festivals · relaxation

Weekend Shenanigans

Happy Friday, sweethearts! Yes, another weekend is upon us, and I, for one, am ecstatic! It’s been a hectic week and I’m ready to leap headfirst into the weekend! Also, Monday is a holiday (Columbus Day), so I’ll have an extended weekend. Let’s all do a dance for having an extra day off!

As it turns out, this weekend is extremely popular for Virginia festivals: I counted six festivals in Richmond and the surrounding areas. I have so many options: I don’t know where to start! If you’re in the area, the Richmond Times Dispatch has a list of all of the October festivals going on this weekend.

Saturday evening, I’ll be checking into a hotel and enjoying a change of scenery. I won’t be venturing far, but it will be nice to relax in a space that isn’t so stimulating. As much as I love my loaded-down bookshelves, I enjoy taking a break from looking at them LOL!

Aside from this weekend’s festivals, I should have enough time to get deep into the October book selection and work on the next post in the Preparing for 2018 series. I may even have enough time to squeeze in another vintage movie. The last time I watched an old movie, I saw “Gang Smashers” (I can’t wait to tell you all about that one! It’ll be in another post, pinkie swear!). But I still have to watch “Sepia Cinderella” and “Hell’s Angels“, so maybe this weekend will be a good time to squeeze in another movie.

For now, enjoy a couple of screenshots of the gorgeous Nina Mae McKinney in “Gang Smashers“. And be sure to get out and ENJOY YOUR WEEKEND! These are the perfect fall weekends that we’ll be longing for when winter comes. So SAVOR them, and have some fun!


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Nina Mae McKinney in “Gang Smashers”






food · relaxation

Vegan Pea Soup Recipe

As the seasons change, I find myself reaching for more comfort: less light and airy experiences, more warm, full-bodied pleasures. This desire for comfort comes in all forms, from clothing I wear, to conversations with friends, to foods I choose to eat.

It occurred to me that I was reaching my “comfort” period when I stumbled across a bag of frozen peas and decided to whip up a batch of pea soup. I love how light yet filling this soup is: it really is a perfect meal for the fall. I ate it with garlic knots and a small glass of white wine on the side. To me, the lightness of peas – a summer vegetable – contrasts well with the heartier feel of this soup. Some people add mint to their version but I choose to omit mint: that herb feels very “summery” to me, and that wasn’t the feel I was going for.


I don’t frequently post recipes, but I think this one is worth the share. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Pea Soup Recipe

  • 1 bag of frozen peas
  • Top of one leek, washed and chopped
  • 1/2 cup yellow onions, chopped
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable spread (I use Earth Balance)
  • 1 cup water
  • Salt, pepper and dried chives to taste
  • Vegan sour cream (as garnish)

Melt vegetable spread in a medium pot, then add leek tops and onions. Saute for five minutes until translucent and fragrant. Add vegetable broth and water, and bring to a boil. Add bag of peas, and cook for 3 to 5 minutes. Turn off heat and allow soup to cool for at least 15 – 20 minutes.

Pour cooked peas and broth into a blender, and blend on low until smooth. If the soup has cooled down too much, return to pot and reheat over low heat. Pour soup into serving bowls and sprinkle black pepper, salt and dried chives onto each serving. If desired, put a dollop of vegan sour cream on top of each bowl.

Serves 4

life curation · relaxation

My Desk Altar

Happy Tuesday, dear friends! I wanted to share the space that has helped refresh and restore me, even when I’m hard at work.

When I transitioned into my dream job last year, I was determined to make the best of it (one of these days, I’ll tell the story of how I landed this job). I was really maintaining my positivity and wanted nothing more than to create a much healthier environment than what I’d experienced in previous positions.

So I brainstormed how to best create my ideal workspace. And thus, my desk altar was born.


No, I don’t actually worship at this altar. In fact, it’s mainly trinkets from my travels and memorabilia from previous positions. It’s a tribute to where I’ve been, and all of the magnificent experiences that have made me the woman that I am. I wanted a sacred space that was infused with positive energy: indeed, even the items from previous jobs were items that brought back good memories.

I started a practice to help set my day on a positive note. I would think about someone that inspired me and I’d search on Google for quotes that were attributed to him or her. Then, I’d write the quotes on small, ornate notepaper, and place it on the altar. Whenever I’d hit a low point during my week, I’d look through the quotes and it would be an instant mood lifter. I’d also flip through my “Joy in Every Moment” book and find a passage or two that spoke to me.

Admittedly, I didn’t need this mood lifting practice often. In fact, the only thing that I can recall making me feel less-than-delighted with my new position was the fact that I missed my old teammates and felt kind of isolated. Other than that, my position was interesting enough and fulfilling enough to keep me happy most of the time.

Since I believe that our spaces should reflect our ever-changing selves, I’ll be updating my desk altar soon. When I’ve finished adding/removing/rearranging items, I’ll be sure to post an updated photo.

Do you all have altars or sacred spaces? Or do you have practices that help you get into a positive headspace? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!


Holiday Weekend Diversions

Well, as Labor Day approaches, I thought I’d be ready to go out and have some fun, exploring Washington DC and catching up with friends.

Unfortunately, that won’t happen. I caught a cold and I feel like I’ve been hit by a moving vehicle.



(image courtesy of DIYSolarPanelsV)

So I’ll lay low instead, and rest. I’m actually overdue for a few low-key days: my work demands have increased and I won’t be able to get away and unwind until after the new fiscal year begins.

I therefore decree this Labor Day weekend my “Staycation”. I have several lazy-day activities planned, though, if I’m feeling better by Sunday, I may take a stroll in a nearby park (nature is restorative, after all). But until I’m feeling better, I’ll choose to rest up and lay low.

For starters, I’m going to finish reading “Outliers” so that I can post my review sometime in the next week or so. I’m also planning on doing something that I RARELY do: I’m going to watch some movies.

Don’t get me wrong: I absolutely love movies. But after sitting at a desk, and sitting on a commuter van, the last thing I want to do is to sit for 2+ hours and watch a movie. But since I’m going to be in bed anyway, I figured a couple of movies could be fun.

I still won’t watch a long movie, though. I’m going to check out some vintage movies at the Internet Archives website. This site features movies with outdated copyrights that are now part of the public domain. I love seeing the styling and elegance of vintage actresses.

The movies I plan to watch are Gang Smashers, Sepia Cinderella, and Hell’s Angels, because Nina Mae McKinney, Sheila Guyse, and Jean Harlow are EVERYTHING.

Oh yeah, I’ll probably also look at some YT videos and start writing up reviews for the items I ordered and tried out recently.

Hmm. . . As I look at it, my weekend doesn’t look very “restful” at all LOL! My “busy” habit is admittedly hard to break. But I’ll pace myself and not overdo it. After all, I need to feel better.

I hope you all are having a fun, fantastic holiday weekend! Make sure that you go out and do something extra fun!