Happy February! I can’t believe January is already behind us, can you? It seems like Christmas was just yesterday, and now here we are on February 3rd!
I love winter with its fireplaces, blankets, sweaters, scarves, and hot cocoa, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention another reason I love winter so much–citrus season. Ever since deciding to move to Dallas, I’ve been waiting for this time of year so I could indulge in as many Texas ruby red grapefruits as I could handle. They’re the state fruit (fun fact!) so how could I not eat my fair share? I love them on their own, but my favorite way to enjoy them is in grapefruit margaritas. So, so good.
Just this past weekend, I found a new way to drink my grapefruit. My friends have been doing a stellar job of introducing me to all the best places in my new city. They recently took me to a fabulous Austrian restaurant where I ordered a Stiegl Grapefruit Radler. I wasn’t sure what to expect from a grapefruit beer, but I really loved it. Truth be told, it tastes more like grapefruit soda than beer, but I found it to be quite refreshing. I was pleasantly surprised to learn it’s a bit lower in calories than many other beers, as well. It’s light and bright and I’m sure I’ll be enjoying it all throughout spring and summer.
Dressing for my new climate has been both fun and challenging. I haven’t had to dress for winter since college, so I’m a bit out of practice. Shoes are still the most difficult for me. Far too many years in Phoenix caused me to forget all about shoes other than flip flops. I’m still struggling with shoes (maybe I’ll have a new favorite next month!) but I’ve gotten better with separates. One of my definite favorites are these KUT from the Kloth Mia Corduroy pants. They’re stretchy and skinny and super comfortable. I have them in charcoal and love wearing them with flats on most days, but I wore them with heels once I felt all kinds of sassy. They’re on clearance now, so be sure to grab yourself a pair!
I’m relearning the art of layering, which I’ve used as an excuse to buy several new jackets. One of my faves is this Supersoft 1/4 Zip Pullover from Target. I’m not normally a fan of purple, but I was drawn to this color when I saw it on the rack and completely sucked in when I saw the sweet ruffle detail down the back. I was already a big fan of their C9 by Champion line of activewear, which almost always fits perfectly and is beyond durable, and this jacket made me even more loyal. Armed with a 40% deal via the Cartwheel app, I just couldn’t say no.
I haven’t really been a watch wearer since college, but they are back in such a big way and I finally found myself sucked in and wanting one. I finally settled on this Michael Kors Watch Hunger Stop Mid-Size 100 Series watch. I have a larger frame, so I wanted a fairly substantial piece and I knew I wanted gold with a touch of something unique and interesting. The teal face with a world map is so very me, but the best part about this watch is its tie with the United Nations World Food Programme. For each watch sold in this line, Michael Kors donates $25, enough money for 100 meals. So far, they’ve donated upwards of two million meals. That’s the true beauty of this watch, if you ask me.
This year, I’m trying something new in terms of resolutions. I did set a resolution–to make this year awesome. It’s purposefully ambiguous. I also decided to choose a word for the year–grace. It was a very easy, very quick choice for me. The word has so many meanings. When I hear it, I think about the countless hours I’ve spent in dance studios and all the energy I put into becoming more graceful. I am reminded of the necessary combination of softness and power it takes to truly appear graceful. I think this applies to life, as well. I am striving to be a more graceful and gracious person this year–one of strength, but also softness, love, and gratitude. I want to be conscious of God’s grace in my life each and every day of the year. This gratitude app is helping me do that. Each day, I quickly record the small moments I am thankful for and attach a picture. When life has me down, I go back and reread my entries. It’s a quick and powerful reminder of all the grace I’ve been shown and a model for the ways I can grace others.
Those of you who follow Apple a Day on instagram know I’m reading along with the daily devotionals in Jesus Calling. It’s a simple, straightforward, and powerful book of thoughts, prayers, and Bible verses to keep my mind on track each day. A dear friend prayed with me and gave me her copy when my marriage and my world were falling apart and, in the darkest of times, I literally clung to it. I am continually amazed at how perfect the readings are each and everyday. I’m on my second year of reading the January passages and it’s amazing to me how differently I interpret them this time around. I am blessed.
My last favorite thing is actually for you. Today’s my birthday and I love giving gifts. The good people at Stonyfield, who helped me create and share this penne with spinach yogurt pesto, white beans, and tomatoes, are allowing me to give you the chance to win a case of their finest organic yogurt along with a cookbook. I’m making it simple to enter and giving each of you four separate chances to win. You can do one or all of the following:
1. Leave a comment with your e-mail address telling me your favorite way to eat yogurt. I’m a mix ins girl myself. I love stirring in fresh fruit, granola, chocolate chips, nuts, and anything else that strikes my fancy.
2. Become an Apple a Day fan on facebook or tell me you already are one with a simple comment here.
3. Follow me on instagram and leave me a comment letting me know. If you already follow me, thank you! Be sure to leave me a comment to tell me.
4. Follow me on Pinterest. Leave a comment here telling me if you’re a new follower or one who has been with me for a while.
The giveaway is open to U.S. readers only and closes at midnight on February 9, 2014. I’ll choose the winner by random integer generator. Be sure to leave your e-mail address so I can contact you and let you know you’ve won. Good luck!