Friday, May 31, 2013

May in Review

So May is over. I feel like this past month has been slow, on the blog and in my personal life. Of course, it doesn't help that I have been sick for about half the month.

I'll be honest. I didn't do so well on my goals for May.

Hoop more (outside!) and work out more.
Halve my sugar intake. (Not that it's very high anyways)
Read. And then read some more.
Develop a story idea I have swimming in my head.
Keep the shop stocked with new items regularly.

I was hooping and working out more... and then I got sick. I have almost no energy for the past two weeks. I've tried to get in some crunches and stuff on the days I feel okay but everything tires me out really quickly. It sucks.

I did kind of do the second one. I have definitely consumed less sugar this month than I did in April. Hoping to get the amount down to almost nothing in the months to come.

I did read a bit. I started Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare and I am absolutely loving it so far. I really adore her two series. Good YA lit is a weakness for me.

I have been working on that story idea. Characters are swimming in my head and I have one of my main characters now which is a good start. Now I just need the main character. I wish she'd come to me already.

I failed at shop stuff this month. With my energy, so went my motivation and inspiration. I am hoping to get back to creating soon. There are a few gifts that need to be made for lovely people (ahem, Hollie) that will hopefully get my creative juice flowing.

Let's hope I do better in June, haha. Goals will be posted tomorrow.

Happy Friday everyone!

Manda Rave

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Lavender + Chamomile Bread Recipe

So awhile back I made this delicious lavender and chamomile bread for a full moon celebration. I have been meaning to share it but I kept forgetting. It's very flowery and sweet, and absolutely perfect for the springtime. I made it for a full moon rite, but this would be great to serve at (tea!) parties or just to share with friends when you visit. Or you can make a loaf and keep it all to yourself, I won't judge, haha.

As always, don't mind the bad quality. It's a phone picture that I cleaned up a bit in photoshop, but
there's only so much I can do.

3/4 cup milk (I used soy milk)
3 tbsp chopped lavender & chamomile buds (I got my chamomile from a teabag. Do what you've got to do! also feel free to mess around with this measurement for whatever you want to be stronger)
6 tbsp softened butter (margarine works fine)
1 cup sugar (I used slightly less than that but 1 cup sounds better)
2 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1.5 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

1. Preheat your oven to 325 and grease a 9x5 loaf pan.
2. Combine your milk and flowers in a saucepan over medium heat and bring it to a simmer. Once it's simmering, remove from the heat and let it cool while you move on to step 3.
3. Cream together the sugar and butter until smooth. Then beat in your eggs.
4. Combine your dry ingredients and add to the butter-sugar-egg mixture. Slowly pour your milk and flowers to the mixture and then mix until completely blended.
5. Pour into your pan and pop it in the oven!

This takes about 50 minutes to bake all the way through so it's a bit of a wait, but totally worth it, I promise.

note: for a sweeter treat, sprinkle some sugar on top before putting in the oven.

Let me know if any of you give it a try! I'd love to know how it turned out for you.

Manda Rave

P.S. Still sick. I thought I was getting better, but the sore throat is creeping back up. I don't know what is up with this, but neither me or my boyfriend are impressed. We're both going on being sick for 2 weeks. It's not a horrendous sickness, but enough to slow us down and leave us coughing 24/7. I hope you guys are in better shape than me!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

My heart is filled with gratitude.

Well, I realized I totally spaced and never made my normal Tuesday Teatime post for the day -oops. But that's okay, because instead I want to take the time to thank a very lovely lady for her amazing kindness and thoughtfulness. 

I have not known Hollie for very long but I can honestly say she is one of the sweetest people I have ever met and I am so happy that the blogging world has allowed me to connect with her. And I was blown away today when I opened a lovely little box that arrived at my door today to find so many wonderful things from this fantastic woman.

Hollie, this salve is so divine, it smells great and feels fantastic on my skin! And I cannot wait to try all these different teas and the bath salt. Healing, soothing, stress relief, focus -all the things I have needed help with lately you managed to find little remedies for and put in a box. I am blown away by how thoughtful this was. And I love the little pictures, they are going up on the wall soon so that I can look at them all the time.

If you don't follow Hollie's blog, In a Little Greenhouse, then you definitely should be. She is an absolute gem of a person!

Manda Rave

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Interior Inspirations

Home decor I have been over-the-moon about lately.

Images found on my Pinterest Board.

I believe that your home should be your sanctuary, and extension of your soul. Making your space comfortable and a reflection of yourself is important. I look forward to owning a house one day that I can decorate and design without the restrictions of rented place.

Manda Rave

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Stormy Afternoon

I have been hearing thunder on and off all afternoon and right now it is raining quite a bit. I don't mind storms once warm weather rolls around though and I love the sound of thunder and rain against the house. It scared Eli away from his window seat though and he kept looking at me as if there was something I could do about it. Silly cat.

I am feeling better than I have been. but this cough is persistent. I am not at the top of my game that's for sure. I really want to feel 100% again though because I miss working out and actually getting stuff done. 

On the upside though, I was lucky enough to be one of three winners in Marissa's last giveaway! I received my necklace from Laura today and I am absolutely in love with it. The packaging was so pretty and all the little business cards are just so pretty they'll probably end up on my wall. This is my first piece from Roots & Feathers but I am hoping it's not my last.

Don't mind the not to great quality of the actual picture. Like I've said before, my phone camera sucks, and storms don't provide the best natural lightning. 

I also got two little spray bottles in the mail which I am using to make another batch of sea-salt beachy hairspray and some natural spray in "shampoo" -I'll let you know the details of that experiment at a later point. Hopefully it goes well, since regular shampoo is leaving my hair feeling really greasy as of late, which is  usually the opposite of the problem I have. 

Manda Rave

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Tuesday Teatime

Well, this past week has been mostly me being sick. It started out as a sore throat and then developed into a chest cold which leaves me hacking up a lung every five minutes with my head feeling like it's in a cloud of fuzz. I'm feeling better now than before though, so there is that at least.

Tea of the Week: Iced Green Tea. Unfortunately hot tea has done nothing but irritate my throat so the only tea I've had is some home-brewed green tea, sweetened with honey and iced so that I can actually drink it. Mostly I've been drinking water though, about 10 glasses a day. One thing is for certain, I am a well-hydrated sick person.

Tumblr Finds
This is just absolutely beautiful.

This made me laugh.

gimme gimme gimme O:
And these are just incredible.

Window Shopping
Sabriel Adventure Dress - gypsy caravan play time piece
I love everything in this shop, especially this dress. It can be worn so many different ways!

Love this skirt from FreePeople.

Reading List
1. Rain's post You are burning, luminescent has got me thinking about what I see. Definitely go take a look at it.
2. This actually isn't anything to read, but is just too wonderful not to share. Just refresh for different beautiful and soothing sounds.
3. I love this little piece about selfies and why they're awesome (because they are!)

Your 20’s are your ‘selfish’ years. It’s a decade to immerse yourself in every single thing possible. Be selfish with your time, and all the aspects of you. Tinker with shit, travel, explore, love a lot, love a little, and never touch the ground. ―Kyoko Escamilla

Manda Rave

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Sick Again

This time I have a sore throat. I am definitely not enjoying it. The rest of me feels fine for the most part but it's hard to talk and unless I have a throat drop in my mouth it's hard to swallow. This should be a fun couple of days. I guess I am taking another break from my 30 Day Shred workout. Oh well.

My current feelings:
^A Very Potter Musical, if you didn't know :)

But I still have to go out so that I can ship an order and go food shopping. We're out of bananas and coffee filters which, in our house, essentially means the world is over, haha.

I hope everyone else is feeling better than me and enjoying their Saturday. It's beautiful out here and I hope it is where you are too.

Manda Rave

Thursday, May 16, 2013

I Am Grateful 5/16

found here.

Today has been better than yesterday. I slept in a little later than I wanted to but I woke up in a better mood.  Plus the sun has been out all day and it has gone back up to the 70s instead of the 50s like the last few days. Warm weather and sunshine does wonders for my mental state. Unfortunately, my boyfriend is not feeling well today though. I hope that he does soon so that we can both feel good on these beautiful spring days.

To try to kick my depressive mood in the butt I decided that today would be a good day to take the time to type out the things I am grateful for lately. When I hit a bump in my mental stability I tend to forget to be thankful for all that I have. I am trying to fix that.

Lately I am grateful for...

+Lovely blogger friends: Lottie, Angie, Hollie, & Megan -you are all so wonderful and I'm so glad to have met you. I wish we all lived close by so that we could gather for tea and craft pow wow.
+Chamomile tea, it's the only way I have been able to fall asleep lately.
+The Vampire Diaries. Sounds silly I know, but watching it helps me forget about being upset.
+My No Doubt Pandora station. Nothing like No Doubt, Sugar Ray, and The Cranberries to put a smile on your face.

Today has been a very productive day for me. I cleaned a good portion of the apartment -cleaned floors, vacuumed, washed dishes, cleaned the bathtub, emptied the trash, etc. I feel good about it. I also did my workout, poked around the jobosphere looking for some writing gigs, and have studied some of my Spanish. And the day isn't even over yet!

What are you grateful for lately?

Manda Rave

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Life Lately

Lately I have been in a constant back and forth between being motivated and making the changes that are necessary to my personal growth and healing, and feeling stagnant and mildly depressed. I feel stuck. I'm battling the feeling though. I have been working out everyday and that definitely helps and I am paying attention to everything I eat. 

I do have a short term tutoring job that will start soon though which is nice. It means a little extra money and a distraction a few times a week. I like to feel productive so that will certainly help. So will finishing organizing my books. I started but never finished it up and the room I make jewelry in looks like a book bomb went off.

In the past few days I have been filling my time up with working out, trying to catch up on The Vampire Diaries (I'm still in season 3), and browsing tumblr while listening to my No Doubt pandora station.

My 365 challenge has kind of fallen to the wayside as well. I forget about it half the time, and I almost never go out anywhere so always stay in lazy clothes and no makeup -it's not exactly picture material. On the upside though we have had a pretty good supply of fresh fruit in the house that has definitely served to cheer me up a few times. 

Oh, and I have been on and off playing Kingdom Hearts 2. I have already finished it (twice) but beating stuff up with a giant key is nice every now and again. I'm not really a gamer at all, I just like KH.

Manda Rave

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Tuesday Teatime

Not much to say this week. Still kind of scatter brained over here to be honest. Have to get myself focused though because I'm taking up a short-term Spanish tutoring job that I really need to study for so I can brush up on my verb tenses.

Tea of the Week: Green Tea. It's my best friend these days. Delicious, light, and energizing. I need to get a pitcher so I can keep it iced so that I can continue downing it once it gets really warm out.

Tumblr Finds

I was getting ready to be mad at this and then I read it
I really love this.

This is the most important part of your journey.

Just stunning.

Window Shopping
Our Darling
I love this necklace from Osteal.

I have been admiring these sandals from Blowfish for awhile now. So awesome!

Reading List
1. Anyone else a Hyperbole & A Half reader? Have you read Depression Part 2 yet? You definitely should, it's as spot on as the first one. (Click here for Part 1)
2. I loved Sophie's post on Journaling for the Soul. I need to give my journal some more love.
3. Cats! This made me laugh. :D

Take a day to heal from the lies you’ve told yourself and the ones that have been told to you. -Maya Angelou

Manda Rave

Saturday, May 11, 2013


Have some pictures of Eli to brighten your day! :D

also this picture of Eli #cat #eli

Eli with a feather toy attached to him xD #cat

Manda Rave

Thursday, May 9, 2013

52 Lists // Week 3

I totally spaced and didn't post this last week. My bad! Oh well, I'm already months behind so I suppose it's not that big of a deal, haha.

52 Lists is a weekly list prompt run by Moorea Seal. It started the first week of January, and the people that actually started then link up and share their lists every Tuesday. I started in April, am ridiculously behind, and post my lists whenever because I like to make lists but was too late to the party.

Manda Rave

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Tuesday Tea Time

I usually have these posts written and scheduled a few days ahead of time, but not today. I didn't realize it was Tuesday until after I got up this morning and started on my coffee and breakfast. Whoops!

Tea of the Week: Masala Chai. If you like chai teas and you haven't tried any masala then go and do it now! It's so tasty!

Tumblr Finds

Antonio Berardi’s Voodoo collection, Fall 1997
Ph. Niall McInerney
This photo is enchanting. Found here.


Emperor Pouncey McMittens.

Count Kissy Mcmittens
oh lord xD
I found this really amusing. I'm Count Kissy McMittens, you? Found here.

I always love some tea wisdom. Found here.

Window Shopping
Wide Leg Long  Pants in Violet
I'm really into these pants.

Love these sandals so much!

Reading List
1. I love Nicole's blog and I love her post Do Whatever You Fucking Want
2. I really enjoyed this Thought Catalog article, The Way You Do Anything Is The Way You Do Everything.
3. Kaelah posted about Ways To Spread Blog Love which has a lot of things I think is important for bloggers to do and keep in mind. If you want people to care about your blog, you have to care about other people's blogs. Plus, reading blogs and finding people to connect with is fun! :)

“There are so many things that can break you if there’s nothing to hold you together.” -Katja Millay

Manda Rave

Monday, May 6, 2013

Physical & Spiritual Makeover: The Beginning

Warning: This is going to be an emotionally intense post. Trigger warnings for self harm, depression, suicidal thoughts, and anxiety.

Makeover? What? It's (kind of) what it sounds like. I'm not investing in a new makeup look and expensive clothes though. The makeover that I am starting goes so much deeper than that. Mine is a spiritual makeover, combining soul healing, physical health, healthy eating, and natural skin care -and alright, a little bit of a wardrobe makeover.

The past few years have been really rough for me, if I'm honest. I had rough teenage years -a mentally abusive stepfather, depression, suicidal thought, self mutilation addiction, and intense feelings of worthlessness. It wasn't pretty. I got through that alright though.  I managed to fight back years of self destructive tendencies and keep myself positive enough to get through every day. And by the time I was 19, after struggling with a cutting addiction (sometimes 30+ small cuts a day) for 6 years I was able to stop. That's due to a lot of things -I moved out (and lived with my loving and wonderful grandfather) and went to college where I met some really fantastic people. But regardless of any of that, I stopped and I almost never feel the urge to do it again anymore. Anyone who has ever been addicted to something so destructive can understand how amazing it feels not to have the cravings.

However, not long into college things went downhill fast. I found myself in a controlling and mentally abusive relationship with someone who valued my body more than my personality, and who tried to dictate every aspect of my life. It didn't start out that way of course. For at least the first 6 months everything was fantastic. I was in love. He was charming and attentive, he helped me through my first semester at college as best he could and let me practically live out of his dorm room when my roommate turned out to be less than pleasant.

But controlling relationships usually start out like that. It gave him enough time to get into my head, make me dependent, and beat down my independence, all int eh name of "love." From there it was a constant up and down and the details are not something I'm keen on going into. The long and short of it was that the whole thing was bad, really bad. I hate to think that I was so weak and so dependent on someone so terrible. It took me a long time to stop beating myself up over it. I know now that it was not my fault -it was his. He played with my emotions, cheated on me, and made me feel small and incapable of standing up on my own two feet. It took a long time for me to break away.

I did, of course, but the trouble didn't stop there. It has been just over 2 years since I walked away from him for good, but the damage he did to my soul is still with me. My depression has been replaced with anxiety and paranoia. I have been much better at dealing with these things lately than before, but only because I have started to acknowledge just how bad they are. It's no light matter for me, I fight against them constantly, but it is an uphill struggle for me every day. The paranoia has been easier to manage. It's the anxiety that really gets to me. I am anxious about everything. I am anxious about typing this -the only reason I'm doing it is because I'm still high on exercise endorphins (we're getting to that bit later) and it's keeping me strong and positive enough to get it out.

When I say makeover, I mean I am really digging into my soul and my mind to pull out the anxiety and trauma that is keeping me from standing tall and finding balance in my life. And I have come to realize that this is not just an emotional journey. It's an everything journey. In order for me to stay strong and motivated enough to keep going, keep digging, and keep working, my whole well-being needs to be nurtured and tended to.

What does this mean for me? It means I am going to journal every day. It means I am going to try to blog with more soul. It means I am going to be watching what I eat, seriously cutting out most if not all sugary foods, exercising everyday, doing morning yoga everyday, trying to keep all my personal and skin care as natural as possible, creating with my hands as much as possible, laying in the sunshine and soaking up the light, telling the people I care about how much I love them every chance I get, working on my fiction writing, and finding a personal style that vibrates with my soul and makes me feel good about my looks and my body.

Body love is a roller coaster for me. I believe that we should love our bodies, no matter what, and that we should take care of them, listen to them, and make sure we are giving them what they need and getting rid of what they don't. But looking at myself in the mirror and loving what I see can be hard sometimes. I want to be in better shape. I want to be stronger, healthier, and more flexible. So I'm going for it -not for skinny, for fit. I'm not a particularly big person, about 140lb at 5'3" and I carry most of that in my butt and thighs. I am always going to have lower curves, I know that. I just want them to be muscle curves.

So today I started Jillian Murphy's 30 Day Shred. I don't have the weights (yet!) but I think the exercise still works well without them. On top of that workout, I do sun salutations in the morning, and some extra leg workouts, and hooping a few times a week. I am also hoping to incorporate some walks around the neighborhood on top of all that. So the results I hope to see at the end of 30 days should be more than just from the workout video. And of course my diet is getting a kick in the butt. I am already a fruit and veggie nut (and a vegetarian so I don't take in any fat from meats) and guzzle water and green tea like it's going out of style. I plan to cut out most sugar, limit my bread intake, eat less dairy, and eventually do some kind of detox.

So, here's what I look like on day one of the 30 day shred (this is post workout by the way)

See, I am pretty curvy in the butt area, haha. And seriously, let me make this clear -I do not think that I am overweight. I'm not. I'm just not as healthy as I want to be. I believe in loving yourself. And loving myself includes whipping my butt into shape!

I will be posting updates periodically, and I plan to start running once I finish the 30 Day Shred to help keep myself going and make sure I don't get lazy.

Have any of you every had to do something like this? Healing can be such a long and tricky process, and it's so different for everyone -I'm interested to know in how you guys have dealt with similar issues, etc. My readers give me so much motivation and strength and I am so lucky to have so many people who check up on this space on a regular basis. In means the world to me and I hope you will stick around with me through this part of my journey.

I hope everyone is having a great Monday!

Manda Rave

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Check out this giveaway...

Not a giveaway on my blog, one that Rain is hosting. She runs a beautiful, soulful blog, and her words always stir my wild soul up in a way that little else does -especially through the internet.

Anyways, she's giving away one of Laura's awesome wall hangings!

Manda Rave

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Style Inspiration

I have spent a lot of time recently admiring clothes and style, so happy to be able to break out my warm weather clothes and see other peoples. I like clothes, what can I say?

Here's some of my wardrobe inspirations all via my pinterest.

I'm very into the bohemian aesthetic with witchy/goth vibes added to it. Flowing fabric, feathers, crystals, leather jackets, denim vests, boots -you get the picture. I am hoping to sell some of my old clothes (how interested are you guys in a "shop my closet" store??) and thrift some new ones for the summer. I could really use a few new pairs of shorts and loose tanks.

I'm stepping away from the computer today though (instead of drooling over these clothes more) and spending the day food shopping and working outside for my boyfriend's grandmother (yard work, brush burning) and probably some hoop & waterside time.

Manda Rave

Thursday, May 2, 2013

May Goals

A day late, but I did remember! I feel very scatterbrained when it comes to blogging lately. I keep only remembering my regular posts and features at the last minute. That's why the Earth element post hasn't gone up yet. I am hoping to have it written and posted within the next week though!

Anyways, this months goals are pretty similar to April's. They are:

Hoop more (outside!) and work out more.
Halve my sugar intake. (Not that it's very high anyways)
Read. And then read some more.
Develop a story idea I have swimming in my head.
Keep the shop stocked with new items regularly.

I have been updating my shop quite a bit lately and currently have over 70 items for sale! I can't believe I've made that much to be honest. And I have so many more ideas and supplies. I have been bitten by the creative bug and I am more than okay with that. I have also been thinking about a novel idea. I haven't written too much in that regards lately but within the past week or so my brain has been overflowing with ideas for something. I'm hoping to flesh out the details some more in the coming weeks.

What are your monthly goals?

Manda Rave

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Happy Beltane!

It's May 1st, which means that it is Beltane! And here in Mass, it is a beautiful day out. My love took me for ice cream at my favourite local place (I have been going there since I was a toddler) and we fed the goats (they have goats!) and soaked up some sun before he had to head off to work. While he is away I am hoping to list some new stuff in the shop, craft something (I have no idea what, still in the process of brainstorming), and will be holding my own private celebration and ritual. Perhaps baking will be involved.

Oh! And I received the items I ordered from ever+mi.crush that I bought with the credit I won via The Dainty Squid! I am so excited about both pieces, I love them both so much! They fit like a dream and look so lovely!

aand my pretty new chiffon floral blazer from evermicrush #personal #newclothes
Floral Chiffon Blazer

beautiful new shirt from evermicrush! #personal #newclothes #style
Orange Chiffon Button Up

I have been eyeing that orange top for a few months now and I am so thrilled to finally own it! Happy Beltane to me! 

What are your Beltane plans?

Manda Rave

Read About Beltane:
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