2012: A Year in Review

Monday, December 31, 2012

Some days, months, and years are easier than others. Life has funny, and sometimes inconvenient, ways of reminding you that it can be messy, trying, simple, complex, interesting and breathlessly fun all at once. Yes, life is messy and complicated -- there's no way around it. I'm learning to embrace my life, imperfections and all. I want it because it's mine. And because it's real. 

Here are some snippets of our adventures from 2012. Many laughs were shared and lessons learned. Looking forward to what 2013 will bring. And I bet you are too!

Ode to My Oven

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Oh, oven. You're the best. Truly. You have tolerated my years of baking adventures with great aplomb and patience. You have been there, through thick and thin, to witness my baking successes and defeats. But mostly successes, right? You know it's true. Your multi-tasking skills are beyond admirable. I fear you have prevented a few mishaps with your trusty timer. Only a few. But I still give credit where credit is due. So, credit given. Gold star and all that.

I'm convinced that my banana bread is your absolute favorite. Don't lie, it's okay to have favorites. I won't tell. Promise. You always do your part and make it the stuff of legends. Nothing quite compares to the aroma of banana bread baking. Somehow, it always makes me feel at home, comfortable, and cozy. I think that most can attest it is pure love. The husband definitely can. You must be a fan too. Thank you for all the warm love you give to my baked treats. Thanks for getting me through another holiday season! I think we make a great team. Looking forward to our continued culinary endeavors!

P.S. I'm getting new potholders. I know you were tiring of the old ones. Get excited!

Merry Happy

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

All things merry to you and yours! Our kitties couldn't wait and opened their gifts early this morning! Knowing them, the rest of their day will be spent lounging in their respective boxes and bags. As always, the tissue paper was a hit! Happy Holidays!

Baking Buddy

Monday, December 24, 2012

I love to bake. A confessed health nut, I am that nerd swooning over vegan and gluten-free recipes and goods. For the holidays, I whipped up a dreamy mixed berry crumble with the help of Miss Taylor. I don't know what I'd do without my little sous chef. For those of you who are skeptical of the glory of plant-based and gluten-free fare in general, let alone dessert, fear not. It really is double the fun and double the yum. I'm lame, I know. But trust me -- if my brother-in-law approves, it's gold. 

What kind of desserts do you like to make for the holiday season? Traditional, non-traditional, or a mixed take on both? Lay it on me!

Dear CT

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Dear CT,

With horror and heartbreak, we watched the scene unfold on an early Friday morning. While there is nothing that I can contribute to the conversation that hasn't already been said or would prove effective, I would feel remiss if I didn't acknowledge this. The loss is devastating and far beyond words. My heart breaks at this senseless tragedy and the lives of those that were stolen, not only from themselves, but those that loved them.

As part of the public education sector, this situation is especially sensitive and strikes a universal chord. School is a place in which all children should feel noticed, safe, supported, praised and loved. To violate this trust, sense of care and community is unconscionable. While I am not yet a mother, I hope to be one day. I cannot imagine the pain and heartbreak of these families, but am overcome as an observer. Please keep these bright, brave children, fearless teachers, and their families in your mind and heart.  If you feel so compelled, please send letters of support and care to the families of this unspeakable tragedy. As shared on A Cup of Jo earlier this week, all correspondence to Sandy Hook Elementary School and families can be sent to the following address:

Sandy Hook Elementary School
12 Dickenson Drive
Newtown, CT 06482

Can You Keep a Secret?

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Can you? As a young girl, I was notorious for inadvertently telling immediate family members what we got them for Christmas. You know that skateboard you wanted? Oh, yeah. It's yours. The Mrs. Tea tea maker? Under the tree. Yikes. But please know, it wasn't intentional -- I started out strong, denying any knowledge, but caved when pressed. The pressure! 

For the first several years with my then-boyfriend/now-husband, I fell into a similar pattern. Those surprise-haters sure know how to work those with gift secrets! I was so excited about his gifts that I often told him about them straight away or gifted them early. I just couldn't help myself -- I couldn't wait! There really is a gift in giving. Gifting is my favorite part. That and making pretty packages. Well, I am proud to say I have learned a few things since then. I have been a successful secret-keeper and gift-hider for a number of years now and plan to keep it that way. How has your track record been? Do you spill the beans or keep it locked up tight? As shared, I now keep mine under lock and key. And in my car. So if I see you going for my keys around this time of year, you've got another thing coming. 

Smiling Is My Favorite

Monday, December 10, 2012

There's no denying it -- I've tried! The holiday season is here! One of my favorite traditions is basking in the comforting glory of holiday movies. Or movies that feel like the holidays to me, even if they're not. Seriously, vegging out to movies with family and friends are among my favorite memories. However, I confess The Holiday does get pretty regular play around here -- as in year-round. Hey, it's a great movie! The characters, the soundtrack -- it's perfection, don't judge.

Here are a few of my other favorites that I hope to cozy up to soon. I'm convinced it isn't the holidays without them. What movies are you looking forward to this holiday season? Are there particular movies that just feel like the holidays to you? 

Crush // Rent the Runway

Friday, December 7, 2012

Rent the Runway is a dream come true! A way to look fabulous and make the high-end accessible without paying a literal arm and leg or having our closets become overrun with event dresses a la 27 Dresses. I have compiled quite a few favorites for occasions that, apparently, will only happen in my dreams! While I love their styles and designer offerings, I seriously don't have anywhere to wear any of them should I choose. No weddings coming up. No balls, either. Despite my repeated attempts, family holidays are decidedly lowkey too, so that's out. It can be awkward to be the only one dressed up! So, unless I want to hangout in my house with a fancy dress on, I'll have to keep storing my favorites away until one of these lovelies is truly needed. I'm still hoping for New Year's. Here are some of my favorites -- what are yours?

1 // Nicole Miller Pretty Woman Lace Dress
2 // Kenneth Jay Lane The Black Tie Bracelet
3 // Camilla And Marc In The Zone Dress
4 // Whiting & Davis Black Mesh Glam Clutch
5 // Badgley Mischka Fifth Avenue Showstopper Dress
6 // Lilly Pulitzer Handbags Opening Night Clutch

via Rent the Runway

Word Wednesday

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

"I am a part of all I have read."

John Kieran

And It Begins

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Evergreen - Letterpress Printed Holiday Card

With Thanksgiving down and Christmas and New Year's to go, the countdown (and mad dash!) has officially begun. Every year, I have high hopes of finishing my holiday shopping before December. And every year, I am disappointed. It has only happened once -- my freshman year of college, I completed all my shopping by Thanksgiving. I was so proud. Those were the days. What happened? My to-do and gift list has expanded quite a bit since then, so I blame that. That and, well, time! Each holiday season, I vow to be better, more diligent, more organized, more together -- but it's always the same. Chaotic, rushed madness, thanking the USPS/UPS gods for looking after me yet again, and baking/wrapping all-nighters. It scares me to think just where I would be without online shopping. Apparently, I like to walk the line. I would deny it until the end, but with this same scenario unfolding year after year, I must subconsciously get a thrill out of being on thin ice. How is your gifting going? Are you finished? I don't want to know. Please tell me you're just like me. Let's be in denial together.


Sunday, November 25, 2012

SKYFALL Sets New UK Record!

 Hope you and yours had a nice and safe Thanksgiving holiday. Ours was spent making, baking, and catching up with family. And 007. Naturally.

image via

Joy of Making

Monday, November 19, 2012

Yesterday was a day for making. And baking. Murdoch was so kind to take time out of his busy schedule to help me with a little project. Glitter was involved. By the end of the day, our house was equal parts comforting and glittery. Here are a few pictures of my adventures. There is something about the creative process and sense of accomplishment. Even if a preschooler could do it.

All That Glitters

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

After years of pretending that sparkles didn't mean anything to me, I have to come clean. All those protestations, I didn't mean it. I have always been secretly obsessed with the sparkly. I just can't shake it. You know what they say about those that "doth protest too much." Well. I'm convinced a nice sequin or shimmer is always a good thing. Especially with the holidays fast approaching. But again, anytime. Here are a few shiny things that have caught my attention as of late.

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6


Summer Sentiments

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Murdoch. Taylor. Vegan doughnuts. Cafe Gratitude in Santa Cruz. Oh, and Robbie's trust issues.

Family Jewels

Friday, November 9, 2012

4 set 6-pc dinner setting / Springtime pattern / Bavaria made in Germany

There is something endearing about china. It is timeless, fragile, enduring. It is past, present, and sometimes, future. It is family, friends, celebrations, arguments; laughter, joy, conversation and belonging. Above all, it is love. A reminder of where you come from, a connection to the past, a hope for the future. I know many receive family china as a wedding gift -- a cherished heirloom passed down through the generations. I was not a part of that lucky bunch. Do you have any family china?  If so, how do you feel about it and how often do you use it? Special occasions, holidays, everyday? Inquiring minds want to know. Please excuse me as a I dream of these lovelies.  

Today, It Rained

Thursday, November 8, 2012

File:Here comes rain again.jpg

And I liked it. Earlier this week, we had an unexpected heatwave. Clear, blue sky and 90 degrees isn't exactly how most envision November. Well, today didn't disappoint. Dark, gray, rainy. It was perfect. Cold and cozy. A perfect balance. I wore my favorite charcoal gray peacoat for the first time this season and relished in the soft rain. It just felt like something.

image via


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

I eternally love the fall season and, as a child, simply adored Halloween. I would start the costume brainstorm in June and would always change my concept at the last minute. Sure, costumes were fun, but I was really in it for the candy. And Charlie Brown and The Great Pumpkin. And pumpkin seeds. Unfortunately, with each passing day, those imaginative childhood days become farther and farther away. Somehow, I've become lukewarm about Halloween these past years. I cannot tell you the last time I dressed up for it! My husband isn't the biggest fan of the holiday, so I blame him! That and all my traumatic haunted house experiences. In all fairness, candy isn't a central driving force in my life anymore. Shocking, I know. And it is probably the very reason this holiday seems to pass me by each year.

In case you're wondering, the best time to get a parking spot at any college is Halloween night. As mentioned here, I am currently enrolled and completely loving my pilates/yoga/ballet fusion class. I'm taking it just for fun -- and it is! Despite my lack of overt Halloween cheer, there's one thing that must be done on Halloween. Thriller. And so we did. For those of you who need a refresher, see here. I'm still working on it. And plan to dance along with 13 Going on 30 soon. No matter what you're doing -- going out, staying in, dressing up, breaking up, or making up, be safe! And eat chocolate. Pumpkin seeds. Or both!

image via

I Am Kevin Durant

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

File:Basketball Goal.jpg 

You guys. I don't know how it happened, but it did. And I'm not sure how I feel about it. Let me break it down. 

This Fall, my husband participated in his first ever NFL Fantasy Football League. It has been quite the experience and actually proved to be stressful for a few games. Who knew? Those boys -- hate to lose. As shared here, I have discovered myself to be quite the sports enthusiast. And now, somehow, we're both signed up for his brother's NBA Fantasy Basketball League. I'm equal parts excited and embarrassed. Being the only girl in their league, I am, alas, in a league of my own. Draft is tonight and I don't know what I'm doing. I'm all sorts of confused. But that is to be expected. When we play H-O-R-S-E, I think I am Kevin Durant. At least that's what I shout when I show up on the court. And we all know that isn't true. But I'm sure I could beat you at "Around the World." Or at least a twelve year-old. Wish me luck. I'll need it.

image via

It Feels Like

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Snippets from Seattle

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Birthday weekend. Pike's Place Market. Walking. Sorbetti. Walking. Whole Foods. Purple Cafe & Wine Bar. Walking. Movie. Gum Wall. Mineral hunting. Space Needle. Experience Music Project. Rachel the Pig. Walking. No rain. Did I mention walking? I love it. Nothing makes me feel more alive than exploring a city by foot.  Thanks to J for a special weekend!  I am a year older, but one step closer to greatness! Or that's what I've convinced myself. Here are a few pictures from our adventures!

What do you like to do in "The Emerald City?"

Greetings From...

Saturday, October 6, 2012

A birthday weekend!

A Face to Call Home

Saturday, September 22, 2012

      Five years ago, we did this.  I still do! 


     images courtesy Gabriel Mann Photography

The Boys Are Back in Town

Thursday, September 20, 2012


Football's back! After years of denying it, I've finally come to terms with it. I'm a sports fan. While I do have a limit, I confess that some of my favorite times are spent enjoying a football or basketball game with my husband and kitties. Sometimes it gets all a bit too intense for me though. Like when there are 0.08 seconds to make a play to tie, win, or rule the world. It is all very make or break and stresses me out. Nothing is a sure thing. 

I played sports in my youth, but never really liked the pressure of making a play. What if I did the wrong thing? Or nothing at all? Maybe I take it way too personally. As a viewer, I sometimes even feel sick and then start worrying about players. I know -- worrying about guys who are so talented, so lucky to live their dream, and so rich! Even still, I want to know if they stay up at night knowing they aren't fan favorites. If they care about being booed. Or that they may be entering their "golden years" as an athlete. While it is just a game, it also isn't. It's someone's life and how they've defined themselves. It is an athletic community that we, as spectators, have included ourselves in. "We're going to be fine. We're making a comeback. We're going to win." I want everyone to be happy, and sometimes, when I'm watching two teams I like, I want both teams to win. I'm still trying to figure out a way for that to happen. No luck as of yet, but I will keep you posted. 

Who are you rooting for this season? Or are you already wishing for it to be over?

image via Cambridge Bears

I Love You, KIN V73

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


live yoga.

KIN V73. Holistic Movement. Whatever -- I love you. After several years away from a class setting, I decided to tiptoe back to a neighboring community college for the fall semester. For fitness! I've been toying with the idea for years, but kept putting it off for various reasons. Finally, I got tired of my own excuses and made it happen. The class is a great outlet for me and keeps me committed to my fitness goals, as anyone can get a bit sidetracked from time to time. This is the first time I've ever been accountable to anything fitness related -- I prefer to work out on my own. It is a nice comfort to find a rhythm. Have you ever met someone and connected so well that you wonder how you ever were without them before? Well, that's how I feel about this class. I never knew it before, but now, I don't know how I did without it. It has re-inspired me to explore my interests in yoga, pilates, and ballet. 

It's strangely comforting to know that I am supposed to be in this particular place every Monday and Wednesday evening. For the next three months anyway. Tucked away in the cozy, small gymnasium with creaky wood floors and basketball hoops. In a strange way, it feels slightly reminiscent of nap time in preschool -- we all show up with our mats, dim the lights, turn on music, and feel rested, energized and refreshed upon departure. I wonder where this class was while I was attending university -- it probably would've calmed me down a lot. Or maybe not. I probably wouldn't have been able to enjoy it the way I do now. For the first time in my entire life, I'm taking a course credit/no credit. And while I still secretly desire a letter grade (I'm such a nerd), I'm learning to let it go. This is not a contest. This is for me. And I'm giving myself a pass.

image via

Back to the Start

Monday, September 17, 2012

After years of start and stop, continuous indecision of yes, no, and maybe so, I feel like I can finally begin.

via White Dulcet


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Hello My Name Is - Retro Style Letterpress Graphic Design Nametags - Set of 30Hello, hello! Oh, little space, little place. We are going to be great friends. I just know it. Like all friendships, ours must be built upon honesty and trust. Let's jump right in...

I confess I’ve never been much of a journaler. While the whole idea is appealing to me, and I have tried during countless phases of my life, it just didn’t seem to stick. More often than not, I didn't feel like I had anything particularly juicy or scandalous to catalog or detail under lock and key. However, when the impulse to write strikes, I typically resort to scribbling random thoughts on old Whole Foods receipts and dilapidated yellow Post-its hidden deep within the messy depths that, unfortunately, is the permanent state of my purse. That hasn’t worked out too well. Especially because those little gems and musings are often lost within the said depths of the treacherous purse. Vicious cycle. So. Here I am, trying a new form of journaling – a collection of seemingly random little bits, pieces, thoughts and inspirations that have come to define and inspire my little slice of life in equally big and small ways. A living record of who I am, who I’ve been, and whom I long to become. Yikes. I’m equally nervous and excited about this new endeavor, and look forward to what it will bring.

Retro Style Letterpress Nametags via Three Steps Ahead on Etsy