May Flowers Playlist

Hey, friends!

It’s been a hot second since I shared one of my Spotify playlists with y’all. However, because spring is finally in full force and because I’m totally digging this playlist, I figured now’s a good a time as any. It’s full of (mostly) alternative goodness and is ideal for evenings spent on the patio, sippin’ on sauvignon blanc (or whatever your warm-weather beverage of choice happens to be). I may or may not be doing so right now. ;)

I hope you enjoy it!

xoxo,

Lauren

Forgotten Longwood Garden Photos and a Lesson in Extreme Gratitude

Today, I took on the daunting task of sorting through thousands of photos and videos. Deciding which to keep and which to toss was arguably the most time-consuming, emotionally-draining aspect of the whole endeavor, but the mere act of backing everything up takes time as well. Although I had been dreading this task for months, it swiftly morphed into a lesson of extreme gratitude. The highlight reel of my life quickly reminded why we collect memorabilia in the first place.

On a day-to-day basis, I find it so incredibly easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Most of the time, I can’t help but feel like I’m simply going though the motions. However, after sifting through what felt like an endless collection of photo and video footage, an overwhelming sense of gratitude washed over me. My heart felt like it was about burst. I mean, seriously, how lucky am I to have lived so much life in my short 29 years? Better yet, how lucky am I to have done so with such incredible people by my side? The best part of all is that I’m just getting started.

In the midst of re-living so many precious memories, I came across a group of photos that I had intended on sharing but ended up completely forgetting about. They were taken at Longwood Gardens on Mother’s Day of last year. I figured, better late than never, I’d share them with you guys. If Longwood Gardens is accessible to you and you have never been, do yourself a favor and visit its beautiful grounds this spring. If not, please enjoy some of my favorites from the day.

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Cold Brew Coffee

My love affair with cold brew has spiraled out of control. It’s just so dang delicious and perfect for the warmer months. What is cold brew, you ask? For starters, cold brew is not iced coffee. Iced coffee is traditionally brewed coffee that is chilled after the fact. Cold brew, on the other hand, brews in the fridge.

Eliminating heat from the brewing process results in a less acidic, smoother, and naturally sweeter cup of coffee. It’s naturally sweet enough, in fact, that I don’t feel the need to add sugar. Let’s just say that is not the case with traditionally-brewed coffee.

The best part about cold brew is that it’s extremely simple and cost-effective to make at home. Now, I don’t have to rely on my local coffee shops for a cup of joe that I can easily prepare on my own. From now on I’ll venture over only when my heart desires a fancy latte or the like. Enjoy!

What you’ll need:

  • 1.5 cups ground coffee
  • 6 cups filtered water

What you’ll do:

  • Combine coffee and water in an airtight container; store in the refrigerator overnight
  • Strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth; discard the cheesecloth and grounds
  • Pour the liquid into a 1 liter bottle; store in the refrigerator

Pro tip: Make ice cubes from your cold brew because nobody likes watered-down coffee. ;) I got this mold from Amazon.

Chanticleer Garden

Yesterday, I had a wonderful Sunday with my mom and brother. We started the day off at Chanticleer Garden in Wayne, PA. It was my first time visiting, and it quickly became no wonder that it’s touted as one of the loveliest gardens in the world. After a yummy picnic on the estate lawn, we aimlessly walked around the garden’s 28 acres.

After spending almost five hours at Chanticleer, we worked up an appetite and headed to nearby From the Boot for delicious Italian food. The fresh-cut gnocchi was easily my favorite item that we tried.

Lastly, we ended our day by seeing The Jungle Book in 3D. It was fantastic! For those of you who have seen it, can we talk about those baby wolves?!?!? [Insert heart eyes emoji here.] Also, since when does Regal have reclining seats? Those things are a game changer.

Of course, I took countless photos at Chanticleer Garden and would like to share my favorite shots with you. To narrow them down to a reasonable number proved to be a challenge since there was beauty everywhere. I hope you enjoy them!

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May ’16 Alternative Playlist

Happy Saturday, guys! Let me just cut to the chase and say that, if you’re an alternative music fan, this playlist is everything. Like, I’m obsessed with every single song on it. It includes all of my favorite alternative songs as of late and, in my humble opinion, includes the perfect mix of upbeat and mellow. Feel free to let me know of any new(ish) songs/artists I might be missing out on. Enjoy! :)