Saturday, February 23, 2013

today's takeaways

Or, what I'm bringing with me as I take a deep breath, put myself out there, and attempt to avoid self-sabbotage!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

an old one but . . .

. . . it's just what I needed today.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

. . . and a sort of secret

I have a little project unfolding over here . . .  (Cross your fingers and say a prayer, would you?) 

last night's dinner

Recipe found in this month's issue of Real Simple.

Monday, February 18, 2013

happiness on a monday

A few things bringing me joy today . . .

Valentine messages strung up on our wall

A new candle that makes our apartment feel like the coziest place on Earth


sunny day dreaming (you in?)

I want to sit out on the deck sipping lemonade from these glasses, wearing these sandals, with this wreath on the door. GOT IT, UNIVERSE?! 

What's that? I don't control the climate? I'm just a slave to Mother Nature? Huh.

Well, she'd better hurry up and get on my side then. Because I have a nasty case of cabin fever and toes that are itching to be exposed!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

no. 7

Natural light (and plenty of it)
makes all the difference.

See all posts in this series here.
(Image via DesignSponge. See more light-filled rooms on my "home" Pinterest board.)

Saturday, February 16, 2013

on love & valentines

So this week kind of sucked, and we've already had a recurrence of our, ahem, head-scratcher of a problem. HOWEVER, exhausted as I still am, I must say that there were actually a lot of highlights to the week as well. And maybe it's the three day weekend stretching out before me, but the good is actually starting to outweigh the bad.

On Monday, we celebrated Andy's birthday by going out to dinner with his folks. I hit up Crumbs for some cookie dough cupcakes (his favorite) and patted myself on the back for coming up with a gift that actually surprised him! A visit to our local cheese shop is most definitely in order :)

I'd had an idea about what I wanted to do for my class valentine cards more than a year ago (long before Pinterest exploded with similar concepts, but hey, so it goes). I chopped up a bunch of old crayons (which I rescued from the trash pile back in September) . . . 

. . . and melted them down into hearts (thanks for the mold, Target dollar bins!) . . .

. . . then packaged them in sweet little glassine bags with a handwritten note that said, Valentine, you make life colorful! (The best part of this project, apart from the fact that the kids were actually, surprisingly psyched to receive them, was that it catapulted me into another, beyond-awesome project. I'm not quite ready to share details yet, as I don't want to jinx anything, but suffice it to say it's JUST the sort of thing I've always wanted to do!)

There was, of course, plenty of coffee involved. Because there is always coffee. 


On Valentine's Day itself, I tried to practice a little of Anne Lamott's kind of love. While walking home from the train, I randomly found myself humming "The Servant Song," and it occurred to me that it describes exactly what I feel about the nature of love. For me, these are the words that speak of true love:

Will you let me be your servant,

let me be as Christ to you?

Pray that I might have the grace

to let you be my servant, too.

We are pilgrims on a journey,
we are trav’lers on the road.

We are here to help each other

walk the mile and bear the load.

I will hold the Christ-light for you

in the night time of your fear.
I will hold my hand out to you,
speak the peace you long to hear.

I will weep when you are weeping,
when you laugh I'll laugh with you.

I will share your joy and sorrow

'til we've seen this journey through.

When we sing to God in heaven,
we shall find such harmony,

born of all we've known together

of Christ's love and agony.

Will you let me be your servant,
let me be as Christ to you?

Pray that I might have the grace

to let you be my servant, too.

Yep -- tears in my eyes just from typing that. I'm going to hope that a group like Mumford & Sons does a version I can actually listen to without cringing. I tried to find something decent online and completely failed.

Happy weekend, folks. I got a new coat yesterday (since most of mine are in bags), and it's time I go wear it out :)

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

i need a redo

So, what do you think of my little redesign? Andy says it's his favorite one yet. I've just been craving simplicity and plenty of white space lately (both in terms of design and metaphorically), and this is a start. I'd love to do more (add tabs, unify the entire look of my blog, etc), but I just can't bring myself to get rid of the "Book Bar." It's a pain to update and it doesn't exactly draw a crowd, but creating the rollovers marked my first (and, um, only) bit of CSS. I did each illustration on my now-trusty old Macbook Pro (brand new at the time), using Skitch with nothing but my index finger. And gosh darn it, I'm proud of them! So, since I am more sentimental nut than cool designer, the Book Bar remains. Rarely updated, almost never visited, but with sweet rollovers nonetheless. Maybe in the future I'll have a design-y professional blog, but ya know what? This ain't it.

It's been a rough week at work. Why, you ask? Think of something especially pervasive in elementary school classrooms that spreads like wildfire. Then imagine a preschool with daily naps, where children lie close to the ground, near one another, and often head-to-head with teachers helping settle them to sleep. Yeah. That. THAT, gosh darn it! Yuck and ughhhhh. What a way to officially start my Lenten sacrifice. Though I fully admit to drinking champagne anyway ;)

I suppose saying "Happy Ash Wednesday" would be insulting/an oxy moron, and this most definitely has not been what I'd describe as "happy" by any stretch. At the very least, I hope your hump day was better than mine. So cheers, and thank God for tomorrows and trying again!

Pink Pearl Eraser Print by Kelly Lasserre, available on Etsy

Sunday, February 10, 2013

weekend bits & pieces

Or really just Saturday. Because Sunday mostly consisted of doing laundry in between episodes of Touch on Netflix and Rehab Addict on the DVR. Also eating a full sleeve of crackers. (Though, to be fair, that was after scrubbing down the entire tub/bathroom with baking soda, bleach, and a toothbrush, so, you know. I earned it. Also I had to take three breaks because I accidentally dumped out way too much bleach and the fumes were burning my eyes. This is why I generally stick to all-natural cleaning, but ANYWAY. Where were we? Ah, yes: SATURDAY.) Here goes . . .

From top to bottom: Girly morning coffee | Quote from this awesome podcast, still on my mind | Gifts for giving and cards for mailing | The beginnings of spring on top of our china cabinet | Jam-packed To Do list | Negotiating music selections | "I'm gonna be, like, so fashionable" | Preparing to make tacos | Getting schooled in the right way to eat a tortilla

Yep. It was another good one. x

my favorite thing i've ever made

. . . but I couldn't tell you exactly why.

Library checkout card embroidered with my favorite heroine, 2007

It probably has something to do with the immaterial made tangible, and of course the fact that I love both Harriet and vintage paper goods so much. I also love when an idea just strikes me, and I carry it through to completion without much fuss, as was the case with this. As I've said before, I'm better at ideas than follow through, so when something works out it feels like cause for celebration. Or at least satisfaction.

I just gave a copy of Harriet the Spy to my cousin for her birthday, which has my nose back in my copy and the rest of me all full of nostalgia. Not such a bad way to spend a rainy Sunday, eh?

Friday, February 8, 2013

cheers to the weekend

Easily one of my new favorite images of all time, found here

“I’m generally suspicious of large groups of beautiful people having an unbearably good time (yoga class in Los Angeles, Harvard tailgates, Williamsburg hipster bars come to mind), but I’m happy to tag along to see what all the fuss is about as long as I have a bourbon in hand and know where the emergency exit is.” 

Lily Stockman


Happy weekend, folks! Hope you make it an exceptionally bearable one ;)

Thursday, February 7, 2013

working on it

"Your adornment must not be merely external -- braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God."

1 Peter 3:3-4 (NASB)

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

wednesday's wonderings

Image from Lost in Translationvia  

"I used to see a butterfly in my mind’s eye every time I heard the word transformation, but life has schooled me. Transformation isn’t a butterfly. It’s the thing before you get to be a pretty bug flying away. It’s huddling in the dark cocoon and then pushing your way out. It’s sitting there in your pajamas, pregnant with your second child, flirting on Facebook with someone you dated in high school. It’s imagining you might leave your husband for a man you’ve seen only once during the most stressful time in your adult life and thinking it will work out. It’s the messy work you have ahead of you . . . of making sense of your fortunes and misfortunes, desires and doubts, hangups and sorrows, actions and accidents, mistakes and successes, so you can go on and become the person you must next become."

*Peruse all of the Dear Sugar columns here. I strongly recommend it.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

to them, on a tuesday:

"You are so busy being you that you have no idea how utterly unprecedented you are."

John Green, The Fault in Our Stars

(Images, top to bottom: Laura in Prague | Maria at snack time | Tamara in Oman

. . . And a note: Three women, three different continents, all dear friends of this lucky soul. Some of the most genuine, passionate, kind-hearted people I've ever come across, they embody this quote.)

Monday, February 4, 2013

coffee // mondays

Image via Pinterest

"If I don't wake up smiling, I always make time to sit with a cup of coffee and write and consider the worth of the world until I feel pleasant enough to be part of it again."

Tegan (via)