Little Things

06/21/13 Little Things , The Little Things # , , , , , , , , , ,

Little Things – Movies

Now that I finally have a little break between writing projects, I’ve been watching tons of movies. The visual is such a nice break from the words streaming constantly through my mind. Plus, with Netflix and Redbox and all the other video and streaming services, it’s good, cheap entertainment. Make some popcorn or dish some ice cream, and you pretty much have the perfect recipe for writerly downtime.

All of which make at-home movies this week’s little pleasure.

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06/06/13 Life , Little Things # , , , , , , , ,

Little Things – Time

Little Things – Time


Okay, this isn’t EXACTLY what I look like when I have free time.

 

 

 

 

More like this;

 

Still, time is the biggest little thing in the world. I haven’t had much of it the past few months. Really, the past couple of years. I’ve been working non-stop, running from one project to another, editing in between, and generally just trying to stay on top of it all. Unfortunately, blogging is one of the first things to go when things get crazy, which is why I’ve been MIA.

But there is good news! Some of it I can’t tell you just yet, but I have lots of stuff in the works, some official and some not-yet-official, that you’ll be hearing about soon. In the meantime, I finally have a little time. Not run-through-a-field-of-wildflowers time, but time to take a breath and figure out what to write next. Time to plan a marketing strategy for THIS WICKED GAME, which comes out in November. Time to do some soul searching about which direction I want to take my career. Maybe even time to bake some cookies.

And there’s nothing like NOT having time to do those things to make you appreciate the very big, little thing that is time. So today, I’m grateful for having a breather. For every nap, every moment talking to my girls on the couch, every morning enjoying the sun on the patio.

I hope you enjoy it, too. Whether it’s five minutes, five hours, or five days. Make the most of every moment.

<3

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04/11/13 Little Things # ,

Little Things – Spring!

It’s a little BIG thing. Let’s all just take a moment to send a word of thanks to Mother Nature.

For realz.

😉

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04/04/13 Little Things # ,

Little Things – Sleep

Little Things – Sleep

Today’s little thing is free and accessible to everyone.

Sleep!

As someone who routinely gets 5 and 1/2 hours of sleep a night, I’ve ignored the health warnings about sleep deprivation for years. I’d try to get a nap in during the afternoon, but I was able to function and unwilling to give up my late nights, which since I get up at six am every school morning, didn’t leave me many Zzzzs.

But as I’ve become more diligent about taking care of myself, I’ve read a lot about how sleep affects health, stress, concentration, weight gain… everything! So the last few nights I experimented with not allowing myself on the computer after 9:30 when I go downstairs to watch something with the kids before bed for an hour.

It wasn’t easy at first. I was used to going up to my office before bed and getting some work done, answering emails, etc. It felt weird to go upstairs, read, and go to bed. Decadent even!

But I have to say, I’m feeling really, really good. And I’m sure part of it is that I’m back to juicing, but I just know the extra sleep I’m getting (now more like seven hours a night) is a big factor. The bonus? I actually work more effectively the next day, too, so anything I’m not doing during a late night work session is getting done during the day.

All in all, I call this sleep experiment a success. Which is why it’s this week’s Little Thing!

<3

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03/21/13 Little Things # ,

Little Things – Tiny Buddha

Little Things – Tiny Buddha

This week’s little thing is my Tiny Buddha, for no other reason than that he makes me happy and reminds me to stay grounded.

Plus, he keeps me company while I write!

😉

 

What’s your little thing this week?

<3

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03/07/13 Little Things #

Little Things – El Greco

Little Things – El Greco

This week’s little thing is a big thing to me. Although, I guess that’s kind of the point of this feature; taking note of all the little things in life that make us happy.

This painting was one of the first antique pieces I bought after purchasing my first home. I found it in an antique store in Manhattan Beach, CA when I still lived there. I fell in love with it immediately. It’s a painting of El Greco, after a self-portrait of his. On the back is marked “Musee de Seville”. I suspect it was done by an art student, in part because when you look at it a certain way, it’s obvious there is at least one other painting lurking under El Greco’s surface (if you look closely, you can see the faint outline here of what looks like an upside down figure, so the canvas was probably turned), and art students are well-known for reusing their canvases.

As I’ve gotten older and come to see more of my possessions as just “stuff”, El Greco remains one of the very few things that I treasure. Something about the darkness of it, the fact that you can’t see his clothes but only his brooding face and those pale, elegant hands, speaks to me. I continue to be intrigued by what’s under the surface. It hangs in my kitchen, and I never stop feeling a little rush of pure appreciation when I look at it.

And art is so easy to come by. It’s everywhere you look; in nature, in books and magazines, in antique stores and thrift shops. Our home is filled with artwork we’ve picked up for less than $30 at local auctions and estate sales, and every single piece brings me enjoyment every single day (although admittedly, none so much as my beloved El Greco). Each one comes with a story of how we acquired it and each one moves me in a different way. I like to think we’ve given them a good home. In return, they’ve brought me hours upon hours of enjoyment.

What about you? What are the little things in your home – collected or bought – that bring you simple enjoyment? Share here or using the #littlethings on Twitter!

<3

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02/28/13 Little Things #

Little Things – Eucalyptus Spearmint Pillow Mist

Little Things – Eucalyptus Spearmint Pillow Mist

This week’s Little Thing has been one of my favorites for years. Just the thing to give you that last little push into dreamland (after the Bedtime Tea lotion, of course!), this pillow mist from Bath and Body Works uses aromatherapy to deliver a light but heady dose of eucalyptus and spearmint straight to your sheets.

B&BW makes pillow mist in several scents, including Lavender Vanilla, but this is by far my favorite. Clean and calming, it’s just the thing to tell your brain, “Nighty-night, Brain…” without being overwhelming.

Because then it would be, “Night, night, Brain!!!”

And know one has time for that at midnight. Am I right?

Best of all, this bottle is only $10 and lasts 6-12 months, even the way I use it, which is, well… liberally. Every night when I sink into my pillow, I feel like, “Ahhhhhh….”

And I call that a very good investment.

What about you? What are your favorite bedtime little things?

<3

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02/14/13 Life , Little Things , Uncategorized # ,

Little Things – Homemade Treats

Little Things – Homemade Treats

Those of you who follow me online have probably figured out that I love to cook. What you probably don’t know is that this was not a forgone conclusion. My mom was a single mother and often worked two jobs to support me. She didn’t have the time or the inclination to cook regularly, so it wasn’t something I learned at her knee.

My grandmother, however, loved to bake. Famous for her boysenberry pie, homemade candy (divinity to die for!), and endless jars of jam, it seemed she was always cooking up something.

When I first got my own place I called her all the time for cooking and baking tips and advice. She spent hours with me on the phone talking me through things and even sent me her recipes, copied in her own hand. Now that she has passed on I treasure them even more.

Maybe it was the feeling of comfort and home and security I felt while in my grandmother’s house — smelling pie crust browning, sugar dissolving on the stove, fruit turning into jam — that turned me into someone who loves to cook. Maybe it’s in the genes (Rebekah loves it, too). Whatever the reason, I love cooking great meals for people I love.

But as much as I enjoy cooking an awesome meal, there’s something singularly soothing about baking. I don’t know if it’s the warmth of the kitchen as the oven heats up or the smell of all that sugary goodness or the almost subconscious concentration required to measure and spoon, but baking is like therapy for me.

In our house, we make everything from scratch. This way I know what’s going into the finished product and we can spend time together while we bake. And let’s be honest, homemade just tastes BETTER. The best part is, anyone can do it anytime. As long as you have pantry staples (mine are flour, sugar, cocoa, chocolate chips, vegetable oil, butter, eggs, and vanilla), you can make almost anything. Craving ooey-gooey brownies? Warm-from-the-oven cookies? A gorgeous, old-fashioned layer cake?

You can probably make them right now!

All reasons why homemade treats are this week’s Little Thing. Like this AH-mazing Red Velvet Cake (minus the red, since we don’t do dye) with cream cheese frosting and toasted walnuts that I made today for my four favorite Valentines. I whipped it up in no time flat while drinking coffee and catching up on email this morning.

Hope you have a week full of wonderful Little Things! And feel free to share your favorites here or on Twitter using #littlethings.
<3

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02/07/13 Life , Little Things # ,

Little Things – Stella Perfume

Little Things – Stella Perfume

Anyone who knows me knows that I am not a girly-girl. I vaguely remember a time when I wore dresses and skirts, but it was so long ago it feels like I’m remembering another person. Now my style is more Katherine Hepburn than Grace Kelly, although I am willing to give Sophia Loren or Diane Lane a whirl.

😉

 

But one thing I ADORE is this perfume. I found it by chance when I received a sample from Sephora and was so hooked I immediately splurged on a full size bottle. Sephora describes it as, “A fragrance based on the contrast between the freshness and softness of the rose, and the dark sensuality of amber, Stella is a sophisticated scent focused on an intense sense of femininity.”

I like it because it has a classic rose note that is reminiscent of old-school perfume while being fresh and modern. Also, the scent lingers in a nice, subtle way and is just a little bit sultry. I use it literally every day, even if I’m spending the day alone and working in my pajamas. It’s a little thing that just makes me happy (and it makes my room smell nice, too). And while it’s not super cheap, a bottle lasts me about a year and is well worth the price.

Plus, the bottle is gorgeous.

What about you? What’s your favorite scent or perfume? Why do you like it? Share here or on Twitter with #littlethings!

<3

<3

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Michelle Zink is the award-winning author of over seven novels. She lives in New York with too many teenagers and too many cats.
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