Update: Life Lately + A Giveaway!

Pure and Coco Giveaway - The Calm Collective

Hi everyone and happy Wednesday! It’s been a week filled with so much inspiration and hard work as I prepare to launch the FIRST episode of The Calm Collective Podcast TOMORROW! I am so beyond excited (and nervous), and I can’t wait to share this labor of love with all of you.

This is mainly a random catch up post — just to pop in, say hello and tell you all what’s been going on as of late and share some things that I’ve been loving.  Plus, there’s also a fun giveaway within today’s post that I’ll get to in just a bit!


As I stated above, I’ve been working hard on the podcast reveal. It’s been a pretty magical experience getting to talk with a lot of really beautiful people, and just open up and have raw, genuine conversations with no real guidelines. Each time I wrap up an episode, I’m overwhelmed.  It’s just so inspirational and freeing.

I also launched my very own To Do List notepads over on Amazon Prime which I’m super proud of. Each day I would jot down my to do list in such a specific way on a piece of paper, that I decided I should just turn this into something pre-made.. something I can use every day without having to go through the building process.  And here they are! They’re 4.5×5.5, which makes them perfect to take with you on the go, or leave out on the counter without taking up too much space.  You can check them out here. I hope you love them!

The Calm Collective To Do List

Photography has been a little slow with the weather being as chilly as it is, but I’ve been keeping busy with my online print shop that hosts instant downloads of all of my favorite prints inspired by nature, texture and water. I’ve also created my personal templates that I use for my business to share with aspiring photographers, or photographers just looking to hone in on their branding, organize their business and/or elevate their client relationships. You can check all of that out right here.


While I’m splitting time between Chicago and Traverse City, I’ve been spending a lot of time up North this winter for two reasons: 1. The winter’s here are GORGEOUS, and 2. we’ve been working tirelessly on finishing the renovations for the sweet little A-frame that Chris bought back in the fall. Dare I say it: we’re nearly there. I’ll be doing a Before & After reveal on the blog when it’s all finished, but that’ll be a little while — so stay tuned ;)

Food / Drink: 

Crockpot has been the name of the game this winter, and I’m totally okay with that. My two favorites are chicken with salsa and some taco seasoning. Then when that’s all cooked, sauté some spinach and serve the chicken over the spinach.  The second is broth (veggie or chicken), chorizo, diced sweet potatoes, diced tomatoes, kale, Swiss chard, onion, garlic, salt & pepper. Simmer it for 8 hours and you’ve got yourself the most amazing, hearty soup.

Vino has been my drink of choice lately, and I’ll generally opt for a glass of 19 Crimes, which is about $12.99 at any store, and tastes like it should cost around $40, in my opinion. I love it :)  I’ve also been taking collagen powder in my morning coffee, which is supposed to help with bone strength, collagen (duh), and hair growth. I’ll let you know when/if I see any results. It’s only been about a week 1/2 that I’ve been doing it.  Lastly, my daily matcha latte that I’ve been making at home. I love them so much, and look forward to it every day!  I posted that recipe right here if you want to check it out (which also includes the best kitchen tool that I wish I would have found long ago)


I’m currently shifting between two books: I’m re-reading one of my all time favorite books, Essentialism, which I try to dive into twice a month. It’s such a good reminder to hone in to the way that I want to live my life and I always pick up something new each time.  I’m also reading this book which has a funny title (Chris was thrown off when he saw it on the couch), but it’s SO good! Any and all should read this. I’m taking away so many valuable lessons, and already applying them to my day to day. It’s such a healthy read and I’m so glad I stumbled upon it.


I’m heading to San Francisco to see my sister next week and I CANNOT WAIT to see her and the babies.  They’ll all be my Valentine’s this year, which I have zero issues with. :)  It always ends up being so much time spent outside, walking to coffee shops, reading books, baking fun treats, and laughing so hard at the things that come out of their mouths. Those babies are gold.


While I don’t watch a ton of TV, we’ve been cozying up on the couch for an hour or so for the past week and diving head first into Peaky Blinders, per request of our friends Jess and Neal.  It’s AMAZING. I highly recommend it if you’re looking for something new to watch while it’s still freezing outside :)


I’ve been trying hard to get back into a strict regimen that feels good to me, but I’ve yet to land somewhere that feels 100%.  I love doing sprints. However I recently took back up swimming which has been so fun, but I’m having some ear pain from a scuba diving experience I had in Asia back in December. So that hasn’t been feeling good.  Taking a back seat with that until I’m able to get it all figured out.  For the most part, I’m trying to keep up with the sprints every other day and use that as my outlet for any and all stress.


So in addition to the collagen that I’ve been adding to my coffee every morning, I recently got a lash perm/tint (amazing) since I’ve officially given up lash extensions due to their high maintenance and inability for me to sleep comfortably on my stomach (preference!) I’m thrilled with the results and will definitely be doing it again. I love the fact that I can embrace my own lashes, yet they have zero upkeep when getting ready in the morning. Has anyone else done this? I’m curious.

I also am LOVING Pure & Coco’s 5-in-1 exfoliating coconut oil. This sweet husband and wife duo sent me some to try and now I’m officially hooked. You can use it as a makeup remover, face wash, shave cream, exfoliator and moisturizer. Boom. It really is that amazing, and you have zero need for lotion once you get out of the shower. Even Chris was like “dang!” when he felt my skin. I’m a fan.

Pure and Coco Giveaway - The Calm Collective

Some other benefits of Pure & Coco: 

• It exfoliates to remove dead skin cells. Which allows the organic coconut oil to absorb deeply and quickly into the skin

• It won’t leave you feeling oily afterward

• It stays on through repetitive hand washing

• You can use it safely on your face – it’s dermatologist approved

• Wash your face and remove makeup (waterproof mascara is no match)

• The sugar melts down to create a clean, close shave without the dry looking skin on your legs afterward

Speaking of which, in honor of l-o-v-e this month, they’re giving one lucky winner 3 of their 7 ounce jars in 3 different scents! Marjoram, Tangerine, Ylanglang & Coconut (my absolute favorite)

How to enter the coconut oil exfoliator giveaway:

That’s it! The winner will be announced at random on Friday, February 8th :)  Good luck!