Sunday Chronicles: Valentine’s Day Gift Guide

There may be a rumor that I don’t like Valentine’s Day (see here, here, and here.) Let it be said that I am a great fan of love, and all the trappings that come with it, but a little wary of days where we “have to” anything. But, as long as it’s with a free heart, let’s tell each other we love each other and buy some gifts!

Be it for you, or for anyone you love, here are some of my picks for what to give this year for Valentine’s Day!

Note: This post does contain affiliate links. While that does not affect the price for you, I may earn commission from them. Thank you for your support!

Fountain Pen
Say what you will, but acknowleding all the hard work your honey does can do wonders for you both! And a great way to say “great job”? A great pen. (I grew up with a Mom who LOVES office supplies, so I have to say pen and office supply gifts are some of my fave.)
Some of my fave pens? Custom, personal Executive Nautical. (A friend makes them and they are just to die for!) My other picks for saying “thanks for working so hard!”:

Self Care
Spa days can not only be really romantic, they can be a much needed way to let your loved ones take care of themselves. Can’t make it to the spa? Here are my picks for self care at home:

Heart Shaped
Cliche? Yes. But still popular for a reason! Nothing says “I love you” like a heart! My picks:

Chocolate and Wine
Is there ever a bad time for chocolate and wine? I didn’t think so! And just in case you need something to add to those amazing gifts, here are my picks:

I would love to know: how do you celebrate Valentine’s Days? And what do you give as gifts?

Wishing us all a week of love and amazing shoes! Xo RA

Sunday Chronicles: Super Bowl Food

Investment Piece: Sunday Chronicles: SuperBowl Food

As much as I love fashion, I also love football. (We all have so many different sides). SuperBowl Sunday is always something I look forward to-the game, the commercials, and the food. Fun fact: before I became a fashion blogger I seriously thought about being a food blogger (before I really knew what a blogger was). For years, I’ve been on my own personal combination of Paleo diet and have loved learning to cook/make adjustments to traditional comfort foods, or game foods, and making them my own-little diet friendly foods.

Below I’m giving away some of the goodies I’m whipping up today–because nothing goes better with the SuperBowl than food!

Cauliflower Pizza
Finding Cauliflower Crust was a game changer for me. Being gluten free/low carb, pizza was something I basically gave up for years. This crust let me have it back! I don’t make my own cauliflower crust. (I’m just lazy enough). I love the brand Caulipower (but really, any brand that you like will do).
I also feel bad calling this a recipe. Pizza is basically a free for all!
I do like pre-cooking my crust a little first to ensure that it’s crispy. Then I load up with my favorite sauce, veggies, protein, and cheese (I eat mainly goat cheeses). Cook and then eat! It’s the perfect SuperBowl Food!

Nachos
Like the pizza, this isn’t really a recipe, but an excuse to throw amazing foods on top of chips. To negate, I usually use a combination of plantain/beets/baked/chips that use coconut or avocado oil. Again, some veggies, some beans, some jalapeños, tons of goat cheese, broil and dig in.

Muffins
Investment Piece: SuperBowl Food

I know: you don’t think muffins when you think Super Bowl food. But these Paleo muffins are almost like a desert (though I also don’t turn down dark chocolate) and you can eat the left overs for breakfast!
You’ll need:
3-4 ripe bananas
4 eggs
(The recipe calls for 1/4 cup maple syrup. I didn’t add it the last time I made these muffins, though I did add 1 TBS maple sugar. I really think this is to taste, but that’s what the batter is for, so you can make sure it’s sweet enough for you before you put it in the oven!)
Scant 1/2 c peanut butter (or nut butter of your choosing)
1/4 c oil (coconut is best)
Splash vanilla
Mix well and add to:
1 1/2 cup coconut flour (technically the recipe called for almond with 2 TBS coconut, but I usually go all in with coconut)
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 TBS cinnamon

Mix all together well. I then add chocolate chips and chopped walnuts. You could also use more nut butte as a “filling” (pour some batter in your pan, nut butter, more batter).

Pour batter into lined or greased muffin pan and bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes. Enjoy!

I would love to know–what SuperBowl Foods are you making?
Make sure to check out my Instagram stories today to see what we ended up eating!

Wishing us all a week of comfort food and amazing shoes! Xo RA

Sunday Chronicles: Not Ready to Let Go

Investment Piece: Sunday Chronicles: Detox

At this time of the month you may be over all the people telling you all the ways they are cleaning out their lives, starting fresh, letting go of all the things. I get it. Goals are important to share, at least I think so (that whole accountability thing). However, having people talk repeatedly about what they are letting go of can be hard to put up with. Especially, if you’re not ready to let go of whatever it is that you’re holding onto.

A fun paradox in me? I love new starts, fresh beginnings, and the idea of minimalism (or at the very least the idea of cleaning out the old to make room for the new). But I also love things. Shoes, clothes, books, even school supplies; I love them. And I can have a hard time letting some of them go. For every piece in my closet I can tell you about 3 ways I could wear it, mention that I would miss it if I didn’t have it, and have feelings about it. And those are the pieces I think I should get rid of. Am I aware that I can hold to things too long? Yes. But is that any better than letting go of something too soon?

I have a theory about letting go– we do it when we’re ready. One of my favorite sayings is:
And the day came when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to bloom” – Anais Nin
About personal growth? Absolutely! But, does it also relate to not letting go of things that you’re not ready to yet? Absolutely. At least to me.

Because we chat fashion we’ll stay in that lane. I know that I have things in my closet that I could get rid of, we all do. And yes, I will tell you that in theory I think that you should get rid of things that you don’t LOVE, that are space holders (get what you really want, even if you have to save for it), that have no special meaning to you.
But.
There are things I’m just not ready to let go of, even though maybe I should. From shoes that I just love (even if I don’t wear them all the time) to shirts that I just can’t seem to part with, a part of my closet that I’m in the process of saying goodbye to.
And it will happen.
When I’m ready.

I believe that we do things till we can’t anymore. And while I would love to be a person who rips off the bandaid (or gets rid of the shoes), I’m just not. I tend to do it in stages, then eventually leave the shoes in a box in my car for a month till I don’t want them anymore. I don’t hold shame for needing my time in letting go. I’m a big believer that you shouldn’t hold shame in that, either. Let everyone tell you what they’re letting go of; if you are not ready to let go of something, take your time. There’s room and space for us all to let go of things at our own speed.

How’s that for cleaning out?

How do you deal with things when you’re not ready to let go?

I’m open to suggestions.

Wishing us all a week of appropriate letting go and amazing shoes! XO RA

Sunday Chronicles: Goals

Investment Piece, Fashionblogger, goals, Sunday Chronicles, CA, TX

Tis the time of year. People are de cluttering, cleansing, and telling everyone about all the things that they plan to accomplish this year.

I’m in.

Every year, at least a few times, I make a few swipes through my closet. You can read about my methods collected here. In the coming weeks I’ll be doing it again.
(SideNote: we all know I’ll never be a minimalist, but I do think that there are things that you can clean out. Yes, I’m more of a fan of hanging onto things that you LOVE, even if you don’t wear them all the time’ but, here’s to us all finding a happy medium).

This January I’m cleaning up my eating. I usually try to eat fairly clean, but with the holidays and extra happy hours, it felt like it was time to tighten up. I’m doing a take on Get Off Your Acid (I LOVE the mineral drink), and am cutting back the sugars/carbs/alcohol, etc while sticking to all workouts that were to easy to skip in the holidays.

There are goals I have for my personal life, professional life, this site, and other endeavors. Goals are one of those things that I love to share, yet get really private about, and often don’t know how to give advice on them. If you’re looking for articles and tips about how to stick to your resolutions, there are out there. (Have one you LOVE? I’d love to read it!) Do I have any idea what to add to that conversation or grounds to chat about goals?

I don’t know.

There are goals I’ve reached, blown past, and some that I had to let go of (which isn’t always a bad thing, sometimes dreams shift). We all know that some of the best methods to achieve what we desire are:
1. Consistency
2. Managble steps
3. Postive attitude
4. Remaining flexible

And yet, we all know that in the pursuit of our goals, there are going to be times when we stumble a little bit. Maybe we screw up, take a day off, decide our methods aren’t working. No matter what the goal, there are bound to be setbacks and times when we either want to give up, or aren’t sure what to do to get to where we want to be. There are times in the pursuit of my own goals that I feel like I don’t know what I’m doing, and want to give up. At those times I think of this:

Investment Piece: Sunday Chronicles,: Goals

(Which is basically a reminder to be flexible about methods, but determined in destination). I’m still uncertain in my standing to give advice in goal getting. But what I know, whole heartedly, is that the main way to achieve your goals is to pursue them. At times that will be in little steps, and they might not always feel good. But we try, and we do. The way to show up is to show up. And the way to get your goals is get after them.

I’d love to know: what goals are you pursuing and what are your methods?

Wishing us all a week of goal getting and amazing shoes! Xo RA

Sunday Chronicles: Hangovers

Investment Piece: Hangovers

Loves! How’s the new year treating you? Are you plunging in and getting stuff done? Or are you still having a Holdiay hangover?

Yep, I’m a firm believer that hangovers don’t just come from too much champagne (though, those are doozies). Emotions, jobs, and even holidays–all come with their own type of hangovers. Let’s be honest, there has to be some sort of aftermath when we (I) have spent the past few weeks relaxing in sweatpants.

I’m not mad at hangovers. There’s nothing wrong with indulging (responsibly). What I think is telling is what we do with our hangovers. Do we sit around feeling bad, or do we use the time to reflect and plan?

(Another bit of hangover wisdom: sometimes hangovers last more than one day. I have no judgment if you need to lay on the couch with a face mask and comforting carbs, but once we get past a day, it seems as if we could make our hangovers work for us.)

So many hate the month of January. I’m not one of them. Fresh starts, trying new things, and taking a look at our indulgences (and how we can learn from them), and adjusting accordingly, are a great balance to a time of parties, champagne, gifts, and looking back. There’s no right or wrong way to deal with your holiday hangovers. I personally love a great cleanse and some intense focus on my goals (dry January can be so good). However, there’s an argument to be made that a little champagne and a little fun are also a great strategy.

So, I would love to know: how do you deal with hangovers? Recover by hair of the dog? Do a 180? Most importantly, what do you think we learn from our hangovers (even if it’s just to make sure we drink water in between drinks)?

Wishing us all a week of forward motion and amazing shoes! Xo RA

Sunday Chronicles: New Year

Investment Piece: New Year
Loves, what a year. I’ve been thinking about all that I’ve accomplished, and that I want to in the next year. About being brave and being scared, and amazing shoes. I’m so grateful that you visit my little corner of the Internet. Here’s to a blank slate full of things we love, and fashion that inspires us!

Xo RA

Happy New Year
-Hope Galaxie
As the world celebrates
With fireworks and cakes
I’m standing here alone
Far away from home
With nothing but a suitcase and memories

As the stars surround me like water
I raise my hands in full surrender
To God, my Redeemer
Lord, this year is far from ordinary
I’ve never seen such extraordinary
People, places and things
Amazing human beings
Searching for purpose, just like me.

Looking around, I wonder
Since a year is like clashing thunder
Booming suddenly
Then vanishing instantly
Why waste time uselessly?
The old year came and went
I hope your time was wisely spent
On helping others and working hard
So that many people may regard
Your lifetime as truly great
And not just because of fate
So learn this lesson, but not from me!
Try it yourself and you will see
Making a difference starts with one step
With one foot, then the next

So walk right now into the light
And find yourself shining bright
Don’t worry what people think
Because right now you’re on the brink
Of showing others what is true
Happy New Year, from me to you.

Sunday Chronicles: Holiday Schedule

Investment Piece: Holiday Traditions

It’s finally here! This is the week the holiday season has been building towards and I’m here for it. Whether you’re scrambling for last minute gifts or relaxing with family, I hope that you’re having a holiday season for the books. I know we all get a little crazy here, so I wanted to update you on what you can expect on the site!

You’ll get holiday greetings both tomorrow (Christmas Eve) and New Year’s Eve.
Sales will be up December 26 (you have to use that holiday money somehow), as well some picks on 12/28 and 1/2. In the mix you can also find a look back at my favorite posts from this year, and new outfit posts! (I promise I won’t leave you with just sales!!) We’ll be back to our reguarly scheduled programming on 1/4, and of course update you on our goals for the new year.

In the next few weeks, a great place to keep up with me is on Instagram (@racheladelicia) and on Pintrest (@racheladelicia). You’ll see my OOTDs (shoppable) and much more!

I hope this holiday finds you doing your favorite things with your favorite people.
Thank you for being one of mine!

Wishing us all a holiday holiday and amazing shoes! XO RA

Sunday Chronicles: Not Feeling It

Investment Piece: Sunday Chronicles

The Grinch gets a bad rep for not LOVING all the holiday celebrations going on around him. And I get it. This is not me telling you that you shouldn’t open your heart. But, this is me saying at a time of year when we get told ad nauseam to be full of joy and the holiday spirit that there are times when it’s normal to be just not feeling it.

I could give you lines about how love and joy should overtake you, and how you could make yourself be in a good mood. And those ways of combatting “not feeling it” are incredibly valid and worth a shot.

However, that’s not this Sunday Chronicles.
There are times in this holiday season, full of joy and hope, that you might simply may be just not feeling it.

And that’s ok.

As much joy, hope, and goodwill in the air right now, this time of year is hard for many. Maybe it’s the first year without a loved one. Maybe this time of year is a constant remind of that first year. You could be going through a hard time. Or simply, you could simply be just not feeling it.

I’m against forcing yourself to feel anything you don’t. Every feeling is valid, even if it means feeling the opposite of what everyone else is feeling. This doesn’t mean that you’ll get out of all of your holiday obligations, but I err on the side of letting yourself be.
If you’re not feeling it, simply don’t feel it.

There’s nothing wrong with having a holiday that’s low-key, that involves more you taking care of you than attending holiday parties, or simply staying out of the way. Forcing yourself to be merry, in my experience, is one way to ensure that you don’t. I may have no clue what you’re going through, but I know that you’re not alone.

Sometimes we don’t feel things. It’s ok.

And if you’re the kind that wants to feel it, but doesn’t, it’s been my experience that the quickest way to go from not feeling it to feeling it is to let yourself be where you are.

What about you?

Wishing us all a week of feeling and amazing shoes! XO RA

Sunday Chronicles: Holiday Traditions!

image

Traditions. They seem to be something that we cling to (maybe), enjoy, and are prominent at this time of year. If you think about what you enjoy at this time of year, most likely it can be traced back to a tradition. Me? I love traditions, especially holiday traditions. There’s something comforting about them, and if we let them, I’ve found that we can let them grow with us. There are things that I did as a child that I still love to do, and there are traditions that started a few years ago, and I love adding them to my list. No matter what or how you celebrate this is a season of tradition and family- and one of my favorites!
A few of my favorite traditions include:
1. Wishing for snow and collecting snow globes. Living between two places not known for their snow I’m obsessed. I love the fake snow that abounds and my goal is to one day see a ton of snow.
2. Decorations – I love all the holiday lights, trees, fake snow- all of it!
3. My sister, mom, and I get matching pjs for a gift on Christmas Eve- even though we’re no longer young it still makes waking up on Christmas special.
4. Traditional meals- not just the holiday meal but my mom’s Wassal (hot drink), her beef stroganoff on Christmas Eve, cookies, my Grandma’s Dr Pepper meatballs- it’s a season of eating.
5. Events like the Nutcracker. I love the ballet and as many times as I’ve seen it I just love the costumes, and dances. Related- this season I will watch “Miracle on 34th Street” about 1000 times.

I’d love to know – what are some of your traditions? What are you looking forward to?

Wishing us all joy and amazing shoes! XO RA

Sunday Chronicles: Happy Hanukkah!

Investment Piece: Happy Hanukkah

To all those who celebrate:
Chag Urim Sameach! Or Happy Hanukkah!

Today begins the 8 day Festival of Lights, celebrating the rededication of the Jewish temple in Jerusalem in the 2nd Century BCE. It’s often celebrated by lighting a candle a day for eight days, in remembrance of the oil in the temple that was not enough for one night, but lasted for eight.

I’m not Jewish. I won’t pretend to be. However, the Jewish religion, holidays, and customs are beautiful and something for us all to respect. At this time of year when our focus is on giving and joy, let’s remember that those intangible gifts are meant for us all. It’s a great time of year to celebrate what it is that you believe, and make room for other people’s celebrations.

Celebrate. Light the candles. Light other people’s candles.

If you’re interested in learning more about Faith’s that aren’t your own, I also think this is a great time of year for that. I get so much out of Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg on twitter (@TheRaDR) and her book:
Surprised by God is on my Christmas list.

May the next 8 nights be a time of love, hope, compassion, and connection for us all.
Happy Hanukkah!

XO RA