1 Book a Month / January

I'm talking a lot lately about the goals I set for myself this year, as January now comes to a close, and I am finding it hard to believe that it has already been a month since I really organized those goals and started making them concrete. I am happy with my progress so far on all of them! And I am even more happy with the fact that I made them in the first place. One of those goals was bringing myself to read at least one book a month all year long. It seems small, and it is. I am the type of person who tends to hold onto a book for as long as possible, and as much as I want to break this habit so I can start to make real progress on my mile long to-read list, I don't want wear myself out. I enjoy taking my time with stories. I prefer to give myself a few days of refresh to mull things over and think back on the book as a whole before I move onto something else. I immerse myself entirely into what I read, obsessing about it even (especially) when it is over, so I find this step important to my reading. I know some people enjoy pouring through book after book after book, but this is what works for me.

That is where my idea for this post series came from. It is purely for my benefit, as it will allow me a concrete place to organize my ideas and feelings concerning a story before discarding it for the next. While I may very well read more than one book a month, I want a space to remember my favorites and share a bit of review, too. Although this month, I will be skipping this step. Last week, I finally brought myself to finishing the 5th novel in the A Song of Ice and Fire series by George RR Martin, A Dance with Dragons. I had been reading this novel since November (I know, ridiculous), limiting myself to two chapters a night because I didn't want to finish. I also took a small break from it during the holidays, as I didn't have the energy to keep up with everything going on in it.

A Song of Ice and Fire is a very involved and complicated series, with many story lines and countless characters. The 4th and 5th books were split between two sets of these characters but over the same timeline. So, starting this book was a bit like going back in time in the story and getting different perspectives (and many new stories and a few new characters). About 3/4 of the way through, Martin begins to bring all the characters back in. A bit exhausting to keep up with, but well worth it. Writing a review here, though, I don't know where I would begin; especially because this is a series. I also do not want to give away any spoilers to my readers who may be interested in this series or who are reading it already but are not yet to where I am. Just know I am happy to be finished with it (finally), despite the fact that I had been putting it off because the next novel The Winds of Winter still isn't out. And know that it was so so so so good. Ugh. I only got mad at George for killing people a few times.

What are you reading lately? Any recommendations?
I've already started, and am liking, Ancillary Justice.
xx Emorie

Learning Happy & Healthy: An Introduction to the Series

Last summer I was arguably in the greatest physical shape I have yet experienced. I had made my lifestyle into one that was active, happy, and fulfilling. I ate incredibly well and fresh, too, but I still enjoyed pizza and ice cream (as everyone should). It was a lifestyle I loved and flourished in, but it wasn't one that necessarily came easily. It took articulate, small, and well thought out steps to achieve, but it did eventually became habitual. I wish I was the type of person that naturally sought out activity, challenged myself physically, took care of myself mentally, and always picked healthy food first. As an introvert who struggles with anxiety and depression, I may very well be the opposite. It very easy for me to slip out of these habits, despite the fact that they make me feel good. And I did slip.

I came to the realization the other day, while I was standing among pine trees and filling my lungs with fresh mountain air, that it is simply silly to not take care of myself. I don't know how else to put it. I deserve nothing less than to actively care for myself and to seek out feeling my best every single day. My body deserves attention and nourishment and strength. I deserve to feel strong, healthy, happy, and confident because of my efforts.

You may remember that I made it a goal this year to create an integrative schedule to get moving. If you've been a longtime reader of Oh Whimsical Me, I'm sure you remember that last summer I participated in a fitness program, called Revolt Fitness, for 12 weeks. I documented my journey and experience here in exchange for free access to the complete program. This included meal guides, workout schedules, new daily workout videos, and a supportive and interactive online community. Before I was contacted to participate in the program, I had really embraced yoga, Pilates, and even did cardio a few times a week— so integrating this program was simple; especially since the Revolt workouts were all designed to complete at home in little time. I am all about workouts that I can do from anywhere with little equipment.

But starting from scratch again is always difficult; I kept putting off getting back into working out knowing how out of shape I had gotten. It was easy to discourage myself, knowing all the hard work I had to put in before and realizing I had fallen back into unhealthy habits. That is why it is important to start small. My goal is to take some of the important aspects I learned from Revolt (and the parts that I loved), add lifting and toning twice a week, and mix everything in with yoga and flexibility building. I am happy to say to that I am already well on my journey and have really started to integrate these things back into my everyday. I miss being fit and feeling strong, confident, and highly focused. But I will get there again. And I want to share my journey with you.

The Learning Happy & Healthy series will be a monthly or bi-monthly post featuring topics such as:
+ my workout from home tips
+ my favorite workouts
+ recipe suggestions
+ planning meals ahead
+ body image and body morphism
+ self love
+ mental health care
+ tips for managing stress
As well as many other topics, I'm sure. Of course, I can only speak from my own experience and the knowledge I have gained, as I am not a expert (or a professional) on any of these topics.

I'm excited to continue my journey and share a bit of it with you. Look for the first edition soon!
xx Emorie

Cuddly Cacti Feature

The lovely Dus of Cuddly Catci was kind enough to interview me and feature me on here blog today!  She asked some great questions and I had lots of fun answering them. Be sure to check it out and maybe learn a few new things about me, just for kicks. Dus is one of my very favorite blogging buddies, so be sure you check out her great blog and beautiful fair trade shop, too!

xx Emorie

We Found The Blue Sky!

It has been extremely gloomy for far too long here in Boise with the inversion that has settled over the valley. It has been over a week since we have seen even a glimpse of the sky. Day after day the forecast says clear and sunny, but all that we are experiencing is gross grey smog. I can't remember the inversion ever being this bad or sticking around this long in the winter before. It is definitely rubbing off on all of us — wanting nothing but to stay grumpily indoors. I'm now positive that the only reason this cough of mine is still barely lingering is due to this gross air.

Yesterday I decided we'd had enough and it was time to breathe some fresh air again and get outside somewhere were we would enjoy it. We made the hour drive up to Idaho City and it was well worth it. Breaking through that thick grey and seeing the sun again was like waking up from a week long depression induced slumber. I'm thinking a lot of other folks from Boise had the same idea of a Sunday drive in search of sunshine because Idaho City was packed full of people and their pups walking around enjoying the weather. Some of them were even enjoying ice cream cones!

We ventured 20 miles further up the highway, with the hopes of driving up a scenic overpass backroad to a secluded hiking trail. But the further we drove on, the deeper the snow piled quickly. The road was completely covered in multiple feet of snow with no way for a vehicle to trench though so we headed back to town in search of a simpler trail. We ended up walking the airport loop; an easy, casual trail that followed along the small airstrip up there, winding peacefully through thick pines. I cannot tell you how much of a treat it was. The breathing was easy and the sunshine felt like gold on my skin. We may have wandered off trail a bit, not wanting our hike end. If I had not been focusing on balancing on the ice and snow, I would of taken a video of Pippin happily hopping in and out of the snow piles. That pup couldn't get enough of the adventure, fresh air, and fun in powder form.

Looking back through these pictures today while peering out my window at the thick grey inversion is a little heartbreaking. I'm just happy we were able to treat ourselves yesterday and I'm crossing my fingers for a storm to come through and blow this yuck away. My lungs will be happy when it clears.

Hoping you are well,
xx Emorie

Kitty Phone Sleeve DIY

You're probably asking yourself, "What in the world is a phone sleeve?" That's fine; I'm fairly sure I just made up the term moments ago. I upgraded to a smartphone a few months back and have been so happy with the iPhone 5c I now call mine. I was so happy Apple finally made a more affordable option with their phones. I feel much more comfortable carrying a plastic device around; at the same time I don't feel shorted on style or efficiency. It is still a great device. But I like that it is a little cheaper; I feel more comfortable not having a case on it all the time. In fact, if I'm being honest, I don't ever put a case on this phone. There are times when I would like it to have a little extra padding and protection, though, like when I toss it in my purse with other items.

That's where the phone sleeve idea came from— I wanted an extra little compartment to slide my phone into before putting it in my purse, that would keep it a little more safe. I made it from some fabric scraps I had lying around. It's even got a plushy fuzzy inside, to protect the screen and give it a nice polish every time I slide the phone in and out. And I made it resemble a kitty... because I could.

See how I created this simple kitty inspired phone sleeve below.


Supplies needed: fabric scraps (I used an old sweater and a very plushy fabric), embroidery thread, sewing machine, two small round buttons, one small heart shaped button, wire, velcro, fabric scissors, E6000 glue

  1. Measure your phone/device and cut a pice of fabric that is twice as long the device plus 2 1/2 inches for the front flap, and leave space for a seam on the sides. My phone is roughly 5 inches by 3 inches, so I cut a piece of fabric ~12 1/2 inches by 3 1/2 inches.
  2. Lay the side of the fabric that you want to show on the front face down on the table. Cut out a piece of plush fabric the length of your phone and as wide as the piece you already cut out (5 inches by 3 1/2 inches). Pin this piece to the long piece you laid face down. Sew the plush fabric onto the longer piece.
  3. Fold the long piece up and sew along the sides, creating a pocket. There should be 2 1/2 inches of overhang. Leave this for the flap. Trim the excess fabric and turn the pocket into itself, turning it right side out. The plush fabric should be on the inside of the pocket now. 
  4. Fold, pin, and sew the overhang you left for the flap into a pointed shape. 
  5. To create the ears, cut small rectangles (~1 inch by 2 inches) and fold into triangles. Cut off excess ends.
  6. Sew on coordinating fabric, if desired, for the insides of the ears. Glue the ears onto the back of the sleeve using E6000 glue.
  7. With embroidery thread, stitch on buttons for eyes and a heart button for a nose. For whiskers, if desired, cut three pieces of wire into equal length. Thread these wires through the back of the flap, through the embroidery thread used to stitch on the nose button. Glue in place with E6000 glue.
  8. Cover and secure the whiskers further by cutting a piece of fabric to fit on the back of the flap and over the exposed stitches and wires and glue. Finish by gluing a velcro closure onto the sleeve, to secure the flap and keep it closed. 
All done! A kitty phone sleeve to add an extra layer of protection and an extra little bit of cute.
xx Emorie

Loungewear: A Cozy Night In

I recently started linking up with Nicole from Gypsy in Jasper for her What to Wear feature and it was lots of fun! There are so many lovely ladies linking up there every few weeks, be sure to check it out. I had every intention of sitting this linkup out (I've been so sick and so un-photogenic) but when I realized the tutorial I was going to be posting today just wasn't ready, I was pretty excited to see that the linkup prompt was 'Cozy Night In.' This prompt couldn't have come at a better time, although I should probably title my post Cozy Week In if we're keeping things honest around here. I was hit with the flu, and hit hard, so it is easy to assume that loungewear has been my second skin lately.

Regardless of how many days and nights I have spent in lately, this is an outfit I love and that I love wearing. Maybe it's the pattern in the leggings, but it's one of those comfy outfits that makes me feel a little more put together than I really am. It looks nice without trying. Like, I would totally just pull on a pair of boots and a coat and go run some errands in this. If I must. But it is definitely more suited for curling up next to Pippin with a good book and a mug of tea.

Outfit Details
Sweater: Kohl's (similar)
Shirt: Forever 21 (similar)
Leggings: gift
Socks: Old Navy (similar)

Do you see that smile up there? I am feeling 100% better today. Yes, I'm still having the occasional coughing fit, but I'm no longer viewing life from underneath a stack of blankets. Or behind thick heavy googles. The blankets were real, the googles were not. Anyone else feel hazy and strange and unfamiliar when sick? Like you're viewing/experiencing everything from behind a thick veil? Being sick is weird, frustrating, and no fun. I am so happy to be feeling well rested and ready to get back to normal.

Expect a fun/simple DIY tomorrow and a recipe and lots of other things next week!
xx Emorie

Feel Better Inspiration

stay true / airy room / messy bun / yellow skirt / pretty nails / dance / passion 
The past week or so has been pretty hazy from my perspective. I am still sick, and while I am powering through a family size bag of Ricola honey lemon throat drops, I am finally on the mend it seems. I've been having trouble lately finding the energy or inspiration to get much done, so I do apologize that things have been rather quiet and empty on this blog. It is always so frustrating when you have plans and goals but are held back by things out of your control; in this case my physical state and health.

In the meantime, Will has been taking good care of me and I have been taking plenty of care of myself too — in the form of long sleeps, hot showers, tea and yummy soups, lots of reading and netflix, and even a fresh coat of paint on my fingernails. I'm not letting this flu take anymore from me!

I'm pulling inspiration from everywhere I can and looking forward to getting things back to normal around here. I haven't forgotten about you!

Here's to healthy, fresh, airy days ahead.
xx Emorie

Sweater Dress and Moonlight

Story time; ready, go! I've been absent here all week and maybe your curious as to why. Well, I'll tell you why regardless. I've been terribly sick. I don't remember the last time I was this sick. It wasn't anything too serious: sore throat, way too much mucus, migraine, body aches, bit of a cough. But Tuesday I had the worst fever of my life (at least that I can remember). Fevers like that are zero fun and actually a bit scary. Will had me bundled up in bed beneath the majority of blankets we own, with pillows piled around me and a pup snuggled close. It is a good thing he takes such good care of me because I could not even form coherent thoughts. And talking hurt too much. I'm pretty sure the past two/three days was just me under lumpy blankets making unrecognizable moans and grunts and snorts and coughs. And so much soup and so much tea. The good news is I'm feeling a lot better today so I can finally share these pictures (taken several days ago) with you.

The weather lately has been exceptionally warm for this time of year and it is so so lovely. We're talking the mid 40s people! That's light jacket/sweater weather! Crazy. I think it is perfect and basically want to spend all my time outside. The pups agree. We decided to take them for a walk at sunset but by the time we got to the park it was already fairly dark. The pups didn't mind much, and I didn't either because the moon was out and bright and shining beautifully over the frozen pond.

Outfit Details
Coat: Old Navy, last year (similar)
Scarf: gift from Will, from Fred Meyer
Sweater Dress: gift from Will last year, from Kohl's
Polka Dot Tights: gift
Flats: 1318 Fashion

I hope you are all well and healthy. I had a lot planned this week, but I'm still going to be taking it easy for a few more days until I feel 100% again. Expect some craftiness soon!
xx Emorie

A Freeing Feeling

Saturday morning included a little (slightly) spontaneous drive. I woke up before the sun and let Pippin out into the cold to do his business but I couldn't help standing there with the door wide open waiting for him. Beautiful thick rain clouds were rolling in and the breeze was crisp and had a slight bite to it (in the best way). My pup stood there with his face to the sky filling his lungs with the clean cold unfamiliar scent and I did the same. But to me, it smelled like the north and it felt like home. Once we were fully awake and showered, I bundled up with my wet hair and we headed out. We grabbed some almond milk hazelnut lattes (yum) from the Lucky Perk near our house, turned on some Bon Iver and drove with no destination in mind while it drizzled. I may have even rolled down my window at some point. It was short and sweet and freeing.

xx Emorie

Little Changes

Please excuse any mess you may encounter here over the next few hours. I am uploading a new template today! A few new features and a fresh pretty new design is coming shortly!

If you're here and everything looks in order, please let me know what you think!
xx Emorie

Beanie, Dots, Dinosaurs

Beanie, Dots, Dinosaurs. Is there a better combination? This outfit could also be called A Whole Bunch of Things I Received For Christmas, but I thought the first a tiny bit catchier. I'm lucky; quite a few of the people who love me have exceptional taste. That, or they know just what I like. The beanie was a gift from my brother, the sweater and scarf from my mother, and the tights from my sister. I love them all, and it was a coincidence that I wore it all together and didn't notice until making this post.

Today was perfect, weather-wise, if you ask me. We got a fresh heaping dump of snow over night, the clouds stayed out for the majority of the day (so the snow didn't melt), it was warmer than it has been (a high of 36 degrees, woohoo!), and now that the sun is setting a thin fog is forming. I wore this outfit out for a long list of errands today. Will and I came back home and treated Pippin to a quick walk (because the sun was already setting) around the neighborhood and he shot these for me. That pup of mine sure loves running around in the powdery snow. Do you see that happy face!?

Outfit Details
Coat: Oldnavy, last year (similar) see it here, here, and here too.
Beanie: gift, bought here on amazon
Scarf: gift, not sure where from
Sweater: Forever 21 (similar / similar / similar <--- I want this one!)
Dress: Very old. Tag says Love Tease. See it here too.
Tights: Target
Boots: Target (similar)

I've got a pup curled up next to me (and the space heater) that sure looks like he could use some snuggles.
Stay warm, lovelies.
xx Emorie