Daily Delights

It is widely known that I’m a fan of all baked goods. From Lil’ Debbies to delicate home baked goods, I’m down to indulge. So when I find an unusually well baked sweet, I take note.

This morning I grabbed a piece of banana bread from a local coffee shop when I was there for a work meeting. It was the perfect balance of sweet and flavor. The bread was everything that the Great British Baking Show (which could have its own installment of Daily Delights) judges said it should be. There was something so warm and lovely about picking at the confection between sips of frothy latte and brainstorming. It’s amazing how the banana bread elevated the meeting into something special, allowing me to be fully present, except when I was internally thanking the universe for the bread.

What unexpectedly delectable baked good brings you delight?

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Daily Delights

In the age of delivery and Amazon Prime I’ve gotten into the habit of “one click orders” and then forgetting about them. I’ll think I need to order something, I get out my phone, and in one click, it’s on its way. Because it requires so little time and effort, I completely forget that I ordered something until I pull up to my house and see a package on my porch. It is utterly delightful to come home from a long day of work to find a new book waiting for me to crack open its spine or a few gold stacking rings that ache to be stacked. Sometimes I order items so frequently, I don’t know what I’m opening until I slide scissors across packaging tape. This, friends, is true joy. It immediately invokes the feeling of popping the tape off taut wrapping paper to reveal the hidden, unexpected treasure within. I can’t help but smile and perhaps express my jubilance by yelling, “Eeek!”

Ditching Diet Culture

My weight has constantly been in the back of my mind since I was 9 years old. I remember my cousin going on a diet around the age of 10. I was labeled by my elementary school peers as the “fat kid” around age 10. Since then I have struggled with the idea that weight directly equates to one’s worth in our society, but I didn’t know it. That’s one of the most insidious thing about diet culture: making us feel like our value is tied to our weight without us even knowing it.

I recently purchased this Intuitive Eating Workbook by Evelyn Tribole, MS, RDN and Elyse Resch, MS, RDN to help me further explore the idea that our weight is not tied to our value, morals, or character. As soon as I received it, I dove into the exercises geared at reminding us that our body knows when to eat, how much to eat, and what to eat. I didn’t realize how much diet culture plays into so may aspects of my life. From being insecure about what I order when out with other people to feeling like I’ll never be successful unless I lose weight. I’ve tried many a diet since high school which never lasts more than a few days. Which in turn made me feel like a loser.

Tribole and Resch’s book states that if diets were held up to the standard of the FDA like with medication, diets would never be approved. Diets are the only “medicine” that people don’t blame for not working, we blame ourselves instead. It’s not our fault, it’s the diet’s fault. We slave at the gym or deny ourselves the food we want because public health policy declared a war on obesity which has consequently turned us to a burgeoning diet industry which is valued at approximately $60 billion dollars a year. In short, rich white people are profiting off our hate for our bodies. If we hate our bodies, we will spend thousands and thousands of dollars attempting to make us feel whole and beautiful throughout our lifetimes. Makeup, diets, exercise programs, are sold to millions of people on the idea that whatever new product or fad diet will solve all of our problems. Have you ever told yourself “I’ll take that vacation when I lose weight”? Or “I will finally find love when I lose weight”?

This workbook has already helped me challenge beliefs that have held me back my entire life. Since I started the journey with this workbook, I have been able to get out from under the weight of my disdain for myself and my body. I’ve been on a journey of body positivity for the past five or so years, but this is really giving me some hard evidence to sink my teeth into. It’s okay that diets don’t work for me. It’s okay to eat donuts or candy or things that have been labeled “bad” foods. This idea has given me such freedom, and I’m fully embracing that. More like your aunt with weird boundary issues hugging the breath out of you. I’ve been waiting since I was 9 for this freedom, and I am ecstatic about it.

How has diet culture affected your life?

Warmly,

Maegan

Daily Delights

NYT Crossword Calendar: In college, I did the campus newspaper crossword religiously in research class with my left hand to stay awake. I now grab every copy of the Colorado Springs Independent in hopes of filling out the crossword puzzle in record time. My friends and family have caught on to my intense love for challenging word puzzles. For my birthday, M’s mom gave me this daily crossword calendar. It gives me great pleasure to drink my morning coffee and wake up my brain with a fresh puzzle. There’s something about the rhythm of reading the clues, filling in the boxes, and then crossing off the clue. When my life is chaotic, somehow it’s calming and reassuring that a crossword will greet me every day. I collect the puzzles on the days that I can’t fill one out, and I share those every so often with a dear friend who is an avid crossword geek like me. It makes me so happy to share the delight.

Thanks for reading!

Maegan

Introducing Daily Delights

I have tried many a gratitude boosting activity such as the 100 Happy Days Challenge, gratitude journaling etc. I used to make “Happy Lists” in high school while I was bored in band. With each exercise, I find myself in such a better mood and less likely to cynically interpret myself or my environment.

Recently on NPR Ari Shapiro interviewed Ross Gay the author of The Book of Delights in which he writes daily essays about something that brought him joy that day. In one essay he describes fireflies, in another he describes what he calls “reckless air quotes”. That term itself brings me immense delight.

Inspired by his book of essays, I will be starting a new segment called Daily Delights a la Ross Gay. I’ve recently been open to exploring the possibility that this blog should organically develop into something that is fresh and congruent with my current stage of life. Nothing is more intimate and honest than thoughts on things that delight me daily. I’ll try not to talk about my dog for every post, but no solid promises. I hope you enjoy!

Warmly,

Maegan

Photo Friday

Looking back on my most recent photos, I don’t seem to have many photos that don’t include my dog or cats. It’s been cold and snowy in Colorado for the past few weeks, so I’ve been cuddling up to the animals inside. This photo was taken amongst the many pet pics on a warm-ish February day. Long live days that give us a kiss of warmth to remind us what it feels like to be able to feel our toes. Or is it just my toes that are perma-numb during the winter?

Wishing you a sporadically warm day,

Maegan

Mantle Styling Refresh

Since moving into our house in November, we’ve been attempting to style our mantle in a way that genuinely reflects our personalities. A mantle is serious business, and I’ve never had one to decorate. So much pressure! We’ve put together many versions that we weren’t exactly happy with and then we subsequently changed. We spent hours picking through art pieces and prints at At Home (one of my favorite stores) and finally found a piece that would incorporate our personalities and the feel of the rest of our home. (The final decision was between this piece and a painting with two llamas on it. We both loved the llamas but felt it would be too juvenile for our “sophisticated” mantle. We decided to purchase the llama painting but hang it in our guest bedroom.) This is how the mantle came together, and I couldn’t be happier.

Thanks for letting me share!

Kindly,

Maegan

My Favorite Blogs

There are blogs that I’ve been reading for almost 10 years now, and then there are blogs that I’ve recently discovered and will be reading for the next 10 years. Here are a few of my absolute favorite blogs, old and new, to me at least:

  • A Beautiful Mess – This is the blog of all blogs in my eyes. The Queen of blogs. The Beyonce of blogs. I’ve read this one every day for about 10 years. I often dream that I’m working on their team. Can you see how far my fangirling goes for this blog? So good! A Beautiful Mess is founded by Elsie Larson and Emma Chapman, two sisters who covet everything homemade, vintage, crafty, colorful, and stylish. There are several writers who contribute to the blog which keeps their content steadily awe-inspiring, eye-catching, and fresh.
  • Under the Sycamore – I recently discovered this blog, and I find myself reading every post and then pausing afterwards to reflect on the amazing writing and perfect photography. Ashley writes about her six kiddos, her husband, and her life on several acres in Oklahoma. Her posts are so uplifting without trying too hard. Too many blogs (including mine, I think) try to be something they want to be instead of honoring who they are and where they are in their life’s journey. This blog is full of identity and voice and has me rethinking how I’ve structured this blog. My blog was originally about traveling, which made sense when I started it when I was 23 and making plans to teach English in Thailand. My life has developed into something different than I imagined at 23, and this blog has shown me the value of embracing my voice and where I am in my journey. Take a read for some relatable stories that hit you in the feels. I’m not crying, you’re crying!
  • Cupcakes and Cashmere – This is another one that I’ve read for 10 years. Over those ten years, it’s inspired me to elevate my fashion, entertaining, and home decor. It has morphed into a professional, fashion heavy blog. If you’re feeling in the mood for polished outfits and accessories, or if you want to find the latest in podcasts, restaurants in LA, and Netflix series, take a minute to discover this blog.

Photo Friday

Seattle

Seattle, Washington: one of my favorite places I’ve ever visited. Whether it’s the strong coffee, the still fashionable plaid shirts (yes!), or the high likelihood of stumbling upon live music around any corner, there’s always something wonderful to discover. I took this photo on my first trip to Seattle in 2012. It also happened to be my first solo trip. This was my view after hiking up to Kerry Park on a brisk winter’s day. The clouds parted just long enough for me to capture Mt. Rainier peeking through behind the famous Seattle skyline at sunset.

Currently Loving:

Taluah

Since M and I moved into our house, Taluah (pronounced like Kahlua) has been so much happier with all the room she has to sunbathe and con us into tummy rubs. I mean, look at that face.

2019 Pantone

TA DA, this is the 2019 Pantone color of the year if you haven’t heard. I’ve loved this color for, like, ever. I especially love Jessica Alba’s coral trousers paired with her long navy blazer. I may try to recreate this via thrift store magic.

Mom Rainbow

My mom and Aunt Paula were in town for a little over two weeks, so my cousin, Courtney and I took our moms to their first drag show. It was a brunch drag show on Family Day, so it was much, much tamer than your run of the mill drag show. This was a good way to let them get their feet wet in the queer pool without feeling like they were drowning. My mom was even lucky enough to be kissed by a Drag King named Phoenix. Phoenix, if you’re reading this, we loved you! Sorry I was awkward and looked down every time you shimmied up to the table.

Also, I’m loving my sign language class! I forgot how much of a geek I am when it comes to this kind of thing. I came home from my second class and told M that I forgot how alive I feel when learning. NERD ALERT. But seriously, formal education is my jam. And I’m meeting some really cool people I wouldn’t have met otherwise. Like, never in a million years would our paths have crossed. Connecting with new people while learning a whole new way to connect with people? Sign me up for LIIIIIIFE.

All my love,

Maegan