Holiday | 2012

It's here!

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Our first holiday issue has arrived! We're crazy about the stunning photography, like our cover photo by Carmyn Joy, the rich and delicious recipes, the fun crafts, and the touching personal stories. Now we're off to enjoy this special time of year with the people we love  (and maybe eat some dumplings). Thank you to all our wonderful contributors. You have made the holidays very special for us!

Click here to read the latest issue.

And happy holidays to you all!

Gobble Gobble!

Wishing you all a very happy and delicious Thanksgiving!
We're thankful for readers like you!


"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity.... It turns problems into gifts, failures into success, the unexpected into perfect timing, and mistakes into important events. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow."  Melody Beattie

A Journey Back to School by Allison Nimlos

Allison was one of our contributors for our Fall issue. She curated a fun list of back-to-school items on page 14. What you didn't get to see (due to our layout and space issues) was her story of her own journey back to the classroom. We so appreciate our contributors opening up and sharing their stories with us, so we wanted to make sure we featured it here on the blog! Thanks, Allison!

Photo of U.C. Berkeley by Camilla

Photo of U.C. Berkeley by Camilla

After five years away from the classroom, I'm heading back to school to pursue a new dream career in diabetes education. I have lived with type 1 diabetes for 18 years, and there's something very special about helping others who live with the same disease. It's like helping a family member! I know my future work will be very rewarding, but, in the meantime, it means a lot of learning and preparation! 

To do that, I'll enroll in nursing school in a year or so after I complete some prerequisite courses. I'm very excited to start working toward a lifelong goal that I have been afraid to pursue, but I'm also very nervous about all the work it will take. It's one of the reasons I've waited so long to pursue this career. For the past five years, I've worked in public relations and journalism, so my world has revolved around words. Now, heading into nursing and diabetes education, my head will be swirling with biology, chemistry, and math. It's a whole new world! 

The biggest differences, in my opinion, will be the lack of external motivation. I’ll have teachers giving me assignments, but I won’t have a boss checking in on me, and I won’t have coworkers working next to me. I’ll see my classmates for a few hours while in class, but then off we go! There also isn’t a common mission that my classmates and I share other than passing the class. Being so independently driven to do well is going to be very different from the workplace. 

My days will no longer be confined to a 9-5 structure, so time management is a big priority. I’m excited to have my day broken up into chunks of time, but I’ll need to keep my social media addiction in check! Balance is the name of the game as I try to get a handle on my new class schedule, math, biology and chemistry homework, freelance assignments, health and fitness, and, of course, spending time with my husband and friends! I hope there are enough hours in the week for all I’m committed to!

Are any of you in school or thinking about going back? We'd love to hear your stories. Share in the comments!

{Live} Add a little bit of romance to your life

By Camilla

Romance:  a quality or feeling of mystery, excitement, and remoteness from everyday life

You know those moments in life that are, perhaps, totally normal but, for some reason, feel like all  the pieces click and you could be living in a wonderful movie and there should be background music or something? Yes? No? Am I in this alone? Okay, well, I live for those moments. And I'm constantly trying to create more of them. I have lists and lists in my journals of little ways to make my life more romantic, and today, I'm sharing a few with you. 

Photo by Carmyn Joy, one of our Holiday issue contributors!

Photo by Carmyn Joy, one of our Holiday issue contributors!

1. Light some candles.

Do not underestimate the power of candlelight. Candles instantly create a charming and romantic setting. Whether you're hosting a dinner party or just enjoying a night alone with a cup of tea, candlelight will instantly up the level of romance. They are a worthy investment, and the pricier ones will last longer. I love this one from Anthropologie, but I also keep a bag of tea lights on hand at all times. And if you're feeling crafty, make your own! Check out the tutorial on page 18 of our Fall issue. 

2. Dive into a novel.

If the real world is bringing you down, get lost in a good book. Grab your favorite blanket, find a cozy chair, and choose a story that will make you smile. I recommend The Alchemist.

3. Turn on music, and get in the kitchen.

Seriously, this always works for me. A little Billie Holiday in the background, and I dance my way around the kitchen. I love cooking, but sometimes it feels like a chore instead of a joy. The music helps me to slow down and savor the process of chopping and mixing to create something delicious. Also, wear a cute apron. I don't know what it is but as soon as I tie one on, everything clicks. I love this one. 

4. Bring on the bubbles.

Well, actually I'm referring to bubble baths, but, now that I think about it, a glass of bubbly in a bubble bath would be ideal. I don't have a tub right now, but when I did, my favorite thing to do would be to slap on a face mask and spend a little quiet time in the tub. Sometimes I would play music; sometimes I'd read a book or a magazine. Either way, that alone time was awesome. Putting yourself first sometimes is totally necessary and allows you to keep looking at the world through a positive light. Make sure to keep some good bath salts on hand! 

5. Go on a coffee date.

Go with your significant other, a friend, a family member, or even by yourself. Conversing over steaming cups of coffee, tea, or cocoa with pastries in hand is one of my all-time favorite things to do. And I believe that good conversation is one of the most special things we can experience. It may seem obvious, but often I find that weeks have gone by without a coffee date. And a lot of times, an hour in a cute cafe is all you need to feel better about life. Finding a local spot that you love and cherish is totally romantic. You'll feel like you're living in a wonderful film each time you ask for your usual order and sit at your usual table.

How do you bring a little romance into your life?