As this blogger gets ready to cross into year 11, Nine Cent Girl is also celebrating her 500th post! What started as an avenue to write with consistency, and gain an immediate audience, has most definitely proven to be all that and more. Between comments and emails and texts and in-person conversations, the validation to keep at it has certainly fueled me beyond what I envisioned all those years ago. A big thank you is due to all my Nine Cent Girl readers, many times over. I must admit I’ve loved this journey with you by my side, and together, hold hope I’ll keep blogging into the foreseeable future.
All the balloons have waned onto the confetti trampled floor, the popped corks littered here and there, our recycling bin heavy with empties, and we are left with nothing but to select the stand-out Nine Cent Girl posts of the decade. Not an easy task where there are over 400 individual posts to look back on. Of course every reader will have their own favorites, but I thought I would share mine, using my tag line, Fashion, Family, Food…Life as a guide.
Let’s start with Fashion and a most creative photo shoot. A day spent romping about with my favorite camera gal in tow, @artcitycreative, letting loose as she clicked. Coincidentally, the post celebrated my 100th post: Love.
The whole of my external world would fit every Frozen location set if need be. Snowbanks line my drive, icicles hang from the eaves, and everything is stuck in stillness. A weak sun battles the fairly constant cloud cover, as we dash about in fairly constant flurries. The temperature this past week fought to even reach single digits, and the windchill only added to the instinct to hibernate. But venture out we must. Adding layer upon layer folks find a way to get outside, to ski and take advantage of the snow in any possible way. The woods are filled with trails and ring with voices even as that north wind bites through our insulated gloves. Northerners have a well-earned hearty reputation, and I find inspiration being among so many who get outdoors regardless of what weather one must contend with.
To keep one’s mindset in the positive it is important to keep fueling yourself with all sorts of activities, outside when possible, and inside when not. There is something about moving that just makes you feel better. “Endorphins are only one of many neurotransmitters released when you exercise. Physical activity also stimulates the release of dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin. These brain chemicals play an important part in regulating your mood” (healthline). The science of the brain spells it all out, but the real trick is finding movement that makes you smile while doing it. For me, time on the mat or in the pool are just as uplifting as a swift run. Daily, I set my schedule to include something physical, with enough time to feel fabulous afterwards.
And then there is what you put into your body. Even during the winter months we try to fuel ourselves with as much local and nutritious food as possible. The farm up the road sells eggs, another is a four-season veggie provider; keeping green in our diet, keeping seasonal and local a priority, and planning our meals, all work together to maintain health. The proverbial saying ‘You are what you eat‘ is just truth. In winter it is easy to eat heavy, and while that might feel comforting, we do include some extra summer-like salads to lighten too.
I am lucky to live with a brilliant and ambitious illuminator. Every December our home gets a chance to shine in the darkness, and we leave those lights going well into January, which just makes me happier at the end of a long day when I drive up the hill. I imagine all the weary travelers feeling the same way, and that just adds to my joy. It isn’t about flash or show, it is only a little sparkle, a subtle twinkle, and then, you take an easier breath.
Don’t forget to treat yourself too. There are days when looking out at the wind, and deciding to curl up with a book and some cocoa would just bring all the rest and relaxation of a spa day to your house-bound day. Take good care my dears. Fuel yourself for those long summer days by living well right now. With marshmallows too.