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Showing posts from 2017

Lately

A cute little butt poking out under the bed. This is where she goes to hide from "little" sister. 🐾❤️ #dogsofinstagram #rescuedog A post shared by Aimee Kaiser (@aimeeksr) on Oct 1, 2017 at 7:58am PDT
Responding to tragedy with love. Loving thoughts. Loving actions. A post shared by Aimee Kaiser (@aimeeksr) on Oct 3, 2017 at 9:52am PDT
No mud, no lotus. #tattoo #fwfg A post shared by Aimee Kaiser (@aimeeksr) on Sep 30, 2017 at 1:17pm PDT
Again, everything. #bookstagram
It's been a while  since I've done a Lately post, but I just reread all of my previous blog posts (can you tell I'm not very busy at work today?) and I was inspired to put something together. This time, in addition to the usual what-I've-been-reading/watching/listening/doing-lately, I'm also including some of my recent Instagram posts. 
About two weeks ago, Jason and I both got tattoos (his first). He got the word "Beloved" on his arm in script. Aimee in French means "beloved&q…

That View Though...

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This weekend, Jason and I went on our annual Fall drive through the Utah mountains, to chase the changing leaves. Photos can be seen over on my AK Photography blog.

Comfort Zone

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Link to Purchase
In what is becoming an increasingly ugly world, day by day, I encourage you to seek comfort in ways that feel healthy for you. For me, that means editing my wardrobe at the moment. I have given up all thoughts towards design and pattern, in favor of a focus on comfort and material. Skinny jeans no longer have a place in my wardrobe. The "traditional" underwire bras have been replaced with comfy bralettes. If I'm going to give up cash in exchange for a new blouse for work, I'm going to make sure it's made of a material which feels soft and luxurious against my skin all day. Otherwise, I am quickly going to be throwing it on top of the donation pile. 
I fully committed to this concept last week, when I purchased a new pair of jeans at Target. They're a size larger than what I am used to wearing. But you know what? They fit a whole lot more comfortably. Sacrificing my ego for comfort has turned out to be very much worth it. They're also made…

September Already?!

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Long time, no blog! I've gotten really busy at work, and haven't been doing much during my time off. Hence, there hasn't been anything to blog about lately. I can't believe it's already September, although I am pretty happy to see Fall approaching. It's probably my favorite season. I love the "transition" seasons, Fall and Spring. It's such a welcome change to feel the weather starting to cool down or warm up, after a long few months of the hot or cold extreme. Fall feels like a fresh start - a new school year has begun, and I feel just a little bit more inspired to be productive and creative. This time of year, I typically express that inspiration through the Crock Pot. It's finally getting close to the warm comfort food time of year. Chicken tikka masala and turkey chili are just around the corner.
As for what I've been up to lately, besides cuddling dogs on the couch and reading a 1,000+ page book(!), the big deal has been my progress …

Makeover!

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This week, we performed a drastic home makeover. Something small (a navy blue accent wall) and something big (switching out carpet to dark hardwood laminate floors) made our home look like a completely different house! We're so excited about the update, and here are the before & after photos.


What do you think?

June Reading

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Finally here with all the June reading! I went on a nonfiction binge last month, with some mixed results.
The good: Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life by William Finnegan - Such a romantic, nostalgic read of a young surfer's life in the 60's and 70's.  Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson - An honest, sometimes-heartbreaking, sometimes-hilarious portrait of the author's life with a variety of mental illnesses. You have to respect the bravery and courage of a person who unapologetically shares their story in the hopes of making others feel less alone. The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom - What an amazing woman, and the family she came from. The family helped hide Jewish people in their home when the Nazis started invading, and subsequently ended up in camps themselves for their efforts.
The okay: The Andy Cohen Diaries by Andy Cohen - Everyone's favorite Bravo host lives a colorful life and describes it well. I enjoyed his crazy family and circle of friends but to be honest, re…

Lately

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My plan was to do my June Reading post today, since it's already July 7th and I have yet to write about what I read last month. But alas, I forgot my list, so I can't actually remember everything I read last month. So June reading is still to come... But since I haven't checked in for a while, I thought I would at least write a little bit about what I've been up to lately.
Reading... I've been going through a major nonfiction phase over the last couple month. I am currently reading The Radium Girls and I cannot. put. it. down. It's about a group of women who worked in a radium dial-painting factory during WWI, and their ensuing legal battle to hold their employers accountable for a dangerous working environment. The girls had all sorts of medical issues after using their mouths to point the brushes with radium, used to paint the luminous dials on watches, including parts of their jaws literally disintegrating in their mouths. Truly shocking stuff. So many lives…

Thoughts On Another Year

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The morning of my birthday began with me putting on a pair of pants I haven't worn in over a year, and finding out they no longer fit. This, despite the fact that I bought another pair at the same time, in the same style, just a different color, that I'm wearing right now. Maybe the others just need worn in again. But never mind.
Today, I'm 33. Little me (in the photo above) couldn't have imagined myself in my thirties. People in their thirties were so old to us kids growing up. Yet here I am: age 33, married, homeowner, Master's degree holder, etc. I've accomplished a lot more than I could foresee as a carefree kid. Even as a teenager in what felt like never-ending adolescence, I lacked the self-confidence to imagine all that I could and would grow up to become. 
The funny thing is, I still lack the self-confidence to imagine what I will accomplish from here. No matter how many years I rack up in this crazy life, I can't see the future any more clearly th…

The Ups & The Downs

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I felt so much better after writing my last post... temporarily, that is. Sunday rolled around, and Jason was getting ready to leave once again, and I kind of lost it. Now that he knows how I've been feeling, he felt bad that he had to leave again, which made me feel worse. However, the interesting part about it all was that it felt like *a little* anxiety but more self-anger that I couldn't get control over my emotions. I found myself thinking that dark, nasty thought that I'm too hard to love.
It's feeling like time to go back on those anti-anxiety meds. I hate relying on medication, but I want to do what's right for myself and my family. I don't want to put Jason through all of the hard times. And I don't want to put myself through any unnecessarily hard times either. It's also time to start the counselor search all over again, and take it a step further to find a doctor who can work with me on medication management. I'm not entirely happy with …

Confidence

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This is one I'm not sure I'm going to post. Right now, I am just writing it for myself, and we'll see how I feel once it's all out. 
Lately, I've been feeling extra "I don't belong here" at work. Something is off. I'm simultaneously having this conversation with a friend right now, about how I believe I'm suffering from some residual hang ups after my anxiety bout last Fall. 
For those of you who are new here, I guess I should recap. Last July, Jason and I got married and went on a Pacific Coast Highway road trip honeymoon from Napa to Los Angeles, CA. Somewhere around Solvang, about halfway through the honeymoon, I started to feel anxious. There was even a night that I couldn't stop crying in our hotel room, without knowing why I was crying. By the time we got to LA, I was doing everything in my power to distract us both from the heavy, heavy anxiety I was feeling. I still don't know why it came about at that particular time, I don&#…

Wishing I Had History

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The nostalgia theme continues today. Seriously, what has gotten into me?! Maybe it's because I've been reading old (i.e. 2012) posts from one of my favorite bloggers, or the photo thread I started in my yoga group this morning, but I am finding myself melancholy about my nostalgia. It's a mess. Today, I'm thinking about all of my own history that I've erased - the journals I've thrown away, the Facebook accounts I've deleted, the blogs I've deleted, etc. and wishing I had some of it back.
I remember starting hundreds of journals throughout my life. I would write in them for about 2 weeks, and get bored with them. Instead of keeping them as is, I would throw them away because I didn't want anyone to find and read them. Now, I would pay huge amounts of money to have access to all of those old writings. 
I joined Facebook when it was first invented (all the way back when you have to have a university email address to create an account). Since then, I&…

Summer Break

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For some reason, which I can't explain, I woke up with the biggest nostalgia pain for summer breaks as a kid. 🌞School's out for 3 carefree months 🌞Waking up (late) naturally 🌞Spending half the day on the phone with my friends 🌞Spending the other half of the day running around the neighborhood with friends 🌞Mom picking me up in the middle of the day to go out to lunch sometimes 🌞Staying up late, watching all of those great old Nick at Nite shows 🌞Sleepovers in the middle of the week 🌞Summer reading 🌞 Ice cream every day! 🌞Trashy daytime TV that you never got to see during the school year, except on a sick day 
As I said, I have no idea where this nostalgia came from today, but I think we can all agree: as kids, summer was the absolute best time. I can picture it so clearly and vividly today, it's really crazy.

33 About Me

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As I mentioned previously, I haven't done an Intro/About post since relaunching the blog, so I thought my approaching birthday might be the perfect occasion to throw some random facts about myself out there. Since I'm turning 33 this summer, I decided 33 would be the magic number of facts (clever). 
I was born and raised in Pennsylvania.I moved to Utah in September 2012. I graduated with a B.A. in English (2007) and a M.Ed. in Higher Education (2010)Jason and I met on 12/13/14. We were set up by mutual friends, and it was love at first sight.We got married on 07/25/16. I chose July 25th for our wedding date, because it is my late grandmother's birthday, and it was my way of honoring her on our special day.I'm definitely Type A, and a perfectionist, which causes me to stress and worry quite a bit.I'm obsessed with my dogs, Lucia and Layla (I didn't say all of these facts would be NEW).I'm an introvert.I live and deal with anxiety on a pretty regular basis. M…

The Best Month

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June is the best month for several reasons. My birthday month! The first official month of summer! The true arrival of summer inspires me to get off the couch and seek outdoor adventures. This month, I started with an outdoor yoga practice that included goats and sheep running around us! Goat yoga is a new "trend" in the yoga world, but imagine my surprise when I saw that my small town was going to offer this experience. I couldn't pass it up! 
Tips for goat yoga: Don't take your nice, new yoga mat (so grateful I thought better of that myself)Keep your eyes open! The animals often decide to use the bathroom near you, so keep an awareness of where the puddles and piles are.Bring your sense of humor It was a really fun experience, and one I'm so glad I took a chance on. Though I may not have smelled too pleasant afterwards, and my dusty yoga mat is still in my car to be cleaned, it was a pretty unforgettable event! The quiet nature, and the sunset, also contributed…

Lately

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Another installment of what random shit I've been doing lately. I'm happy to say that my funk finally seems to have lifted, and I've been feeling happy and energized. Matching the weather. It's gotten super warm and sunny lately, it feels like summer just in time for June to begin! I realized since (re)starting my blog, I haven't done anything official in the way of an introduction, or "about me" kind of thing. I'm hoping to put together a list of random facts about myself to share for my birthday coming up next month. But anyway, all of that is just random babble. Here's what I've been up to lately...
Reading I hope you saw my May Reading post from yesterday. It was a good month of books, and I recently started The Andy Cohen Diaries which is about as entertaining as it gets. 
Watching Reading Andy Cohen's book got me on quite the Bravo kick, so this Memorial Day, while Jason was away, working, I watched the entire 1st season of the Real H…

May Reading

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I'm amazed by how many books I am still able to read monthly, while working full-time. I guess it's just that time of year. I love sitting in the corner of the couch, and reading with the sliding door open, while the girls sunbathe in the yard. This month I liked most of the books I read, with the exception of Note to Self. I don't know, I just didn't enjoy this collection of essays, photography, and poems written by a "social media celebrity." This was a case of judging a book by its cover which, as you can see, is a gorgeous cover. The insides just did not live up to the outside.
I was slightly disappointed with The Goldfinch, I think just because I've been looking forward to reading it for so long. I definitely enjoyed The Secret History much much more than this one.
I really enjoyed both Steinbeck short novels, and The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks was incredibly fascinating. Reading Heidi was a great experience, as I purchased this incredibly gor…

Sometimes A Break Is Just The Thing

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I was on such a roll, writing every couple of days. But remember that bad mood I wrote about a couple weeks ago? It's been haunting me all month! Finally, mid-week this week, I decided I needed a break. Sometimes when I get in a funk, I stop to take stock of the stressors and triggers around me that I could take a break from, in an effort to find more inner peace. I almost always start with social media. I would guess, about every couple months, I end up taking a few days away from social media. I just ignore it altogether, and it does seem to refresh my spirit quite a bit. I think the negativity on social media just gets overwhelming and exhausting, when you pile it on top of things you are already feeling. Even the "jokes" and the memes have an underlying aura of negativity when you think about it, and sometimes it just helps to turn it off for a few days. I won't even get into the news of the world, which is harder to turn off, though I am trying to read the news…

To the Moms

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we all move forward when we recognize how resilient and striking the women around us are -rupi kaur
All around the world today, we're celebrating moms. Our moms, our moms' moms, our moms' moms' moms, our dads' moms, our spouses' moms, our friends' moms... You get the drill. Without the moms, none of the special people in our lives, not to mention ourselves, would even be here. 
I consider myself lucky to come from a family of some incredible women. The resiliency the women in my family show, and have taught me by example, is invaluable. 
And this year, I also have an incredible mother in law to celebrate. After going home with Jason to meet his parents for the first time, and seeing Jason and his dad together, I commented that I have no idea how his mom has done it! 😄 She's raised the most amazing man that I am so grateful to call my husband. 
I'm so grateful for the moms in my life, and I deeply miss the moms that have gone from my life, but I a…

Just A Bad Mood...

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I've been in a pretty crappy mood for the last three days, off and on (but mostly on), and I'm not even sure what is the underlying cause. It's one of those unexplainable, can't-pinpoint-the-source bad moods, and those are so frustrating because they're mostly out of your control. It happens to everyone though, right? It's not just me? Even though I'm not sure what the cause of my bad mood is, I am hoping that writing about ANYTHING will help ease the weight I'm feeling. Since I don't know why I'm feeling blah, I obviously can't write about it.
So, in other news...
Jason finally comes home on Sunday! He's been gone for two whole weeks, and obviously I am missing him like crazy. His magic hugs would certainly have come in handy the last three days. 
Speaking of Sunday, don't forget this upcoming Sunday is Mother's Day. I'm really excited and proud of the gift I got for my mom this year, and I can't wait to watch her open …

These Words

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Since I can remember, I've been someone who eats words. I digest them, they run through me, and I absorb the nutrients they carry throughout my soul. I've been a quote addict since I was a teen. I have a habit of taking photos of entire pages while I'm reading books. Sometimes they make it to Instagram (see below), and sometimes I store them away in a private folder, like a treasure (see above). I love reading about people who love reading.
I just feel like books and quotations carry all the secrets to life, and all the wisdom needed to survive this crazy world. I'm making it a goal to capture and share more words via Instagram and the blog, in the hopes of enriching your life as well as my own. 

It's completely impossible for me to choose a favorite book, or even a favorite author. But for the purposes of this post, I'm going to try and narrow down to a few authors I heartily recommend: Amy Tan, Rupi Kaur, Paulo Coelho, Maya Angelou, Betty Smith, F. Scott Fit…

Lately

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Another semi-regular post I hope to create a tradition of on Chapters when the right mood strikes... Just a little bit about what's been entertaining me lately. 
Reading I recently finished reading The Book of Joy by The Dalai Lama & The Archbishop Desmond Tutu, as well as The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot. I was so fascinated by The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, and I'm sorry it took me so long to get around to reading it, considering I've owned it for several years. I ordered 10 new (used) books on Amazon (I love buying bargains! $85 for the whole lot!), including this gorgeous Puffin in Bloom hardcover copy of Heidi.
Watching Big Little Lies - I finished watching the series this week, after reading the novel just before. As usual, I liked the book a LOT better than the series. 
Party of Five - I cannot adequately convey my excitement that this nostalgic series is on Netflix. 
Listening The only explanation I can really think of for the fact that…

Sunshine Fever

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This has been an absolutely wretched week for productivity. As you can see from the photo above, the weather today was the definition of perfect. Sunshine, warmth, and color everywhere! However, I was stuck inside all day, craving Vitamin D. It was painful.
I guess I'm going to have to somehow force myself to buckle down at work tomorrow, because I have projects that need to be done. Procrastination is no longer an option. But starting at 5 pm tomorrow... We soak up the sun!
Have a wonderful weekend!

It's HOW You Get There

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I had to pause my yoga practice tonight when Adriene said the above quote so I could find a piece of paper to write it down. She always seems to know what I need to hear, and I know I'm not alone in that thought. I belong to an amazing YWA group on Facebook, and it's the most positive, supportive, and generous online community I have ever witnessed. We were all brought together by our passion for Yoga With Adriene, but people share deep pain and intimate moments of their lives with complete strangers, with the assurance that they're not going to be cyber-bullied, but hear only words of support and comfort. It's pretty incredible.
Tonight is a quick check-in. I just felt a strong urge to share this quote that I stumbled upon today, and my love for my online yoga family. A support system is the most important aspect of developing a consistent healthy habit, and yoga has changed me in many ways for the better. I'd love to create more short and sweet posts like this o…

This Evening

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What's this? Two posts in two days?! I was thinking about all my blogs today (Chapters + the two I wrote about in my last post), and how they each serve a different and valuable purpose for me. I mentioned being unsure how active this blog would continue to be, with managing so many blogs simultaneously, but this is really my only personal space, and I want to make use of it. I'm going to give my best effort to check in here more often with updates on my personal life. 
Today's update is about the suckage of Mondays... I just wasn't feeling today. I couldn't find my motivation, and I had a 9 AM doctor's appointment that left me feeling uncomfortable - physically and mentally - for the rest of the day. To elaborate on the mental, I wasn't happy with the number I read on the scale in the doctor's office. I don't own a scale at home, so the only time I check in with my weight is when I have a doctor's appointment. I know it's not a good idea t…

Creative Pursuits

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For me, spring tends to bring with it a burst of creative inspiration. Add to that the fact that my husband is out of town for the next three weeks, and I'm frantically trying to find ways to keep busy.

I recently launched AK Photography, a portfolio/blog website that highlights one of my favorite hobbies, and one I eventually hope to turn into a side business. 
Also, Jason & I started a blog together, Simply Ever After, about joy, living simply, and our own personal brand of minimalism. Our vision for this blog is to publish research-based articles about how we seek to live our best lives, according to our definitions, as well as share our personal journey towards a type of minimalism that works for us.
I'm not sure how active I'll be here on Chapters, though I do hope to continue writing personal thoughts. Writing requires more spontaneous inspiration than anything else for me, so I'm just never sure when I'm going to be struck with a topic I want to explore. Ho…