with us, and help us to turn the corner when need be. On Thanksgiving, we double the size of our table so we can fit at least 16 people around it. (The kids eat around a large round coffee table in the living room). Equal amounts of friends and family come for the day, and the celebration lasts until late into the night. Because this is a gathering space during all times of the year, it is a place that I like to dedicate to my friends and family. It’s a space that helps me to give back to them in different ways. A place to cook, to warm a cold body in the winter, to

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The dining room and kitchen represent us more than any other rooms in the house, from the eclectic design to the modern space to the organic elements we’ve filled it with. It’s one of the places in our home that goes from clean to messy a few times a day. The kids do their homework here; I work at the kitchen table and John reads the paper in here. We spend the majority of our time here. The space is the perfect blend of our entire family: a little playful, pretty functional, and unique.

The Lee Lee is the #ladyboss of The Perpetual You. A writer by trade, designer by heart, and mother by choice, she seeks intentional practices and a positive mindset. Sue Henry is an artist living in Alexandria, va with her husband and two boys. She has been a life log artist with a degree in fine arts. Over the past 25 years she has had several businesses in the arts and is happily working on her textile business in her home studio. Her current work combines natural elements, soft fabrics and bright color that make wonderful gifts and decor for the home. Images by Sarah Ann Fowler Photography.


Light as a Feather corresponds to Benjamin Moore 2002-50

Weathered corresponds to Benjamin Moore AF-235

Infinite Understanding corresponds to Benjamin Moore 1002

C E L E B R AT E A F R E S H PA L E T T E

This month’s color palette offers a bohemian twist on the traditions of autumn.

Rainbow Stars corresponds to Benjamin Moore 2072-60

Tender hues of pink and lavender juxtapose grounded shades of blue, brown, and grey. Together, these five colors infuse life and freshness into any table setting, whether an intimate gathering for family or a full-scale entertaining affair. Sticking with tried and true for your holiday table? Here are some other worthy uses for this palette:

Bohemian Eats.

Moroccan Dusk corresponds to Benjamin Moore 2128-30

Lucky enough to have an eat-in kitchen? Paint the wall directly behind your table a yummy lavender and fill in with weathered chairs in natural browns and blues. Tarnished silverware and grandma’s linens finish the well-loved look.

Modern Living. Liven up a mostly neutral palette with pops of pale pink and grayish blue – art and textiles are two places to bring in color. Finish it off with sculptural branches in modern cement containers.

Color Inspiration For more ideas & inspiration, follow our Color Palette Pinterest Board.

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3

Order Now Head over to Tulusa.com & sign up on the mailing list to receive 10% off your first order!

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DW E L L

Tulusa Owner of Tulusa, Sue Henry, is also our featured Dwell writer this month. Read about her kitchen aesthetic on the preceding pages.

Shop the Look F R O M O U R F E AT U R E D D W E L L I N G We love the offbeat color palette and unique hand-blocked designs of Tulusa. Their linens are perfect for the modern bohemian tablescape. Click on the “buy it” link next to each product to purchase or browse all of Tulusa’s products by visiting Tulusa.com.

1 | Feather Dinner Napkin in Denim by Tulusa ($48/set of 4)

2 | Pineapple Flower Runner in Chartreuse by Tulusa ($54)

3 | Gigantic Mum Throw Pillow in Jade by Tulusa ($52)

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- M ART H A B E CK

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to align your life story with your ever-evolving mindset

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A R T W O R K by @ A R A B E S Q U E . A R T . D E S I G N

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THREE QUESTIONS

with

Nicole Bunting

What's one practice in your daily life that brings you Joy?

Which aspect of your physical space aligns with your philosophy on Grace?

For you, what is the relationship of Grace to Joy?

Recipe testing - I love the idea of taking something that is already good, and raising the bar!

The kitchen is where I get to make something from nothing, where I spend time thinking about what my clients like to eat and what can I put on their plates that will make them happy and fulfill their palate.

I relate to Grace as kindness, compassion, patience, and generosity. When that’s who I’m being, Joy shows up naturally. When I’m present to joy, life seems to just flow.

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The PERPETUAL YOU


BUILDING A BUSINESS WHILE COOKING WITH GRACE with

Nicole Bunting of “It’s Just Food”

Words by Lee Lee Thompson Images by Life Unstill Photography The J OY I S S U E

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Many of us have a love/hate relationship with our kitchens and—specifically—with cooking. Whether your mom inspired you to bake everything from scratch or your family had take-out every night, cooking is a domestic task filled with centuries of fraught and weight. Finding grace in the kitchen isn’t an Instagramonly dream, though! According to personal chef and cooking instructor Nicole Bunting, culinary joy is more about an attitude than it is the food you’re cooking.

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G R O W I N G W I T H PA S S I O N . To be fair, Nicole loved food growing up. While her mom wasn’t the greatest of cooks, she did make a mean apple pie. More influential was her father, a Detroit City firefighter who would bring home firehouse recipes – including a hamburger that Nicole still remembers fondly as a “juicy fabulous textural party” in her mouth. In that moment, she discovered there was such a thing as “good cooking.” The “family, food, and connection” aspect of her childhood stayed with Nicole as she grew up. To pay for college, she worked in restaurants, where she spent time learning recipes and memorizing menus and where she “fell in love” with food. She even wanted to go to culinary school but couldn’t make it work financially. Instead, she studied French and Political Science; lived in about ten different locations; and became an entrepreneur.

Fast forward to 2011, when she separated from her ex-husband and decided to return to her dream of attending culinary school. “I needed something positive to focus on,” she says. By this time, Nicole had been an entrepreneur for 10 years and knew she wanted to work for herself. She put together her love of cooking and her love of teaching and decided to become a personal chef. While at Cook Street Culinary School in Denver, Colorado, Nicole got the “incredible” opportunity to spend ten weeks in Southern France studying French wine, cuisine, and pastry at the Gastronomicom Cooking School. Aside from learning “short cuts” native to French chefs—for example, how to temper chocolate by touch—Nicole was happy to discover that her stateside training was “congruent with French training.”

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hire people,” says Nicole, “but I’m not quite there yet.” For now, she’s focused on perfecting the “It’s Just Food” philosophy.

COOKING WITH GRACE. Like any chef persona, Nicole wants more people to cook more food. Something that sets Nicole apart from the personal chef you’re picturing in your head, though, is that she sees cooking as inherently forgiving. “You overcooked the pot roast,” she says, “Well, guess what. Grandma probably did too at some point and time.” When mistakes happen in the kitchen, “acknowledge the obvious” says Nicole, “27 other people have made a similar mistake in the past.” Armed with new cooking knowledge and technique, Nicole was ready to start her business, which she named “It’s Just Food” – something her culinary school instructors would give as reassurance, and a phrase that has since become a sort of mantra for her in the kitchen. (A kitchen knife is “not a scalpel,” she reminds me twice in the span of one hour!) Nicole unofficially launched her business in 2012, waiting two years to hold an official launch in Denver for 200 attendees, mostly people from her “former life” of ten years in network marketing. She was fortunate and grateful to have such a big showing at her first event. “Nobody wants to hear what a chef has to say until they taste their food,” says Nicole. In the two years since, Nicole has taken her cooking prowess and applied it to her business, which includes hosting intimate dinner parties and teaching cooking classes in addition to the personal chef aspect. While she still wears all hats, Nicole realizes that she can’t be “Bugs Bunny first base, Bugs Bunny second base, and Bugs Bunny third base” forever. Chefs are perfectionists and control freaks, though—like a diligent foodie with an entrepreneurial complex. “At some point I’ll have to

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One way to relieve the pressure? Have the phone number to your favorite pizza place front and center. Reality also helps. “You try to make a pie crust and mess it up,” says Nicole, “What’s the cost? You’ve used a bit of flour, butter, salt, and water.” You can turn that moment into an empowering one by figuring out where you went wrong and—when you’re ready—trying again. Many women who think they “can’t cook” may have been unjustly held back by a flawed recipe. In cooking school, Nicole was let in on the secret that many published recipes haven’t ever been tested in a real kitchen—a fact that still makes Nicole “sick to her stomach.” Because of this, Nicole encourages—and practices—recipe testing, which involves writing down what she did so she can repeat it or play with it, depending on the result. Much of the grace Nicole feels in the kitchen comes about when she’s in this element, playing with food and flavors and technique; but, she also immensely enjoys a collaborative culinary atmosphere. “Some of the most joyful moments happen as a result of those life experiences shared


“Some of the most joyful moments happen as a result of those life experiences shared with others”

with others,” Nicole says, which often includes “food shared with loved ones around the dinner table.” While Nicole thrives under the pressure of creating a meal for upwards of 20 people who expect to sit down and eat at the same time, she also understands the pressure and fear the average woman can feel in that moment, “wondering if that first bite” is going to live up to expectations. Nicole’s answer is, once again, collaboration. “When the relatives come over,” she says, “put them to work in the kitchen with you.” *For more tips on relieving pressure, see our holiday entertaining sidebar on page 77.

Nicole Recommends... Three recipe sites that Nicole trusts to test recipes before posting them: • FoodNetwork.com • Allrecipes.com • Cooks Illustrated

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“There’s nothing better than seeing the light go on in somebody’s eye, when they sit down and take the first bite of that food”

Another way to infuse collaboration in your kitchen is by getting kids involved in the growing process. Nicole witnessed the power of this firsthand when her sister, who was younger than she and her brother by many years, became involved with their dad’s garden. Her sister loves vegetables, a fact that has to do with her watching food grow “from seed to plant,” says Nicole. Even just having an honest conversation with your kids about food can infuse grace into the situation. For example, when Nicole’s niece—a “picky eater”—

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claimed she didn’t like something, Nicole asked why. Was it the flavor? Or the texture? “Kids have extra taste buds so they prefer bland food,” says Nicole. The conversation can ensure that as they “develop more room to taste stronger, more pungent, more potent things,” they remain willing to do so.

SERVING WITH KINDNESS. When Nicole tells stories such as the one about her niece, it becomes evident just how much she enjoys

passing on knowledge, which in turn allows others to think for themselves. When clients ask her what kind of wine they should have for a certain meal, the first thing she asks is what kind of wine they like to drink. Her instruction, which can vary from “drink what makes you happy” to explaining the balance of “sugar, salt, acid, and fat” in a meal, is based entirely upon the person’s preferences and lifestyle. This philosophy—that if someone doesn’t like a particular wine, no amount of culinary knowledge is going to convince them otherwise—


is one that sets Nicole apart even further from that chef in your head. “I want my clients doing the ‘happy food dance,’” says Nicole, “If they don’t like what they’re drinking, it will ruin their meal.” Giving people permission to like what they like creates an open atmosphere which inspires more learning. “I run a custom, tailor made business,” says Nicole, “all about what the client wants and how can I exceed their expectations, in both the food and the culinary experience overall.” Opening up a dialogue is more important than passing on arbitrary knowledge. In the same vein, Nicole doesn’t take negative feedback personally. She tells all of her clients when they book: “you are not going to hurt my feelings. Everybody’s palette is different. If you don’t give me feedback, you’re going to be eating the same food you don’t like forever.” She asks questions to ensure food remains fun and inspirational, even. Nicole’s approach isn’t just humane; it’s kind. She genuinely wants for her client—whether she’s cooked for them or they’ve cooked something she taught them to cook for themselves—to be happy. “Cooking doesn’t have to be difficult or mundane,” says Nicole, “Food doesn’t have to be overwhelming. If you’re going to eat it—you should enjoy it!”

Nicole’s passion is palpable as she describes experiencing making pasta for the first time with her clients. “Your hand is in the dough. You’re taking egg in your flour. You’re making the dough. You’re rolling the dough. You’re cutting the dough. We’re making a couple homemade from-scratch sauces. You’re sitting down and eating what you’ve just made,” says Nicole. “There’s nothing better than seeing the light go on in somebody’s eye, when they sit down and take the first bite of that food,” she continues. “They look at it. They look at the counter where they were standing and back at the food. And they go, ‘Oh my god, I made this. And it wasn’t that hard. And oh, it’s so good.’” Nicole’s kindness extends to every aspect of her business, including transparency where fees and services are concerned. Everything

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“There are so many different ways to look at food. Every culture has a noodle. Every culture has a soup”

is custom, which gives the client more control over what they’re charged. “It’s written in marshmallow, not stone,” she says. “You never know what life’s going to throw at you. If you’re set on a certain way, you might miss out.”

L E A R N I N G W I T H Z E S T. What’s most refreshing about Nicole’s approach to food and cooking instruction is that she lives what she preaches. From trying new recipes to reading food memoirs to hanging out at the bar of a popular Denver restaurant, just to “tap into that food energy,” Nicole is adamant about the importance of learning. Already trained in the classic cooking disciplines of French and Italian, Nicole wants to “expand her base of knowledge” to Asian-inspired and Southwestern/ South American cooking. “Food is a never-ending, totally always-evolving industry,” she says, “You’re never going to be able to learn all of it.” Even just going out to eat is a learning experience for Nicole. Going to a new farm-to-table restaurant might expose her to the latest in plating, while eating The PERPETUAL YOU

at a foodie-recommended place can expose her to an ingredient she’s never seen before, Nicole even admits to “thinking about cooking” on a recent vacation to Hawaii. “There are so many different ways to look at food. Every culture has a noodle. Every culture has a soup,” says Nicole. “ Being exposed to new food and new techniques is a way to expand what she can pass along to a client. For example, she recently tried the “fresh acidic pop” of Brussel sprouts with freshly julienned granny smith apples, a dish she promptly served to clients the next week. This zestful approach to learning makes Nicole a great chef and great instructor. In fact, even Nicole’s mother wants Nicole to teach her how to cook! As honored as this makes Nicole feel, it brings up the issue of balance—her word of the year. “It’s food, so it doesn’t really feel like work to me,” says Nicole. “It’s what I do for a living, but now I’m doing it for my mom.” While it might be problematic to any sort of social life, this “all in” mindset makes Nicole the perfect personal chef for clients with dementia who need someone to


do all their grocery shopping in addition to cooking their meals; or for the single woman, who needs to learn how to make healthy meals without ending up “with a vat of chilli to eat in a week.” Because of her willingness to learn and her passion for the business of cooking, Nicole can put herself in almost any client’s shoes. A memory of the first time she figured out how to half an egg (by weight, not volume) helps her teach a client to halve vegetables— freezing one part and using the other for stew. An innate love of grocery shopping means she doesn’t mind squeezing in a 7 AM visit prior to heading to her client’s house. In short, she tailors her entire business to her audience and her business is remarkably successful because of this approach. Whether a man who hired her to cook a Mother’s Day breakfast for his wife, or a busy mom who needs someone to do all the prep work for Christmas dinner—including the grocery shopping!—or an advanced home cook ready to take their culinary knowledge to “a whole other level” (i.e. take her French cooking course), Nicole’s marketing plan is one and the same as her legacy: to get people back in the kitchen, making food and mistakes and memories.

Lee Lee Thompson is the Cofounder and Managing Editor at TPY. She has had the privilege to interview 17 amazing women who inspire others to choose, embrace, unleash, & celebrate the best parts of themselves–their Perpetual selves.

A Stress-Less Thanksgiving Says Nicole, “The murky waters called family are the base for [holiday] stress.” During these times, our logic goes out the window and our childhood memories, which are likely traditional and always perfect, take charge. No matter your personality, cooking ability, or planned event, Nicole has a “stress relief” tip for you.

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Grow Up. ͞Sometimes, says Nicole, you just have to remind your family that you’re a “grown adult.” Try the “here’s what I’m cooking” approach rather than the one that asks everyone’s input. With the right intentions and a careful approach, this can relieve stress not only for you but also for your guests.

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Invite Help. Thanksgiving is Nicole’s favorite holiday, but that in no way means she does all the work of cooking. She throws a potluck “orphans Thanksgiving,” making the turkey and one favorite side. Everybody else brings a side and something to drink. Not being responsible to make everything takes the stress out of hosting.

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Plan Ahead. Nicole’s most adamantly given advice is not to go to the grocery story two days before Thanksgiving. Do as much prep work ahead of time as you can. And when you do go to the store? Go during times when not as many people will be there, and plan your route through the store ahead of time. Nicole has been known to create an Excel spreadsheet with ingredients listed by store section.

Images by Life Unstill Photography.

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Let Go. Understandably, Nicole’s final recommendation is to hire a chef! “What’s your time worth to you?” she asks. If cooking the perfect dinner really is shifting your focus away from time with your family, this option can return a sense of normalcy to your holiday. Relieve yourself of the need to be in control and just sit back to enjoy the meal, like everyone else!

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- N ICOL E B U N T IN G


to align your innermost thoughts with your ever-evolving perspective

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A R T W O R K by @ A R A B E S Q U E . A R T . D E S I G N

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F L O W E R S selected & donated by @ W I L D F L O W E R A T M O S A I C

No. 1030

Ornamental Kale Grace frees our souls to be exactly who we are naturally, and free of expectations. Like ornamental kale, we can flourish in the coldest seasons of our lives by finding Joy in our own beauty. Used as garnish on our favorite winter dishes, kale reminds us that a little Grace can make life delightful. - Jennifer Gillin, @jgillinrdn

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LIVE

HOW T O

Choose Grace over Perfection with Meghan Kacmarcik The PERPETUAL YOU


I will hold myself to a standard of grace, not perfection. – EMILY LEY

Recovering from perfectionism is as simple as allowing yourself a moment to relax, or giving yourself a break when you make a mistake.

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or a long time, I thought of grace as a religious word. I heard it during the church sermons we attended on a semi—regular basis growing up and said it before eating dinner whenever my grandmother came over. I did not think of grace as something I could have or more importantly, something I could find. I now know that I did not allow myself to practice grace. I was a steadfast perfectionist and, as it turns out, grace and perfectionism live at two opposite ends of the street. Perfectionism demands your best every time. There is no room for error nor for relaxation. Perfectionism means tireless devotion, motivation, and willpower. No breaks, no me—time. Grace is different. Grace means forgiving yourself when you feel like you’ve failed. Grace means giving yourself a pass when you do something “wrong,” and allowing yourself to have time to relax, decompress, unwind. Grace allows you to loosen all the wires in your brain that get wound up a little too tight. As a matter of fact, grace can look a lot like self—care. Now in case you’re thinking that all sounds great, but I don’t have time to take a break/ease up at work/ sit around all day and think nice thoughts, I get it. Life is busy; life is messy. The culture we live in does

not always encourage us to take care of ourselves physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Luckily, grace does not discriminate— it is for everyone and it will be ready for you whenever you are ready to look for it. Here’s a confession: I am a recovering perfectionist. I spent years of my life trying to make sure everything was absolutely perfect. I wanted the perfect body. I wanted perfect grades throughout college. I wanted the perfect relationship. I wanted to fit perfectly, neatly into the college scene. I wanted to write perfectly, run perfectly, eat perfectly, live perfectly. Striving for perfection led me to starve my body and engage in far more exercise than it could handle. It led to my anxiety finally bubbling over my last two years of college, so I was constantly living right at that edge of a panic attack. It led to crying jags that lasted for days, unable to feel like I was worthy or that I was “doing it right.” There was no grace—only a lot of darkness. Four years of therapy, eight months of recovery, and three life—altering decisions later, I have allowed

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P H O T O by @ D H N E E L E

myself to lower the bar—perfection is no longer the goal; happiness and fulfillment are. I have learned to cut myself some slack. I no longer beat myself up if I don’t eat “perfectly” or when things don’t turn out exactly the way I planned. If I make a mistake at work, I don’t go to the bathroom and cry. I just let it roll off my shoulders, something that was impossible to do before. I allow myself breaks when I need them, even if it’s just a quick walk to re— center myself. I choose grace over perfection. This past week, life overwhelmed me as it sometimes does. Work was especially busy, the number of unread emails in my inbox was rapidly growing, and my apartment was getting increasingly messier. I was unable to find the time for myself that I usually do, which led to me becoming increasingly irritable. Going into a new week, I decided to take my own advice. I made myself a cup of coffee and added pumpkin pie spice to the grounds to make it taste like fall. I drank it out of my favorite mug while looking out the window at the leaves and the trees and the Earth. In this quiet moment, I listed five things I was grateful for, and set an intention for the day. You know what? I felt better.

The PERPETUAL YOU

Grace can be found every single day; not just in church and not just when my grandmother visits. Grace is that cup of coffee in the morning, when the world is still quiet and the Earth is just lighting up. Grace can be ten minutes of meditation or quiet affirmations when stress threatens us. Grace can be a quick walk outside, or genuinely forgiving ourselves when things go awry. Grace can be watching a half hour of TV without distraction and unabashedly laughing out loud to yourself. Grace can be taking five minutes out of your work day to watch a funny video (Confession #2: I just did this). Grace surrounds us every day; we need only look for it. When the pressure of the world surrounds us and the feelings of inadequacy sink in, choose grace instead by sneaking in a small moment of self— kindness. Only then will you be able to show light and kindness and grace to others.

Meghan is a blogger, body positivity advocate, eating disorder survivor and Registered Dietitian. You can follow along on her adventures on Instagram @sundaesforthesoul or read her blog at sundaesforthesoul.com.


@JENNIFERHANWAY

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T H E J OY O F FO O D P H OTO S

Whether food cooked at home or consumed along the road of life, snapping a photo reminds us of all the love and attention that went into the creation of our meal.

Check out @theperpetualyou to participate in this month's #30joyfuldays challenge. Be sure to tag us so we can like and re-post the things that bring you joy.

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LIVE

Turn Up the Joy

The PERPETUAL YOU


When we are able to understand and hold true to personal boundaries with those we love, we can provide them with more love, compassion, empathy, and support.

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he past year can be described as the year of joyful adventure. My first year of marriage. The year I decided to become an entrepreneur. The year I decided to open my own private psychotherapy practice. The year I decided to try and become a mother. The year of exciting, joyful and life pivoting endeavors. These endeavors required me to get vulnerable and to open myself up to deeper connection with those around me: growing my family, growing my business, and growing my networks both personal and professionally. As my relationships expanded, so did my joy. What also came with this year of excitement, and relational expansion was a lot of noise: oh so much noise. You may know what I mean. Think for a moment, have you ever found yourself in actual quiet? I mean stone cold silence. Silence that is palpable in your entire being. Silence that slightly shocks you. Why? Because we are constantly surrounded by noise, more specifically...chatter. There are two sources of chatter in our lives, the chatter of our external world and the chatter of our internal world. Our external chatter has its roots in the people that make up our world: the friends, relatives, and coworkers in our lives. This chatter is found in our social media worlds, the masterminds we belong to, in the podcasts we listen to, and the blogs we follow.

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External chatter includes all those who want to offer advice about our relationships, marriages, how to get pregnant, how to raise our children, what directions we should take with our careers, how to be successful business owners, etc. It can be incredibly comforting, not to mention valuable, to have people who care about us, who offer their guidance, wisdom, opinions, and life experiences. When we allow external chatter to consume us, though, we run the risk of losing ourselves in the noise. Even helpful, well—meaning chatter can become deafening, causing us to struggle to hear our own thoughts, feelings, and ideas. In turn, the external noise impacts the internal chatter, or the “noise” in our own heads. It can already get pretty loud in there some days; with the external chatter, our internal noise has the potential of being an all-out heavy metal concert! When we let too much of the external chatter of others in, we stop being able to decipher what our voice sounds like. With all this confusing noise, how can we protect our joy and preserve our peace? How can we gracefully

The PERPETUAL YOU

turn down both the external and the internal noise, in order to turn up the joy? Recently, I realized I was becoming easily frustrated, irritable, and more reactive than is typical for me. I was overwhelmed with opinions, advice, and options. I was feeling disconnected from those around me, yet simultaneously feeling overwhelmed with all the external chatter of others that I was consuming. I decided it was time for some quiet. I was craving silence, wanting to go inward for some reprieve. I needed to make a change. I needed to turn down the chatter. After some deep soul searching I realized my biggest source of external chatter was the internet. The remarkable gift and curse that is the internet...the tool that allows us to connect with people near and far, people who we may know and love dearly and those who we haven’t yet met. Through social media, we can instantly share in the exciting, happy moments of life. On the internet, we can express our beliefs, thoughts and opinions to a large audience, and be exposed to the opinions, thoughts, and beliefs of others. The internet allows us to access enormous amounts of


knowledge, giving us the opportunity to sharpen skills and become experts in just about anything. As worthy as all this connection is, the internet has the potential to disconnect us as well. The internet can undo our thoughts, feelings, and emotions; take us out of the present, send us down a rabbit hole of negative thinking, and disconnect us from the joy of everyday life. Armed with this knowledge and with the motivation to seek out silence, I made the decision to partially unplug myself and reduce the consumption of chatter. I went on a social media sabbatical, more specifically I turned off my Facebook account. Gasp. Yes, you read that correctly: I stopped using Facebook. Does the thought of disconnecting from your social media bring up a bit of panic, fear, or unease? I admit, it did for me too. I had a serious case of FOMO (fear of missing out). I was afraid that a social media diet would mean missing out on important announcements of friends and relatives and important discussions happening online. As a newbie entrepreneur, I was afraid I would stop learning, or lose inspiration and motivation. I’m happy to report that FOMO is not real. None of my fears came true. Rather than feeling isolated or alone, I felt grounded. When I stopped consuming what everyone else was thinking, I could better hear myself think. In place of distractions, i.e. “important information that would make me better at my business,” I felt clearer about important aspects of my business and the steps I needed to take to move in the direction I wanted it to move in. Then—I took action on those steps! Most importantly, I learned to trust myself. Trust my skills, my intelligence, and my intuition.

Turning down the noise of others allowed me to enter gracefully into my true self as a business owner. Did I miss out on connecting with people in my life? No. I learned that I had more time and more space to connect with the people I love. I called people. I had dinner with people. I surprised people I love with visits. I actually connected more than I would’ve if tied to social media. Decreasing the chatter and static that is a normal part of our world meant I could hear the world around me again. Once I removed the noise, I opened space in my mind to return to hearing those around me--really hearing them. As a result, I became a better therapist, better partner, and better friend. I learned that to notice all the beauty, grace, love, and positivity that surrounds me in my real, everyday life, I need to tune out the noise. To protect and preserve and turn up my joy, I will welcome more stillness and silence into my life.

Katie Rose Lynch, LICSW is a professional mindset coach + psychotherapist and a semi-professional newbie wife. Connect with her at katieroselynch.com.​

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The PERPETUAL YOU


NOVEMBER MANTRA

Mantra by Krystal Krystal Brandt, Authenticity Coach, is a soulful, sensual siren who lovingly and powerfully guides high-achieving women back to their innermost desires by re-introducing them to their own intuitive whispers of wisdom. Connect with her via krystalbrandt.com.

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in the

RECOG NI Z IN G AND RE K INDLING E VE RY DAY JOY

Words by Christi Daniels

The PERPETUAL YOU


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LIVE

If we delight in our most simple experiences and enjoy even the most mundane moments, we infuse our lives with joy and bring ourselves closer to the grace within.

Y

our days are often filled with commitments and to-dos that move projects, dreams and ideas forward for the people who matter the most in your life: creating magic for your clients, sharing your friend’s passion project on social media, planning a special get away with your lover, or planning a gathering that will bring together family and friends. This is the time of year that expectations can run away with the joy we’ve hinged our plans upon.

RECOGNIZING OPPORTUNITY It’s easy to get carried away by creativity, the urge to plan an experience, host a perfect event or create a unique and meaningful gift that will bring a sparkle of delight to their eyes. While it’s fun to get wrapped

The PERPETUAL YOU

up in the excitement and energy of bringing forth something special, we sometimes lose ourselves in the process, thereby losing our ability to experience joy in the moment. This moment right now belongs to you fully, whereas the goal or outcome you’re seeking does not. It might belong to you in a future moment, but that’s not guaranteed. Those moments you are washing the dishes belong to you, as do the moments when you’re bathing and eating and getting ready for bed. They might seem mundane, but they are your moments. Just because they seem mundane doesn’t mean we can’t choose to make them magical. We can weave small elements of joy into the routine of daily living. Incorporating your favorite essential oil or scent as part of your bathing ritual, sipping a cup of your


P H O T O by @ G R A Y K A M M E R A

favorite grounding tea in the afternoon, adding a special touch of flowers to the table as you eat dinner, giving yourself a few minutes before bedtime to curl up with the novel you’ve been wanting to read or on the phone with a friend.

SLOWING DOWN We’re nearing the end of another year and even though I’ve stopped to spend time here and there with my family and friends for over 47 times, I have rarely stopped to acknowledge or embrace the entirety of the blessings that reside in my life. This year, I feel drawn to slow down, to take stock of what a miracle our existence is, to appreciate the connections in my life, to communicate more.

For so much of my life, I lived by default. That meant I was on that hamster wheel of driving from place to place, task to task, from waking to having my head hit the pillow. It was an unending stream of activity and I felt as if I were simply reacting to what showed up in my life, feeling as if life were happening to me. Reflecting on it now, it feels violent, as if I were being attacked by the events that occurred, having responsibilities and expectations thrown at me without my conscious input. When I finally decided that I’d had enough and started taking control of my own choices, my own focus, and my own ability to influence my surroundings, then life started becoming more pleasant to experience.

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The PERPETUAL YOU


I realized that rather than bearing the brunt of someone else's decisions, I could experience some of what I wanted in life. I could co-create my experience, by extending my desires into the world. Fast forward to today and while I’ve written about this change before, have even written a book that includes some of my realizations, I still have not stopped to allow myself to truly integrate all of the growth, the risks, the courage, and the new perspectives that I’ve gained over the course of the years—especially this year.

C E L E B R AT I N G L I F E While the past year has included events I would never have willingly welcomed, I am so very grateful for the ripple effects that have occurred. We have had more focused time with our grandkids; rather than traveling around, we were firmly ‘grounded’ in a sense and needed at home. We had to consider what’s truly important, what gets prioritized over the deluge of possibilities and requests. When it comes down to it, the thing that emerged out of our filtering and focusing was life itself—that incredible gift that we’ve each been given, some with an expiration date sooner than we’d hoped, others extending our shelf life as far as we can stretch it. That enormous gift deserves our acknowledgement, appreciation, and celebration each day that we have it. Life will throw us the unexpected—the challenge that we didn’t consciously choose; but we have the choice to not have our lives defined by these moments. We can cultivate the joy we’d like in life by making the moments that are ours on a daily basis feel more enjoyable, more alive, and more stimulating to our senses.

Regular Joy There’s no shortage of mundane moments in the average woman’s life. From getting ready to drinking coffee to doing laundry to putting the kids to bed. In fact, anything we do on a daily basis can get stale if we allow our focus to shift away from the possible joy. This week, pick one daily activity and infuse into that moment something you enjoy immensely. Drink a piping hot cup of coffee in the shower; invite grandma to skype during bedtime; listen to a book on CD while commuting. Do this every single day for one week. At the end of the week, note the excess joy that has returned to your life.

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P H O T O by @ J O L Y N E H

Rather than the large events that tend to punctuate a season in our lives, these everyday moments are the ones we have the most influence over, the ability to infuse a sense of graciousness and spaciousness, these everyday moments are the sentences that build the paragraphs and collectively set the stage and tone for each chapter of our lives.

R E K I N D L I N G J OY When you were a child, do you remember playing tea or orchestrating what felt like luxurious experiences? I used to create tea parties and "bake" things. I baked Betty Crocker cakes in my Easy Bake oven. I felt so grown up to be in control and decide what it was like to really live, yet there was an element of play and magic. That's what seemed to make things special. Embracing our moments reminds us that life matters. Asking ourselves how we can enjoy even the most mundane task sends our brains on a search for the answer. Perhaps it’s putting on some swing music while

The PERPETUAL YOU

we fold the laundry or wash the dishes. Matching the music you play to the type of food you’re preparing adds a new dimension to the experience. What is happening for you right now? This is your moment, your opportunity, your life. Will you choose to be present? To experience every moment? To find grace in the mundane? If we are constantly seeking that which we don't have before first acknowledging the abundance and grace that resides within our own lives, we set ourselves up for disappointment. At some point, we’ll look back and realize that while we were striving for the future, we missed our present and thus, our life. Recognizing the abundance in your life exactly as it is sets you up for being able to recognize joy when the future comes to pass.

Christi Daniels is a Self-fulfillment Mentor and fierce ally for women who've lost touch with themselves, their dreams, and their desires. Connect with her at christidaniels.com.


F E AT U R E D A R T I S T

Danielle Schmitt Danielle’s piece, “Winged Messengers," uses a feather motif to represent the communication we can receive from the ethereal realm if only we remain aware of and open to its presence. Meet Danielle on Instagram at @helixis7185

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Ar t & Design

Fine Ar t | Graphic Design | Illustration

arabesqueartdesign.com

instagram.com/kirstenmarieart

Stor y teller | Ar tist

Ar tist | Mother | Dreamer | Wanderer

w w w.stor yartbydanielle.com

w w w.dayinthelifeunstill.com

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Wild + free photography ser ving DC + Mar tha's Vineyard

Personal Chef & Cooking Instructor ser ving Denver, CO

beccaolcott.com

itsjustfoodllc.com

F I N E A RT + GR A PHIC DESIGN

Fine Ar t | Graphic Design

On-location & at-home lifestyle photography

instagram.com/rowena.art.design

sarahannfowlerphotography.weebly.com

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C A L L I G R A P H Y by @ P A P E R A N D F E R N , P H O T O by @ L I F E U N S T I L L

Joy through Grace  

November 2016

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