Winter, resolutions + body image

I'm starting to feel like Winter will never end this year.

Every time Spring has peeked it's gorgeous head out for a weekend in Georgia, the next day is inevitably freezing, rainy & miserable.

But I actually love winter for a lot of reasons

Winter is the perfect time to start binge-watching new shows (and re-watching all the seasons of FRIENDS, Gossip Girl, and Grey's Anatomy...), it's the perfect time to snuggle up with a blanket and an entire pot of coffee while you read a great book. It's a perfect time to blog, or for me, write songs. Winter defines the word cozy in such a magical way.

But winter is a difficult time for motivation and healthy habits. I always end up feeling a little fat, unmotivated and insecure around this time of year.  Because by mid-winter I have fallen off any wagon I tried to get on, I've eaten every casserole, cake and cookie I saw at Christmas, my body is like "work out...what's that?", I've had too much coffee, too much wine,

and I'm thinking to myself "why would I eat my veggies when Chinese Food pairs so well with my couch and all of my layers, boots and sweaters?"

And then right after all the regrettable holiday food decisions and the unfinished projects comes the New Year, when we start thinking back on all the mistakes we made and begin making promises to be better than we were last year.

Personally, I've always liked New Years Resolutions because I'm a dreamer. My ideal day consists of listing out all my hopes and dreams and the path to get there. But man, I always let myself down. And when I'm off the wagon I'm OFF THE WAGON.  So I've noticed over the past several years that I'm constantly disappointed in myself, and it has a profound affect on my life.

It makes me feel judgmental of myself, which turns into judgment towards other people. It makes me smile less, have less joy. It makes me feel less adventurous, less interesting, always striving - and all because I'm not perfect yet. 

But here's the thing:

I will never be perfect.

and you will never be perfect.

So why are we trying so hard to get there?

This year i made different resolutions.

Because I can't be perfect,  but I could be interesting. I could be kind. I could make people feel amazing about themselves. I could have fun. I could be balanced

I could simply be proud of the way I live my life.

One of my never ending resolutions

from the past was to lose weight. This year I decided that instead I should stay off the scale and simply improve my health. I started eating at home more and going on long walks every day instead of putting pressure on myself to starve and do intense workouts. Nothing against intense workouts if you like them, but that's just not my cup of tea every day. 

Interestingly enough, the walks made me happy and I didn't dread them. And when they became a part of my routine, I actually started craving a more intense workout every now and then. So I decided to do what I call a "real workout, like with my muscles" about once a week. They range from 20-40 minutes and they make me feel like I'm accomplishing that goal of being balanced.

The crazy thing is that I went to the doctor last week and when I got on the scale I realized I had lost 20 pounds since the last time I weighed myself 4 months ago. Whaaaat.

That may not be your goal, and accomplishing your goals may not always be as easy as you'd like. But just changing your mindset from achieving the perfect body to achieving health (having a little grace with yourself) is the only way to really be happy. 

I'm pretty sure I'm also happier because I'm not so hangry (hungry + angry) anymore...

Don't sit out on your life. You're already worthy, fun, beautiful (or handsome), and capable of smiling and making the day brighter. 

A small step today is just getting your walk in

or maybe just scheduling one of the two workouts below for your weekend.

But keep it fun.

Because even if you get superskinny & superfit, but you don't treat your body with respect and seek out balance (plus you're always hangry), you won't be as happy (or nice) as you hope to be. 

two workout options /

One (CLICK HERE) is a treadmill workout that I came up with when I hated working out. I knew I should do at least 20 minutes of cardio 6 days a week to be considered a "healthy" person (based on the statistic that people need at least 120 active minutes each week). This one is a shout out to you folks who still hate working out and you're counting down the minutes until you can be done. I'm still there most days.

The other (CLICK HERE) is a workout that I made up when I was in better shape than I am now, for you work out-ers. So even though it says to do 2 reps of each round, feel free to modify and only do 1 rep per round. Or heck, if you're feeling amazing try 3 reps per round. Go get 'em.

xo, & have a happy weekend!



Happy Tuesday from chilly Michigan!

Michael and I are headed to Adrian, MI to play a show tonight. I've been feeling a little drained today and I thought we all might could use some Tuesday inspiration.

So you've come face to face with the realization that you're already exhausted and Friday is so far away (sigh). Here's a little something easy and fun for you to look forward to this week.

It always energizes me to get creative in the kitchen, this will be a good excuse to have some friends over and plan a themed movie night or play board games while you munch on warm homemade corn dogs. Or if you want to go all out, you could always plan a whole carnival themed date night…just saying...

Happy cooking!


(makes about 20 minis)

1 cup self-rising flour

1 cup corn meal

1  1/4 cups buttermilk

2 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

3 Tbs sugar

2 Tbs honey

You'll also need...

corn starch for dredging

10 hot dogs, cut in half

20 wooden sticks (chopsticks, skewers, or lollipop sticks)

candy thermometer

Mix the cornmeal, flour, buttermilk, sugar, salt, pepper and honey together until blended well. Pour into a tall cup for dipping

Cut the hot dogs in half, and insert the wooden sticks

Heat oil in a cast iron skillet or a fryer to 375 degrees

Cover one of the mini corn dogs in corn starch, then dip it in the mixture

Drop the whole thing into the oil and let cook for about 3 minutes, or until it reaches the color and consistency that you like

Fry up to 4 at a time, depending on the capacity of your fryer. The more you put in there, the harder it will be to maintain the proper temperature

Cool on a plate with a paper towel to absorb the oil for at least 3 minutes before serving

Date Night Idea /

One of my favorite scenes from the Notebook is Noah and Allie's date to the fair. It would be a romantic movie night to cook dinner together with fair-themed food (think corn dogs, funnel cakes, caramel apples or ice cream cones…you've got lots of unhealthy options here so go big or go home). Then move all of the furniture in your living room to make space for an air mattress picnic and watch The Notebook together with your carnival feast. Don't forget candles and tissues.

Just before I sat down to share this recipe I was reminding myself that every single day I have the option to make my life joyful, or to let everyday stress seep in and dull the things that could've been great. So I'm going to smile more today, and remember why The Notebook is such an incredible movie, and enjoy the people in my life, and plan ahead to make some corn dogs.

I hope you do too!

xo, Emily



I have the best memories of rotten banana days in my house growing up.

You know what I mean... you were at the grocery store and decided to buy bananas. But you don't really like bananas that much. So they end up sitting there for a week (or two or three...) and they start to get too gross, even for a smoothie.

But the best thing about almost-rotten bananas is that they're great to bake with. My mom used to make this DELICIOUS banana bread on those rotten banana days, and I remember the smell of fresh baked bread filling the house.

Banana bread is really good the first day when it comes out of the oven warm, but its REALLY GREAT for the next several days when you cut yourself a slice or two, spread a little butter on it and throw it in the toaster oven.

Well, yesterday was rotten banana day in my house

and a dear friend of mine just did me a huge favor, so I was thinking about writing her a thank you card. But what's better than a thank you card?

A thank you card and banana bread.

I used a recipe for "Whole Wheat Banana Walnut Bread" in the Williams-Sonoma "Cooking At Home" book. It called for whole wheat flour and walnuts, but I (obviously) substituted chocolate chips for the nuts. I also decided to try out a local flour that I found at the Farmers market. If you frequent the farmers market you may find that there are some really cool vendors there that you never noticed before. It happened to me last time, and I've got to say that using the fresh, local flour made the whole baking experience a little more fun.

This is for you, person who accidentally let your bananas rot.

And for you, person who has a thank you card they need to send.

Give it a try...


( M A K E S   1   L O A F )

1 1/4 cups flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 stick of butter

1 cup sugar

2  mashed, very ripe bananas

2 eggs

1/2 cup chocolate chips

COMBINE flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl

WHIP the butter (room temperature) and the sugar in an electric mixer 

BEAT in the eggs and the banana until completely mixed. It’s ok if it’s lumpy.

STIR in the chocolate chips, then the flour mixture until just combined

POUR into greased loaf pan + BAKE for 1 hour at 350 degrees

When I took the loaf out of the oven I put it straight onto a cooling rack. When it felt cool enough to touch I wrapped it in clear plastic wrap and cut a piece of butcher paper to wrap around the middle. I wrote a little note on it for my friend, but if you're interested in sharing the recipe click HERE for a printable version that you can hole-punch and tie onto your loaf.

I hope you enjoy your baking day!


Because it's on you to make life interesting.

xo, EM

"It's on you to make life interesting…"

Hello, for the very first time ...

My name is Emily Hearn Harrison and I'm a singer/songwriter currently living in Athens, GA, and the creator of WKNDS. I'm really excited to introduce you to this new project I've been working on slowly for the past year.

For starters, I'm reading a book that you should read called "Where'd You Go, Bernadette?" I love Bernadette, and she is inspiring for so many reasons, but my favorite quote so far comes at a time in the book when her daughter, Bee, has decided that life is boring (and haven't we all felt that way). 

Bernadette looks at Bee and says, 

"I'm going to let you in on a little secret about life. You think it's boring now? Well it only gets more boring. The sooner you learn that it's on you to make life interesting, the better off you'll be."

So yesterday, after months of stalling, I decided to finally launch WKNDS.

WKNDS is all about learning that it's on us to make life interesting.

I'm going to be trying new recipes, taking more photos, exploring new places, trying harder workouts, taking advantage of any cities I get to see, really going the extra mile planning awesome date nights & doing holidays the fun, festive way. I know that at some point over the past two months we've all talked about how amazing we want 2016 to be. So follow along with me if you're interested.

Explore the tabs at top right to see the different facets of the site. I'll be posting blogs on a weekly basis that will be focused on ways to make daily life a little more magical (think new recipes, interesting places to see, foodie fun, harder workouts, cool date nights, festive ways to celebrate the holidays + more), plus the thing that I'm most excited about--WKNDS City Guides. I'll be posting these monthly, and January's guide for NYC is currently up under the City Guides tab! Also, check out WKNDS on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest.

This site is meant to be a celebration of trying new things and learning how to make life a little more creative and wonderful, so be sure to EMAIL US with your experiences! We want to hear your story.

Because it's on you to make life interesting.

xo, Emily

RECIPE: Lavender Gin & TONIC

I remember when I first read The Great Gatsby.

It's one of those books that you have to read for school, so you assume that you won't like it. But I loved The Great Gatsby. I was so intrigued by the Roaring 20's and the way of life for people like Daisy Buchanan. There was a social event every night where women went out in their most elegant dress and sipped cocktails and danced all night. Then I started watching old Audrey Hepburn movies (in an attempt to catch up on the classics I'd missed when I was a little too interested in the Mary Kate an Ashley movies…). Then MadMen became an obsession for all of my roommates in college. I think we watched the whole first season in 2 days. To me there is something so alluring about the way things were in those days.  It's funny, because in most ways I don't like fancy things. My little house isn't perfect or impressive. It's cozy and represents little pieces of who I am, like the paint colors I chose on a whim or the furniture I picked up for $20 from an estate sale. So I'm not fancy, and I turned down my own chance to be a debutant. But I've think my fascination with elegance comes more from my desire for things to feel magical.

One magical, Roaring 20s-esque thing that has become a hobby of mine is making traditional cocktails. It adds a hint of creativity and sparkle to a regular night. Next time you have friends over, I have an easy (and impressive) recipe for you to try for my very favorite cocktail.

One day we'll tackle fancier drinks (like the Martini) but until then, enjoy the Lavender Gin + Tonic. Your guests will think you're a cocktail whiz. Scroll down for the recipe & a print out to stash on your fridge or in your go-to recipe book if you like the recipe.

xo, EM




Gin / St. Germain Elderflower liqueur / 1 lemon / culinary lavender / sugar / club soda

Directions /

    Combine the lavender, lemon juice + sugar cubes. Use the muddler to dissolve the sugar cubes in the liquid. Add the St. Germain, gin + 6 cubes of ice. Securely close the shaker and shake vigorously for 30 seconds. Strain into a coupe glass, filling about 3/4 of the way full. Top off with about 1 oz. of club soda (I recommend Fever Tree).

PRO TIP / you can make this recipe with any clear liquor (rum, vodka, etc)

Because it's on you to make life interesting.

xo, Em