I have not yet recovered from the weekend. It was a great time full of birthday celebrations, including a party that started Saturday night and lasted well into Sunday. Since all I've wanted to do is nap on the couch or crawl into bed the past few days, I've been especially enjoying home.
This Chicago condo, showcased on Apartment Therapy, would be a swell place to be, exhausted or otherwise. I like the bold colors and all that great art. Take a look:
Today is my birthday ... my thirtieth birthday. The approach of this milestone has stirred up a lot of emotions in me, but today it has me feeling absolutely grateful. I love my life and feel blessed with where I'm at and what I've been given. So I'd like to reflect on the best parts and the things I've appreciated most, in no particular order, of my first thirty years of life:
1. That I was born at this point in history. I think the turn of the twentieth century is a fascinating time. So much is changing and there's such incredible creativity and talent around us.
2. My childhood. I was truly given a childhood. I was loved, encouraged, protected and sheltered from having to grow up too quickly. This was absolutely a gift.
3. Travel. My parents instilled a love of travel -- of visiting new places, going on adventures, seeing how others live, opening one's mind -- in my sister and me at a young age. I've gotten to visit nearly forty countries on six continents. And I can't wait to see more!
4. Being a girl. I love being a girl. We rock.
5. Art. Painting, drawing, sculpting, designing, visiting museums, experiencing other people's art -- these are some of my favorite things.
6. My mom. I'm convinced she's the best mother in the world. She's absolute love.
7. School. I've always loved school and I've been able to study at some great places. I miss the experience but am so grateful for the education I received.
8. Laughing. I try not to take myself too seriously and I relish seeing the humor in something, especially when I can laugh about it with someone else.
9. Books I've read. There's nothing like being taken away into a story.
10. My health. It's one of the most important things one can have and I want to always protect it.
11. The beach. Walking on a beach in the Caribbean, the sun above and water at my feet, is bliss.
12. My dad. He's the most real and truthful person I know and he's shown me the freedom that can be found in seeing things the way they really are and being true to oneself.
13. Home. It's more than just shelter; it's my own little corner of the world where everything is comfortable and good.
14. Awareness. I've always been sort of an observer. I'd rather take everything in than have everyone looking at me. But I've been able to see some pretty beautiful things because of it.
15. Faith. My beliefs, spirituality and religion are my foundation.
16. My sister. She's utterly amazing and the friendship I have with her is unlike any other.
17. Moving. Running, dancing, skiing, whatever -- I am grateful to have a body that allows me to move and push myself.
18. Style. It's a joy to be able to express myself through the way I dress. And I have some pretty great shoes.
19. Him. I met the love of my life when I was nineteen. He's wonderful and a true partner. I still can't believe I'm living out my own love story with him.
20. Family. I adore my crazy mix of grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, parents and siblings who love each other ferociously and unconditionally.
21. The pup. When we got our dog nearly five years ago, my heart opened up wider than I thought possible.
22. Simple food. Fruit, fresh bread, cheese, yum.
23. My girlfriends. Whether we met in third grade, middle school or college, I love the layers of bonds, experiences, inside jokes, support and love that have built over the years.
24. Growing. Every year I'm alive, I get to know myself better and learn to trust myself more. I'm grateful for this.
25. Seasons. Maybe it's growing up in the Midwest but I love experiencing the changes throughout the year. I'm attuned to it somehow.
26. My career. Not many people can say they like their job, but I can honestly say I love mine. It's challenging, creative and rewarding.
27. Wine. I always look forward to a glass of wine and the conversations that accompany it.
28. Morning. Waking up and seeing my husband next to me and pup curled at my knees is one of the happiest parts of my day.
29. Now. Having the opportunity to reflect on what I've been given.
Happy fall! Are you glad autumn has arrived? I am loving the crisper, cooler air and the way the leaves are just beginning to change color.
Rich shades of gold and red are also what I am drawn to in these paintings and prints by Begian-born artist Dirk de Bruycker. The saturated hues and organic shapes feel so appropriate right now, like a celebration of the season. Have a look:
Is it the weekend yet? I'm more than ready for it to be. I'm looking forward to baby shopping with my mom and sister (she's nearly halfway through her pregnancy already!) tonight and going out with some of my girlfriends tomorrow. But most of all, I want to relax! Sleep. Read. Lounge. Cuddle. Nap. Get completely cozy. I'm going to consider this print by Grace Hester Designs my directive.
Recently while popping around the Banana Republic website (it's one of my favorite stores), I came across some cute outfits that incorporate several of the best trends of fall. A classic trench, smart pants, easy cardigans, skinny jeans, ruffled tops and full, short skirts are pieces I'm planning to wear all season. Cute hats, pretty necklaces and touches of animal print are details I hope to add in. And if I can work them all together in effortless layers, even better!
As a child, I loved books for the illustrations almost as much as the stories. Come to think of it, that's not entirely surprising, since now I'm a writer who also makes art. In any case, I'm mesmerized by these prints by Montreal illustrator and designer Shira Sela. Each one engulfs me and takes me along in a narrative that plays out in my head. Wouldn't they be amazing as the art for new fairy tales?
This weekend has been great but boy did we try to fit too much into two days! I did a lot of fun things: caught up with dear friends who were in town, went to a football game with my husband and had dinner at our favorite sushi place. Cleaning, errand running and projects around the house, not so much.
Sometimes I need to remember to keep things simple -- not try to do everything at once -- and to make the good stuff the priority. In a way, I think that's what I like about this fantastic Minneapolis house featured in Dwell. It doesn't try to do too much -- but what it does do is amazing.
As I mentioned recently, my sister is pregnant and our family definitely has babies on the brain. Whereas I used to gloss over anything child-related, now I've got my eyes and ears trained toward health tidbits, cute anecdotes, adorable baby clothes and nursery design ideas to share with her. Wouldn't this Helvetica alphabet by Modern Pop be fantastic in a hip kid's room?
It's been a lovely long weekend, a fitting farewell to summer. And I'm happy to say I'm looking forward to fall. I get almost giddy thinking about crisp air, cozy sweaters, crackling fires and leaves turning colors.
While the leaves in my neck of the woods are still lush and green, these necklaces on Etsy have me eager for the days when foliage becomes deep shades of orange, red and gold. Are you falling for them too?
There's a chill in the air and a long weekend ahead of us. I couldn't be happier! This decidedly fall-ish weather has me wanting to spend the next few days curled up on the chaise with a book, a cup of tea and my dog.
Or perhaps I'll daydream about Bloom, a stunningly stylish B&B in Venice. I came across photos this week and my mind keeps wandering back to these lush rooms.