Wednesday, September 30, 2009

I'm Off

Off to a long weekend filled with fresh air, colorful leaves, good friends and a wedding. I can't wait!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Blue Mood

Oh, don't get me wrong. I'm not in a sad state of mind. But I am completely digging the blue-tinged photography of brianwferry on Flickr.

There's something so purely beautiful and quietly stirring about the images from his good set. Even though the subject matter is varied, each photo is resonating with me tonight.

Here, come take a look:

Photos from here.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Falling for Florals

As I ease into fall fashion, I am finding myself drawn to florals. Not springy flowers, mind you. But moody, dark, romantic, autumnal florals. I so badly want to drape myself in a flowery dress and throw a cozy cardigan on top.

Aiding this new fashion fixation is's "Shop Floral" feature, which brings up designers' works that follow the trend. Here are a few florals to love:

Vintage Collection
Tory Burch
Otis & Maclain
Catherine Malandrino
3.1 Phillip Lim
Alberta Ferretti

Photos from here.

What a Weekend

This has been such a wonderful weekend. My husband and I took a little overnight getaway to a resort town. We played a round of golf, took a lake cruise and ate way too much. It was great!

He and I had never played golf together but it was really fun. He's very good and was very positive and patient about me being not so good. And it was interesting to experience the culture of a golf course -- all the traditions and codes of conduct.

Golf courses really are beautiful. I loved all the rolling hills and trees and variations of grasses. How whimsical it all seemed at times reminded me of books I read and places my imagination wandered when I was a child.

But even after a lovely two days away, we both said we were looking forward to coming home. I think that's the best of both worlds -- to love getting away but also love going home.

Photos by me.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

A Happy Birthday

Today is my birthday. Yay! I'm now twenty-nine, which I think is a pretty cool age.

The weird thing about this age, though, is that most people don't focus on it. They want to know what you think about your next birthday, the big 3-0.

All this attention on that impending milestone got me thinking. Are there things I ought to accomplish in this next year? Should I make a list of what I need to do before I turn thirty?

Filled with anxiety, I started making a list. And you know what, it didn't really work out. What I put on my list were things I already was doing, things that were already important to me. I just wanted more of them:

Traveling and taking more adventures with my husband. Spending time with the pup (and maybe getting a second dog). Making more art. Doing more yoga. Hanging out with my family. Visiting my girlfriends. Exercising more. Learning to cook a few more things. Taking care of myself, accepting myself more fully, loving myself. Being grateful every day.

Really, my list of things to do became a list of things that have made the twenty-nine years leading up to this very moment so full and wonderful.

So I'm embarking on this new year feeling grateful, blessed and excited for what's to come. And that might just be the best birthday gift I could ever wish for. 

Photo from here.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

It Was a Dark and Stormy Day

Today was rainy, rainy, rainy. A true downpour, with skies so dark and the water falling so hard it was impossible not to get soaked, even with an umbrella.

But when the rain finally let up, the sky tinted yellow and the world was left slick and fresh.

I couldn’t help but think of the amazing painting, Paris Street: Rainy Day, by Gustave Caillebotte. I admire it every time I see it at the Art Institute of Chicago, my all-time favorite art museum. I love how wet the stone streets look, and they way passersby seem to be seeing their city anew.

Photo from here.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Rise and Shine

I had a very hard time getting going on the workweek today. My mind and body wanted to rush back home and spend the day at a slower pace.

I think this room from Elle Decor would be the perfect place to do exactly that. I can just picture myself spreading out the newspaper at that table, then reclining on those thick cushions to read a magazine or a book, with the pup curled up at my knees. All the while -- and this is a key detail -- sunshine would stream in through those glorious windows.

Not a bad way to spend a day, huh?

Photo from here.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

A Wonderful Walk

What a beautiful weekend this has been! The weather was warm, the sun was shining and there was a just a hint of fall in the air.

This afternoon my husband and I took a hike on a trail we've been wanting to explore for awhile. The trek we had in mind was supposed to be three miles one-way, but after twenty-five minutes we found ourselves back at the car! We must have taken a wrong turn somewhere, but it was a fun time in any case.

Photo by me.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Eat My Heart Out

Oooh, am I going to be eating well this weekend!

Tonight, a friend from work is getting married, so I know I'm in store for wedding cake and champagne -- an unbeatable combination, in my opinion.

Then tomorrow, my mom is having my cousins, sister and me over for a girls night. We order pizza, eat cupcakes and watch movies that my cousins -- ages eight and thirteen -- bring over. So much fun!

Fortunately, the weather is supposed to be gorgeous this weekend, so I'm planning to offset all this pigging out with a long hike with my husband. And some running around with the pup will factor in, too.

Happy weekend, everyone!

Photo from here.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Mmmmm, Beer

Ealier this week, my fella came home from the grocery store with a surprise. He made a customized six-pack of beer. We love trying new beers together. When we go to brewpubs, we often opt for samplers. It's fun to see what we like and what we don't. It's a mini adventure, I guess you could say -- and it was neat to bring the experience home!

I snapped this quick photo before we popped the tops off the first brewskies.

Photo by me.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Outfit Outlooks

The next time I feel like I have nothing to wear, I'm going to jump on the Flickr group Wardrobe Remix.

Here, real women post photos of what they're wearing. It's amazing to see how creatively they approach getting dressed. So many points of view, so much self-expression, so many great ways to put an outfit together.

Check out this eclectic mix of looks:

Photos from here.

So Sad

I am so saddened to hear about the passing of Patrick Swayze. His cancer diagnosis and the rapid progression of the disease was heartbreaking. He had such talent and I always liked how strong of a connection he and his wife, a fellow dancer, shared.

Dirty Dancing is my all-time favorite movie. I saw it for the first time when I was seven or eight, and my sister and cousin watched it over and over every time we got together. Swayze's Johnny was just the ultimate hearthrob, and we never got tired of watching him. I think we all identified with Baby and hoped we'd fall for such a guy someday. It's a great love story, and great coming-of-age story and to this day, I adore the movie.

While I know there are many different reasons to mourn this loss, I'm heartened and thankful for what Swayze and his movie means to us.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Animal Attraction

Do you have a favorite animal? For some reason, I've always been drawn to elephants. I just love them. They seem so thoughtful, contemplative and kind.

When I was a teenager, my family took a trip to Kenya. We were able to see elephants in their natural environments, which was an incredible experience.

But I like elephant imagery as well, including these neat Etsy finds:

An elephant tote by the Craft Pantry.

This elephant necklace by SeaUnicorn.

An elephant ring by PoppyJoy.

Photos from

A Room in the Trees

Around this time of year nine years ago, I moved into my first apartment. It was my sophomore year of college and four friends and I bunked up in a second-floor flat in an old house.

I loved my room. It was originally a porch, and three walls were completely filled with windows. When I'd wake up on late summer mornings, all I could see were leafy green treetops. Sunshine would stream in, filtered through the leaves and a nice breeze would blow in. It was wonderful!

Unfortunately, a converted porch didn't make for the best living conditions in the winter. I froze! But it was blissful in the summer.

I recently found a few drawings I did of my room for an art class I took that year. It's a fun way to remember my old treehouse-like room.

Image by me.

I Love You, 90210

Beverly Hills, 90210 is the greatest television show ever. It just is. No matter what I'm doing, there's a good chance I'll drop everything to watch reruns of this nineties classic.

So I was very excited to catch a few episodes this morning on SOAPnet. It's such a nice way to ease into a day, especially on a weekend.

Ahh, Kelly, Dylan, Brenda, Brandon, Donna, David, Andrea and Steve, I love you guys!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

So Excited

I feel like I'm ready to burst, like I'm about to fly off my seat and run out the door and start the weekend. That's because this weekend is going to be filled with lots of silly girl fun.

One of my best friends is coming home for the weekend. She moved out of state a few weeks ago to follow her heart and try an adventure. I am happy and excited for her but have missed her like crazy! It will be so nice to spend time together again.

But first I'm going out to dinner tonight with my girlfriends from work. One is getting married next weekend, so this is a little celebration for her -- not to mention just a great excuse to have a little fun outside the office!

And also this weekend another girlfriend is throwing herself a bachelorette party. But here's the wonderful catch. She's not getting married. She's not even dating anyone. But she figured, why wait until she's engaged to celebrate being single and having great friends.

I can't wait for the weekend to start. So when I saw this great print by Juliane Eirich on 20x200, I thought, "Yes, that's it! That's exactly how I feel."

I hope the weekend brings lots of great fun for everyone!

Photo from here.

Thankful Thursday

When I think of my parents, the first idea that comes to my mind is love. The two represent, embody and share with the world so many different types of love.

My mom and dad met when they were fifteen and sixteen, respectively. They've known one another nearly forty years and yet they’re still very much in love. They're on a "living life" mission and quite adventurous about trying new things.

My mom does nearly everything with my dad and our family in mind. She's absolutely the most loving, giving, selfless person I've ever known. She is unconditional love. Growing up under the presence of a person like that is one of the greatest gifts I'll ever be given.

My dad looks out for everyone, takes care of all his loved ones. He's the smartest person I've ever known and is so generous with everything he has. He can't help but be honest and real in every situation and he gives the best advice. I could not have survived without him as a teacher, coach and mentor.

I'm grateful my parents have each other and I'm blessed to have them both in my life.

Photo from here.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Recipe for Love

"Love your other how they need to be loved, not how you need to be." 

Isn't this wonderful advice? So simple, so true ... so hard to do sometimes. 

This comes from Anna Bond of Rifle. It's one of the many, many good and loving suggestions offered up on A Cup of Jo. While blogger Joanna Goddard is off honeymooning, she's invited fellow bloggers to share their secrets to a happy relationship.

I wish we'd share this kind of advice more often. Let's start now. What's your best recipe for love? Think of it and pass it on! 

A Great Read

Yikes! I can't believe it's been so long since I last posted. I have been sick for the past week. It wasn't the most fun way to spend a long holiday weekend, but I must admit it was nice to relax.

I napped, dug into magazines, watched a few movies and finished a wonderful book, Broken for You by Stephanie Kallos.

It's a wonderful, and wonderfully engaging, story, mainly about two very different women dealing with very different struggles. My favorite thing about the book is how I grew to love the characters slowly, naturally and without even realizing it. I also liked how the home the two women inhabit -- as well as their lives -- slowly and naturally fill with other characters.

This beautiful story is definitely worth reading. And if being sick allowed me to delve completely into it, then I'm grateful for having this bout of the flu!