New Appreciation for Spring

I have always had a favorite season. Spring was never it. Fall and Summer were the seasons I appreciated most. I just love the warmth of Summer and the beautiful colors of Fall. Spring and Winter I had considered to be gross. Everything looked dead, the Canadian geese get aggressive, and sandy, salty debris covered the ground. Snow only looked pretty for a brief moment before cars drove in it, dogs peed in it and kids turned it into sad melty piles.

This Spring though has changed my feelings. The trees right now have so many hues of green mixed with beautiful pastel blooms and I can not seem to capture it in a photo (see my attempt below). It brings me the same joy that Fall foliage does. It is beautiful and jaw dropping.

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What do you love about each season? Or do you have a favorite season?

I Made Cake

I use to love baking a sharing my baked goods. I have missed it. It was a way to relieve stress at one point. Of course, then I was like, but I want to be healthy. Then I did not complete this blog post, ha!

I want to bake more because I really do still love it. I want to do more of the things I genuinely love. For instance, today I hiked with a friend and her dog for 4 hours and it was awesome! I love being outside.

We also talked about how my partner and I want to travel to Japan. When I remembered I did not complete this post I was doing more research on traveling to Japan and the things I want to do there. We might also do a Japanese lesson tonight.

Making cake may be a small thing compared to traveling to Japan, but I need to do all the things that bring me joy.

To Save Money or Buy Local

While I do want to support my local businesses sometimes I just do not want to pay $8.99 for good quality bread flour when I can get it for $3.75 on Vitacost. So what do you do?

There are many occasions where buying local saves me money. The local bakery near my work has mini Italian pastries for about $1 that will satisfy a sweet tooth quickly and my local ice cream shop charges only $2 for a half a pint of ice cream on a waffle cone. A local grocery store also has a member appreciation night where you get 10% your purchase. They also have good quality, local eggs for a reasonable price.

I mostly eat out at local places. We might go to Bread Co (A.K.A. Panera to the non-StL native) and my partner will go where ever the group goes for lunch on Friday. We have developed local restaurants that we love already, and still feel like there is so much left to try. I feel like my heart is with the local businesses.

Living in the Hudson Valley among many small townships, you meet the folks who own these places. You see them working in their own shop, you see them at local events, and at the grocery store or mechanic. Again, I feel as though my heart is with them.

However, my head is always thinking about my pocket book and wanting to buy a house one day. So the well rated dress with free shipping for $75 versus the $1000 dress in the Beacon boutique that looked good, but felt itchy all along the neckline was what I went for with our wedding. I have zero regrets. We were only slightly over budget because of a few last minute decor purchases (our wedding was about $3K).

I purchased most of the gifts locally, we used a local bakery for cupcakes, the venues were locally owned, etc. I am now feeling like it is just like with everything, its a balance. You can support local businesses, but never break the bank to do it. I just need to work on not feeling bad if it is not all local. Plus, you know most, if not all, of these local businesses are using Amazon.

Jet Lag Recovery

By my 6th trip abroad, I feel like I finally have a hang of recovering from jet lag. My first trip abroad was to England for work back in 2014 and I did not do well while there (so I felt like a rubbish employee) and the return to the states was equally as bad. I feel like it took a week to get back to myself.

This trip to Italy though was much better. When we arrived in Italy, after having slept most of the 7 hour flight over, we just kept ourselves moving until a reasonable hour of 8/9 PM to sleep. Then our first full day we had a structured 12 hour bus tour which kept us engaged, but allowed for a pisolino (nap) on the bus before our last stop. After that we were good for the rest of the trip. I remember catching a nap one day, but do what your body says it needs. My body said get the hell off your feet.

On the return to the states, we got out for a nice walk before heading to the airport since the flight was 9 hours. We each napped once on the flight toward the end. I will admit, we did have the complication of our plane not being able to connect to a gate for an hour and being detained for a bit because we had a unknown to be forbidden small salami in my bag, but when we made it home we slept well until our typical waking hour.

I napped once the day after travel and felt really good after a shower. Since then I have just been sleeping like normal. Going to bed at 10 PM and getting up at 6 AM. I did use melatonin supplements when I felt I might need them. I feel like if I take it an hour before bed, I get more restful sleep. I just needed to listen to what my body was telling me. It has just been SO much better this time.