Thursday, December 20, 2012

Today an older man wearing candy cane pants gave me a thumbs up.

That's what I call holiday cheer.

I'm pretty busy right now. (Eating the funfetti popcorn I just made.) I know I'm preaching to the choir, so please remember to enjoy your loved ones this holiday season. Let go of the things that haven't happened yet or you can't control. Have an eggnog and carry on.

I love you all dearly.

Let's reconvene after Christmas. Deal?

Sunday, December 09, 2012

In 2008, this happened. Worth noting: 2008 was the WORST. For everyone. I don't need to go into details, but I know all of my friends agree. So, I'm not saying that Olivia was a mistake because I loved her dearly. However, I put A LOT of money into her: clutch, catalytic converter, timing belt, ac. At this point she needed even more: head gasket, mirror, reverse light wiring, right blinker wiring, some sort of air filtery thing, brakes, two new tires. I just wasn't able to provide for her in her old age. I had to let her go. 

What's a girl to do?

Cry a little. Spend a little. Get angry. Buy a new Prius C. (The C stands for Clearly. Just kidding. It stands for Cute. Still kidding. It actually stands for City.)



Yep. I bought my first BRAND NEW CAR. I affectionately refer to her as Lady Grey at the moment. She gets a lovely 53-60 mpg. She has a sexy magnetic grey teflon coating, too. It's a weird experience to drive a hybrid, but it makes me feel oh so economical and environmental. 

Let's talk about what happens when you buy a brand new car. You have to haggle. I was able to do much less haggling since USAA had done part of it on my behalf, but let me tell you - it's hard to not back down and say let me have my shiny toy now, please. Also, it takes FOREVER. I got there about 10:45 and drove away with Lady Grey around 2:30. I had not properly nourished my body for that. I wasn't thinking straight. Luckily, the dealership is right next to Chipotle. Thank heavens!

So. Yep. I have a new car and a new car payment, but I also have peace of mind. No broken things that aren't under warranty (4 years and 60,000 miles are covered). All of the lights work. No control panel beeping and flashing. The anxiety of a dying car far outweighs the anxiety of a new car payment. 

*sigh of relief*

Do any of you drive a Prius? I'm so happy to be a part of the Prius family now. I notice them everywhere I go! 

(And never fear! Floyd - my fearless pink flamingo - who has been with me since the Pontiac station wagon has found a new home in the Prius C!)

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

I'm drinking coffee, burning a mahogany teakwood candle, and waiting for the Sears delivery truck.

Sears delivery?! Um yes. For my dad's birthday/Christmas (because he doesn't like us buying things for him at all), he is getting a new mattress! My brother and I decided that 27+ years was too long to have the same mattress, so on Black Friday I made sure to catch a good deal and pay for the delivery. It's a big day.

Also, buying things like mattresses as gifts for the people I love makes me feel like an adult. A mattress is a very adult thing to buy - don't you think?

You know what else is very adult? Budgeting and buying a new car. I'm learning how to do both of these things, too. I just got off the phone with the Toyota dealership - I'm going Friday to test drive a Prius C.

I am so adult right now. Wish me luck!

"Of course you save money on gas - a Prius runs on granola and hugs!" - J Cov

Thursday, November 29, 2012

I read this post today. So helpful.

Today has been such a blessing away from people - away from my head.

Spending so much time alone is amazing for reflection.

And a walk with a wonderfully long standing friendship is also good for reflection.

Thanks to this lady:


I'm not excited about going back to the real world, but I've got all sorts of good on my side.


My tree is up! The holidays are in full swing! Please don't remind me that it's less than a month (and one paycheck) until Christmas. I will cry. Again. Because I've certainly cried a few times already in the last two weeks.

People often go around saying "when it rains, it pours" but you don't really understand what that means until it happens to you. Because WHEN IT RAINS, IT POURS. And a lot of the raining and pouring is the anxiety that comes from all the other raining and pouring, but boy oh boy. It is tough.

The holidays are my very favorite time of year. They are full of surprises, gifts, crafting, baking, drinking(!) and cheer. And stress. Work stress. Dating stress. Family stress. Financial stress. My car is breaking stress. I need to get my teeth cleaned stress. I need to workout stress. What do I buy stress. How many days do I have to work in a row stress. Stop asking me questions stress. People are getting sick stress. How the eff do you expect me to craft that stress.

Because when it rains it pours.

So, what I'm trying to do is... Put less stress on myself. I mean HELLO it's coming from all over the place as it is - just give yourself a break! Am I right?

I am. I know I am.

So, it's a day off today where I'm running around - errands, appointments, crafting, baking, trying not to blame myself for the rest of the things sitting on my list. LET IT GO. Hmph.

I forgot to buy glitter today.

The good news is that it will all be over soon (which is sad because this is the time of year you're supposed to slow down and enjoy time with your loved ones). The good news is that you'll get it all taken care of (in due time). The good news is when you feel you're starting to slump there's always coffee.

Two pots a day is not too much.

The best news is that while you're crafting/gifting/baking you can make this Killer Granola from Shutterbean!

I mean, seriously, double the recipe. Triple it if you want to use it as a gift. Add Cinnamon. It's delicious. Pour soy milk and blueberries over it. Mix it with raspberry preserves and plain greek yogurt. It's amazing! 

And if the granola fails (which is won't) then do what I do and make a nice hot chocolate with peppermint schnapps, grab a book (Currently reading: The Night Circus) and turn off your internet/mobile devices.

Happy Holidays, friends. You can do it!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

It's raining here. And, as much as I dislike the rain, lying in bed listening to it hit the roof and the trees has such a calming effect. It could be that I'm still in bed that's so calming, but I'll let the weather win this one.

I have to go to work soon, but if I didn't, I'd stay all day in bed - reading a book or watching Harry Potter while drinking hot tea. Ahhh.

What do you like to do when it rains?

Monday, November 05, 2012

It has certainly been awhile since I've blogged. This morning I read a little over 100 posts and decided that I should post my own - you all are so inspiring!

So, what's up party peeps?

I'm currently in the middle of a weeklong vacation. I spent four days out of town. Today will be spent with one of my very best friends watching Gilmore Girls and eating cheap Chinese food to celebrate her birthday! And then I have A VERY LONG TO DO LIST.

Move GIANT TV
Laundry (it's really never ending)
Dentist Appointment
Bare Minerals/Finish Line/Tanger Visit
Grocery Shopping - because I cannot live on oatmeal alone.
Change all the light bulbs in my car that are burnt out
See about fixing my driver side window
Bake something. Anything.
Take care of my fish, Cohen
Get car washed. Inside & out.

That's just a bit. A bit of what needs attention. I'll get it done. Fo sho.

Anywho. That's life. A very long list of things to do. And, if you're very lucky, then it's accompanied by some fantastic people. Sometimes you'll cry. (I've done that a lot recently.) Sometimes you'll be smile. (I've done that a lot recently, too.) And both of these things are good. It's all perspective, I suppose.

Enough of this. I have a to-do list to take care of.

xo.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

I will GO TO YOGA on Thursday & Saturday. And it will make me feel AMAZING and accomplished.

(I'm writing this here, so it's public and I can't back out. It's a mind game.)

At the beginning of the year, I was going to yoga probably three times a week. I loved it so much that I wrote a blog post about it. I am in a totally different place than I was then. My worry & stress levels aren't the same. I have new people in my life who like to support me through that. I have different work and life responsibilities. But I want my yoga back. I also want my sexy arms back.

It's a win for everyone.

Friday, September 14, 2012

It's been awhile since I read something that truly inspired me. Weird because I read a lot. Magazines. Books. Blogs. They've all taken me so far and then dropped me off on the corner. The book I just read truly inspired me though. All the way.

Blogger Alyssa Shelasky (Apron Anxiety) is living the life I've only dreamt of - foodie writer in the city that never sleeps. In all honesty, it's not the life I see myself living, but it's one that I can fall deeply into and I can somewhat replicate while still living my own version of life. After finishing this book, my iPhone now holds a laundry list of ingredients to buy and photos of recipes I snapped straight out of it's pages. And first things first - when I get home, I'm baking muffins. Whole Wheat Flour. Butter. Blueberries. Raspberries. Muffins that would get me out of the worst of trouble - like a wrecked car. Maybe muffins will be how I make all of my future friends. Perhaps I'll never open my own bakery or become a professional blogger, but I will make sure that my friends and family are well fed and that my words are not lost on deaf ears, but ferociously typed onto the interwebs for memorializing.

So, now what? I need an Action Plan! Some SMART GOALS. Dear Readers, where do I begin? Where do I go from here? What are some of your favorite recipes? What are some of your favorite foodie books or blogs?

Share with me and I'll report back over glasses of wine and flour covered counters. Deal?

Friday, September 07, 2012

This morning, I'm lying in bed, drinking a smoothie and thinking about being productive.

I moved about a month ago and I'm still not unpacked. I'm not settled in. I'm rarely home. I live around boxes. I haven't really blogged. I haven't really baked. I have a running to-do list that I ignore. I haven't even put away my laundry.

Little Suzy Homemaker is going through a rebellious stage, I guess.

I did start reading blogs again - they're starting to inspire me! I did start organizing my finances - I'm trying to learn to be frugal where needs should be frugal! I did get back into my book Apron Anxiety - it's sort of what I'm going through now and she's about to start her upswing!

Hopefully, it's a sign.

It's definitely a sign. Fo' sho.

Until then - I'm going share some of my fave links from the week.

1. Blogging is something I truly enjoy doing. But can it be taken seriously? How do I do that? How does one become a Creative Professional? Elise gives us some insight on turning what you love into what you do.

2. Summer is coming to a close soon. I know because Starbucks is serving pumpkin. But don't let it go without reflecting first. What was so awesome about Summer 2012? Tracy shares her summer wins with a picture journey!

3. How to Properly Wash Your Brushes. Let's be honest, this is just really important!

4. Dude, Where's my Podcast? Joy & Tracy are back in action this week! There's a NEW! Joy the Baker podcast up over at Home Fries!

5. I have to bake for work on Sunday. What better than this lovely little recipe I stumbled upon? Apple Toffee Blondies - yes, please!

Now I need to go put away some laundry or dishes and water my plants! Yes, I have plants now. 4 outdoor plants. 2 indoor plants. And I'm in the market for a terrarium if anyone is interested.

Special shout out to Katie Gandy for her crafty skills this week - I got a new plant hanger AND a neon pink hula hoop. Both handmade. She's so cool.

That's all I've got for now...

Tell me what INSPIRES you out of a slump!

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Sometimes, days just don't go the way you planned.

Then what?

You lay in bed and search for trips online. Clearly.

I've recently discovered Living Social and Kayak.
I'm obsessed.

Yes, I want to go on a Yoga + Wine Tasting Adventure! Who doesn't? And it's in another state? Ok! That sounds way fancier than warm flow + a bottle of two buck chuck. (No offense, TJ's. You know I love you.)

Maybe I'll go to the Grand Canyon. Or Seattle. I could always visit friends in New York or Boston.

I am beginning a few projects. In my head.

One is painting a fridge.

One is hanging up wall decoration in my house.

One involves baking.

One involves work and learning to develop myself.

What new projects are YOU working on? Or what trips are YOU planning?

Friday, August 24, 2012

Hi Friends!

It's been awhile since I had that blogger's itch. Maybe I've been preoccupied. Maybe I've had blogger's block. Maybe I've had life block. Or maybe I've just been settling into what my life has become. (And for the record, my life is lovely.)

I can say a lot has happened since I last posted here. I've been seeing a lot of some people and less of others. I've not been baking too much, but I have plans to change that... starting today! I don't live in the same place, but the place I live is pretty and terribly convenient (except to a Target). I lost a family member, but gained more respect for the family I have. I'm another year older... and I have no buts about that. It is what it is and I like growing older. But I'm still young at heart. (Oh! There is the but. Cue the Frank Sinatra.)

I am currently typing to you via my new Macbook Air. It's love. I'm sipping EmergenC to fight this plague that floats around me. And I'm getting ready to travel down to the beach for breakfast.

Oh, this life.

Certainly more to come soon.

Fairytales can come true. It can happen to you if you're young at heart.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Love Does // Bob Goff

// but this morning there's a calm I can't explain.

Sometimes, it's nice to work the late shift. Not always. I like my productive work mornings followed by happy hour or dinner with friends. But I do enjoy sleeping in occasionally. I wake up to the sound of yard work outside of my window and roll out of bed and saunter around the apartment in my pajamas for a few hours. I might read a little or watch a missed episode of something. There is certainly almost always coffee involved - this morning it's Coconut Mocha. (Note to self: buy more of this.) I never bring laundry into my wandering mornings because it's my least favorite thing.

Today, I baked tofu and for a delicious lunch of kale, brussels sprouts, red onion, and mixed brown rice with a healthy pour of sriacha and sweet chili sauce. That's how you know it's going to be a good day. Actually, you REALLY know it's going to be a good day when you have brownies in the oven before 9am. They were vegan until I threw in dark chocolate chips for good measure.

So, yeah, I was vegan for two weeks. Let me tell you about that.

Why did I do it? Just to know what it's like. There's no better way to understand someone's lifestyle than to live it. You know, walk a mile in their shoes and all that jazz. Was it hard? Heck yes! Did it make me feel good? Heck yes! I lost six pounds and gained confidence in my ability to follow through on funny little challenges I set up for myself. Will I stay vegan? No. I don't have a good reason to. I'm not convicted about using animals for food - even when I was vegetarian it didn't really phase me. I think that I learned a lot about what I am putting into my body - what's good/wholesome and what's less than zero on the nutritious scale. (That's not to say I didn't eat crap. I had Sour Patch Kids for lunch at the movies one day and french fries for dinner another.) But I believe this experience is going to make me think a lot about my options and what the pros/cons are of what I'm eating. I felt pretty fantastic all 14 days. I didn't NEED a lot of caffeine despite my lack of sleep. And I was never ever hungry.

You learn something from all experiences. I can also tell you the BBQ pork nacho experience I had at lunch yesterday was amazing. Perhaps I am a riddle.

While I'm here, let me tell you how lucky I am in life right now. You know those moments when you stop and think about your life and there is not much else you could wish for besides making your first million or winning the lottery? That's where I am. There is a lot of uncertainty rolling in over the next few months, but nothing deliberate planning and learning cannot overcome.

Do you feel lucky right now? Or are you struggling? I'd like to know if you'd like to share.

One thing I am absolutely going to try to do right now is pare down my Google Reader (hello, love) subscriptions and read those that inspire me to be inspired here and in life. I miss Links I Love! Don't you?

I love Sabrina Ward Harrison. I need to own a piece of her work.

Oh and I love this as well:



Well, ok then, it's time to be (more) productive. I'll be in Charlotte the next two days for Dave Matthews Band and IKEA! Eep! So, until next time... xo.

Friday, May 11, 2012

I've been MIA for a month, then I come back and blogger is totally different. Nbd. BIG DEAL. Meh.

I'm honestly not sure why I haven't been writing. Maybe I've had writer's block. Blogger's block.

The easiest way to play catch up is to tell you that life is so good and so "this is real life" all at the same time. For ever simple task, there is a difficult chore that follows alongside. For every great happiness, there is a tragedy. For every new love, there is a heartbreak. For every great win, there is a bigger loss. This means two things: perspective and limbo.

Perspective is what really bring beauty into our lives because how can we know how sweet it is without a little bitter? Limbo is just uncertainty of a new adventure - being unwilling to step foot because you're never sure what's going to follow or it's going to effect your status quo. I suppose limbo could also be described as fear or cautiousness. I think it's different for every person.

In other less thought provoking news, I'm on day five of "operation let's be vegan". WHY ARE YOU BEING VEGAN? YOU LOVE CHEESE! Ah. Good question! I'm glad that you asked. Honestly, I like to give myself little challenges, just to see if I can do them, even if they seem silly. I'm weird. I know. Also, I just want to know what it's like - how do vegans live? What are their struggles? How does veganism make my body feel? The best way to find answers to your questions besides asking is to just do. So, welcome to "operation let's be vegan". I miss bacon, cheese and Chickfila. But I like making creative food options for myself and trying new things. I like my energy level. And I like the questions it provokes from people - I'm always up for a good conversation!

Also, let's see, I've been to Columbia twice this week for work. Hi, traveling for work! You're fun! And that's good since I might be doing it more with a new career experience I will be beginning for my job! So, that means work is going well. That means work is challenging and engaging and I like where I am and what I do. I have great aspirations to move forward, but where I am is good for right now.

Driving to Columbia gave me time to catch up on my Joy the Baker Podcasts. Nerd Alert. I was a month behind in my episodes, much like I am with reading all of my blogs. Nerd Fail. A few episodes back, they asked us to blog our five favorite things right now and since I forfeited that opportunity then, I have decided to take it now. Here we go:

1. Coconut. In all it's various forms. I'm serious.
2. Norah Jones new album // Little Broken Hearts.
3. Days off spent at the beach with people I adore.
4. My iPhone - esp, Instagram, Clear, and Spotify.
5. SoCal. I think about going back all the time.

I thought I would have a longer list or that it would be easier with me to come up with, but no. Weird. Anyway, I feel like that's enough rambling for now. It's good to be back and hopefully I'll feel inspiration sooner rather than later next time.

xo.

Monday, April 09, 2012

In an effort to postone laundry, packing & cleaning for as long as possible, I've decided to write a blog post! I never regret the time I spend reading or writing blogs, but I may regret the procrastination. We shall see.

Wait. What? What am I packing for you ask? Oh hey, I'm traveling to the West Coast this week! I'll be in San Diego & Los Angeles starting Thursday and I'll make my triumphant return the following Wednesday. I'm so excited I can hardly stand it! Part of me doesn't want to leave and break up my routine - but to be honest, I don't have a routine at all right now, so I guess it will be just fine.

That's the exciting upcoming part of life.

What's been going on? Oh, a lot. More than I can possibly remember. More than I can possibly type. More than I can share in a public forum. Hi, world wide interwebs!

Yesterday was Easter. I went to church for the first time in ages. Isn't that terrible? At this moment in my life, I feel like a holiday church goer. But it was good. It was SO good. We talked about Courageous Love and things that aren't easy. And what do you do? And what do you deserve? What a Courageous Love we've been shown, but are we also up to the challenge?

Something to ponder.

I spent the day with my family. Both sides of it in one home! I played volleyball with my little sister and ate cheesy carbs and went on a hunt for some eggs. Today, I'm sore, bloated and sun burnt, but it was all completely worth it. Worth noting: I survived the tattoo debut of 2012. *phew*

Other things... Work has been challenging. I'm learning new things & integrating them into my old work flow. I have a lot of support from my leadership and a lot of support from my peers. It's amazing to see how we work together when we want. Really.

I haven't been to yoga or the gym in weeks. It's sad, but I'm not worried about it. Recently, I baked Avocado Poundcake, and two different kinds of oatmeal cookies - dark chocolate/craisin/walnut and coconut/butterscotch/cinnamon chip. It's coconut season to me now. I'm wearing it. I'm burning it. I'm drinking it. I'm eating it. It's love.

In headline news today, Facebook bought Instagram for $1 billion. No big deal. PS. RIP Instagram. I'm not being a Negative Nancy - I'm just being a realist - if only to save myself from certain sadness when Instagram bites it big time.

I was thinking about being vegan. That seems hard. I like challenges. That seems like a HUGE challenge. (Hi, Charles! I can see the disappointment in your face. Don't worry - I don't think I can go through with it.) Also, I'm baking bbq tofu right now with Slatherin' Brands sauce - the spicy one. This junk is delish - you must get your hands on a bottle of it.

Am I rambling now? I think I might be.

And now I'm super tired again - even though I took an almost 2 hour nap after work today.

Life is good. The people in it are good. Everything is good.

And for those of you who are experiencing way more challenges than I am right now, I am proud of you and grateful for your strength. It's these sorts of moments in our lives that let us know what we're truly capable of and what's worth it in the end. xo.

Also, it's ok to be Cranky Pants.

Friday, April 06, 2012

   

This is my family. It's full of love & happiness which is more than someone could ever hope for.

I am on day two of a two day off streak. Yesterday, I spent the day by the pool, at the beach, or asleep. I didn't clean or fold laundry. I didn't bake. I wasn't able to make appointments or return phone calls. I drank fun drinks and smoked hookah with friends. Sometimes, life is just about doing what makes you happy in the moment and picking responsibility back up later. Yep. Today, I clean and mani/pedi myself - it should be a happy medium.

Also, it's Good Friday. A day someone had to give up everything so I could have all of this. That's an incredible love.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

It is almost April. APRIL! How did that happen? Where did the last three months go? I know they've been awesome, but too quick!

Oy.

Do you ever stop and take a look at your life and wonder how the heck you got where you are?

I'm not saying it's a bad thing or a good thing... just a thing.

And I wonder if where I am is where I'm supposed to be. If I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing. If I'm with who I am supposed to be with. If I'm making the most of the time that's been given to me.

This is not to say I'm not completely happy with my life at the moment. Life is good. I've got goals. I just wonder if they're the right ones and how am I supposed to know?

How do you know if you're living it right?

[cue the John Mayer music]

But seriously. How do YOU know? Tell me your stories.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Oh hey new profile photo!
Who made me so pretty? The beautiful & talented Elle Andersen!

Elle’s passion for her work has given her many opportunities and taken her to many different places. And, if you ask her, the best part of it all has been filling her life with the vibrance of those whose paths she has crossed.

Check out more of her work at Elle Olivia Photography!
Dear Blog,  
We have been together for quite sometime now- six years, in fact. Crazy! This was our very first post together... And since then you've taken me through a lot and kept all of my words & secrets safe. So, I just wanted to say thank you and I'm sorry this is the only year I've remembered our bloggiversary... But here is to many more! You mean the world!

Dear Readers, 
Some of you have been along for the ride just as long! Maybe you even hopped on the train back when we were a live journal. (Oh hey! Blast from the past!) I used to only write these posts for me, but I now know that they've also been for you. I love your texts, emails and comments. You all are hilarious, encouraging and inspiring. Thank you - you're the best!

xoxo.  
 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

”...if a person knows Christ, they become the sort of [person] who says difficult truths with [their] mouth and yet feels things with [their] heart that make [them] want to go around and die for people. It’s quite beautiful, really.” - Donald Miller
photo via cohabitaire. see more here.

My alarm has been going off since six thirty. That was silly of me to set. I have had this terrible habit recently of staying up late and thinking that I could wake up five hours later ready to take on my day. I've had more caffeine in the last two days, then I've had in the last month. Crazy. I know.

It's ok.

Sometimes you just have to go watch your friend get a tattoo and celebrate with drinks.

But I'm on vacation. I'm on vacation with a messy room and an unpacked suitcase, but still. Six days.

Today, I will head to Savannah to visit the lovely Mrs. Degar. (Whoa. Sometimes I still have trouble remembering that Chickies is a Mrs. now.) And I will be joined by the always amazing Laura. I already know how awesome this is going to be.

I'll miss my town while I'm gone. I'll miss my people. I'll even miss my job. But it's going to be good to get away. I need to get away. I was starting to overload.

And when I come back, I'll start over fresh for spring. I think that will be a good idea.

xo.

Monday, March 19, 2012

The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, the education, the money, than circumstances, than failure, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company… a church… a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past… we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. And so it is with you… we are in charge of our Attitudes. - Charles R. Swindoll 

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Sometimes I wake up while it's still dark and I panic about the time. Did my alarm go off? Am I late for work? Will I still have time to shower and stop for coffee? You know what I'm talking about. It's a fear that seizes me for two whole seconds before I can get my phone close enough to my face to see the time.

This morning, the fear lasted longer when I saw a long list of updates topped by a text from a friend. I knew why they texted and I just couldn't seem to get my phone unlocked quickly enough to read it. 

The fact of the matter is - life is short and it appears that way at any age.

I had this conversation with my boss yesterday. He asked me why I had decided to go let myself be beat up by the ocean and a surfboard. I'm crazy?  I said, "I just don't see why I shouldn't be doing things right now." Really, the older I get, the more I want to do. I've cultivated this unusual desire to try things I'm scared of or things I think I may hate.

Why? I don't know. What's the worst that could happen? Why do I make any of the decisions I do? Because I realize life is too short to not do what you want to do? Because life is too short to not be with the people I want to be with? Because one day that 4:30 am text will be from me or about me and I don't want it to be full of regret?

There are no words that accurately express the feelings of loss. There is nothing a person can say to describe it. And on the opposite side, there is nothing to be said to make it better. It's just a part of life.

And I have faith in the next part  - in a beautiful eternity that is more amazing than anything this earth could ever offer. I'm not scared of dying, but I know my life is a gift and I am certainly frightened to look back and feel as though I haven't been living it.

So, tell the people you love that you love them and do all of the things you want to do. Live within your means, but remember that this time is temporary. And life is short, but sweet for certain.

xo.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

So a few people have texted/emailed me to ask about my previous post. What's the secret? What makes me so good with life? I can say it's not any one thing or person. It's everything combined.

It's the beautiful weather. It's work. It's when work is hard and I learn something from it. It's when work is smooth and I feel accomplished by it. It's the people I work with and how much they support me. It's the people I work with and how much I am able to support them. It's my friends - new and old. It's getting to know people for real. It's trying new things, new foods, new adventures. It's saying yes even if I want to say no. It's saying no when I really want to say no. It's my health. It's the roof over my head. It's Charleston and the water that surrounds it. It's the music I hear. It's the words I read. It's taking the negative and turning it into a positive. It's phone calls with friends who live far away. It's half priced bottles of wine. It's dancing the night away. It's trying to surf. It's baking and baking some more. It's lunch with friends. It's dinner with friends. It's supporting people who need supporting. It's vanilla chai tea. It's instagram. It's yappy little Roxy pants. It's the sound of the fountain as I fall asleep. It's a free massage. It's a juice cleanse high. It's going running. It's my family. It's cotton candy colored sunsets.

It's a lot of things. I have so many things to be thankful for - so many things to be happy about. And I am trying to be positive and work hard and just do it - whatever it is. That's all. Sometimes I forget to stop and be grateful, but today that's what I'm doing. That's my secret!
I've been a bad blogger again. I'm sorry! I've been doing more of the eating and drinking with people. And dancing. And running. And beaching. Reading, too. I'm on the third book of The Hunger Games series. I dig it.

My days off/last week have been so wonderful. I can't even begin to fill you in on all of it. But I'm so very happy with life at the moment.

And I have been listening to this song all day. Do yourself a favor. Evidently I just skipped it every time I listened to this album before.

Daydreamer, with eyes that make you melt. He lends his coat his shelter. Plus, he's there for you when he shouldn't be, but he stays all the same. Waits for you, then sees you through.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

courtesy of joy the baker & her bp experience
Hi Friends.

It's Tuesday. But not just ANY Tuesday. It's the Tuesday that I begin my Blueprint Cleanse! Why? Because it's supposed to be amazing for your body... and I like a challenge. Also, because I'm highly susceptible to advertising - Joy the Baker, Tracy Shutterbean, Andrea with the Hyperbole, and Nicole is Better have all endorsed this juice drinking campaign.

And I believe in a TREAT YO' SELF lifestyle.

Ok, so it was actually really hard for me to buy this. Why? BECAUSE IT WAS SO DAMN EXPENSIVE. I could have bought a juicer and done it myself, but I wasn't sure what I was getting myself into. But sometimes in life, you need to go on a juicing adventure.

So, now I'm waiting for the FedEx juice deliverer. If they don't show up before I leave for work, then I'll have to start tomorrow. I hope they get here soon because I'm hungry! Meh.

... this was a good idea, right?

Right.

And don't worry, I will let you know how it goes!

Thursday, March 01, 2012

I cannot stop listening to Trevor Hall.

Listen to The Lime Tree. If you've been around me at all recently, then I'm sure you've heard it already. Just listen to it again. And come see him with me on March 24 at The Pourhouse.

Save me love, save me all the time. I wash it down with a simple sip of wine. Toast my glass to all my loved ones to let them know that the stars, they still shine. It took a while for you to find me, but I was hiding in the lime tree.

So, today. I am constantly surprised how far I've come in life, but then again not at all. 

Professionally, I have a plan. I know what I want and I am so willing to work for it. I am dedicated and competitive. I am fiercely passionate about what is good for me and what is not - what is acceptable and what is not. I am focused. I command attention. And I can stand alone. This translates into my personal life as well.

via instagram
I spend time by myself sometimes, but often balance a full social calendar. I schedule time for spontaneity and fit in as much as possible until I overload and take time off. I am quick to make friends, but slow to trust them fully. And when I get to that point with someone, then I absolutely adore them. I have high standards for myself and I hold those around me to the same standards.

Turns out, I can't always do that.

Turns out, we're not all the same.

Turns out, what is good for me is not good for everyone else.

My therapist brought up a very good point today. Maybe I haven't been put in people's lives to help them figure something out, but to help me figure out how I see people, how I treat them, how I respond to them, and how I love them.

(She makes me spend a lot of time thinking about myself...)

I have a really difficult time relating to people who make decisions that are vastly different than my own. And whether I am right or wrong, I have to remember to accept those decisions as the right ones for that person.

Turns out, my adoration has some limits.

Turns out, I let my head own more of me than my heart sometimes.

Turns out, I may be handing out judgement and didn't' realize.

And it's so crazy for me to realize that. I just sat their in silence while my therapist handed this idea to me. Silent because I was processing. Silent because I realized she was right. Silent because I felt horrible for making anyone doubt themselves in my eyes.

That's not to say I will always agree with people. I will always have an opinion. I will always give it to the people I care about. But after that, then it's up to them.

My job is to love. love. love.

There, but for the grace of God, I go.

It's just a little something for me to think about. And I think it's time for me to practice some good intention and follow up with it. It might just make my life easier, too.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

I wonder... Do you love your job?

Maybe "love" is too strong of a term. Do you even like your job?

I'm not going to say that I love waking up at 5:30 every morning to go work for 9 hours, but I will say that I adore where I am, who I am with, and what I am doing. And I feel so very blessed by that.

Today should have been one of "those days". You know - the days where you need a drink. Or the days where you order takeout because you're too tired to move or cook. And the gym? Eff that noise.

What today really was...  An example of hard work, teamwork and communication. When the correct expectations are set with the right group of people, well, great things happen. And, at the end of the day, you can go work out and cook your own meal. Maybe even write a blog about it.

It's not always bubbles & gumdrops, but my good days definitely outweigh my "those days".

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

So, if I haven't been blogging, then what have I been doing?

Valid question.

I have two answers:

1. I have been OUT. Seriously. Working. Eating. Drinking. Yoga-ing. I've been living it up. That's what your twenties are for, yes?

2. I got a sinus infection that left me somewhat bedridden and extremely addicted to Downton Abbey.

Oh. What's a girl to do?

So, hi! I love you. February and I were busy. And I appreciate your patience. xo.

Thursday, February 23, 2012


My mom had a conversation about boys & dating & friends with my little sister the other day. She told her that she doesn't need to have a boyfriend to be someone or to be cool. She told her that she was a wonderful someone all on her own. And she reminded Rebecca that I didn't have a special someone right now or all of the time and she asked if Rebecca thought I was sad or had a bad life. Rebecca told my mom, "No. I think she's happy and has a really good life." And I do. Truly.

Occasionally, I feel lonely and want someone to take care of me when I'm sick or be my permanent date to sappy movies or to bring me flowers for no reason at all, but not all the time. My independence is empowering. My community is overwhelming and uplifting. I like who I am and I think other people do, too.

I think sometimes I forget why I am the way I am though. I wasn't born a nice and optimistic person. Those are traits that are cultivated. My good traits were grown and they were grown by Jesus. He was introduced to me at a young age and has stayed by my side ever since... through everything I  have done - good or bad. I am who I am because of Him. I want to be more like Him because he was a pretty amazing person. Not only because I believe He died for me (that's another fantastic thing in itself), but because he was kind, intelligent, and inviting. He was dynamic in creating life around Him! (I also like to think he was funny, but I can't prove it.) He was the kind of person this world needs more of and if that's what the world needs, then I want to be it.

"Let's go with Jesus. Not the gay-hating, war-making political tool of the Right, but the outcast, subversive, supreme adept who preferred the freaks and lepers and despised and doomed to the rich and powerful." - John Cusack (on his hero in Vanity Fair)

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Tonight I cried.

Nothing bad happened. Nothing sad occurred.

I just listened to Jump Little Children and

I felt the overwhelming feeling of loneliness for a moment.

And I cried.

It's okay to cry sometimes.
via instagram

Saturday, February 11, 2012



I am sitting on the interwebs before Girl's Night Out. I actually haven't touched my computer since early Thursday afternoon so I think I was feeling the pang of separation anxiety. I mean, my iPhone is very good at keeping me company, but it's just not the same to someone who loves typing.

Is it weird that I really love typing? I mean, I do that for a living. Type. A lot. That's still not the same as it is for me to sit down and type out a blog. I love blogging. I've definitely missed it for the past week. My Google Reader is blowing up and there are so many links I want to share in Links I Love, but goodness know I cannot share them all. We'd all be here for days.

In the meantime, I am ready for summer. How about you? I mean sure, winter is nice.... You get to wear scarves and drink things like hot chocolate with peppermint schnapps without feeling like an alcoholic, but let's get real. Summer is where it's at. Kayaks, the beach and camping. Tank tops, iced coffee, and tans. And you can drink fun frozen cocktails without feeling like an alcoholic. Hiiiii, Summer! I want you to come early.

Ok. That's all I have time for right now. xoxo.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Remember how I told February to get ready? Well, it did! I have been so super busy between work and life that I haven't had much time and/or energy to hit the blog. Honestly, I have a couple hundred posts I need to catch up on reading... Oy to the vey.

I am going on vacation for 5 whole days soon, so you all will definitely my top priority, but until then I leave you with this gem - it premieres at The American Theatre on February 22 in lovely downtown Charleston, SC. xo.



The Garden Summer Trailer from Hailey Wist on Vimeo.


In the summer of 2010, a group of Charleston natives set out for rural Arkansas in search of their green thumbs. The Garden Summer follows them as they get to know each other, the art of gardening, and the joy of sustainable living.  - Charleston City Paper

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Monday, January 30, 2012


enJOY it is one of my very favorite blogs. I relate to Elise. I relate to coffee & creativity. I relate to the love of the water. I can relate to missing a military man. I relate to yoga. I relate to the magic of quotes & words. I relate to strategically organized bookshelves. I relate to instagram obsession! I love the honesty of her blog. There has yet to be a post I thought wasn't worth my time. And that's why I am sharing it with you! I hope you enJOY it, too.


[all photo credit to elise & her blog]

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Whoa. What a good week on the interwebs! I had a really hard time choosing posts not to include! Everyone was so insightful and inspiring - I love it. I also needed it. It was an up and down sort of week ending with a Saturday off that was SO FULL. 

I did yoga and drank coffee and had real life talk with my boss. I walked along the beach and watched the surfers surf and the water surround me. I drank mimosas at lunch and shopped for things that smelled wonderful. I had lovely dinner with lovely people and half priced wine. And I cried while watching Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close - the kind of cry where the tears stream down your face as if it's completely natural for you to be openly weeping.

I hope you had a day that was that good, too. You can tell me all about it if you want. I'd like that.

But until then, here are the Links I Love:

1. There was a day this week where I wasn't happy. It's ok to not be ok. Eat a macaroon and let it go.

2. I am obsessed with yoga. Last year, I mastered Crow Pose, so maybe 2012 is the year of the headstand? [Lululemon has a showcase store in Charleston. It's the cutest little place ever.]

3. Writing help. Real writing advice. Direction and inspiration for Bold Types.

4. I am not the best at giving or receiving compliments. I'm self-conscious and awkward, but I try to be good at it anyway. Here are a few tips & tricks if you have a hard time with it, too!

5. I WANT TO JUICE CLEANSE.

6. Oh dear goodness. Trust me, you want to listen to this podcast. I wouldn't steer you wrong and neither would Joy & Tracy. 

7. A friend sent me this link because she loved it. She thought I would, too. And I did. My eyes filled with tears and my heart filled with hope. Love is alive. 
"They’ve set the bar high, but there’s no need to lower it; this isn’t limbo, it’s life. Nothing good has ever come easy, and I love a good challenge." 
8. Elise reminded me to be in the present. What are you doing right now? I would love to know.

9. Clearly, I will soon be making Raw Chocolate Milk. And I'm going to want to store it in a mason jar.

And my final piece of information: Listen to Lana Del Ray - Video Games.

Gosh, I hope you enjoy these links as much as I do. And I hope you enjoy reading this post as much as I loved writing it.

xo.

Saturday, January 28, 2012


"If you can't connect with yourself, how are you going to connect with someone else? If you have walls built, then you'll never be able to communicate and find out that you're not alone." - my yoga instructor, Caryn.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Today,

I wore my new cardigan. Hi, Cardigan! I like you.

I let myself get overwhelmed.
I don't think I'll make that mistake again.

Then I walked around and ate macaroons for lunch.
That part I would definitely do again.

For dinner, I ate at a bar.
Reuben + Duck Fat Fries + Purple Haze.

(I really love Abita beers.)

I also scored some produce from a box.
Thank you, Wellness Group!

Someone described me as "exhausted looking".
I have to find a way to combat that. More water & green smoothies?

Oh sleep.
I could do that, too.

This time last year, I was quitting my job and beginning a new one. I was also learning about Florence + The Machine and how to make chicken soup from scratch. Oh how the time flies!

Tomorrow, I need to pay bills, finish laundry, call Megan, go to yoga, paint my nails, visit the brother, read and bake cookies. At least. I also need hair product. Feel free to remind me of these things randomly throughout the day.

Listen to Origins - Tennis and We Are Young - Fun.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

I have posted this before, but it's definitely the sort of topic that has been up for debate a lot recently with someone I know. I'm of the belief that when the time is right, you'll know. Fate will take you where you need to go or keep you where you need to be. It will open your eyes and your heart to the right person. (After you make yourself ready to be open to such things...)


That's not to say be a hermit. That's also not to say go all out crazy while you wait. I think there's a happy medium.


But until the moment finally comes, grow your own avocado tree. And chin up!


LORELAI: Someday you'll meet someone, and you'll just know it’s right. You won't want to hesitate. You'll just know.

RORY: I hope so.

LORELAI: I really do believe it.

RORY: So I guess no avocado trees.

LORELAI: Well, no avocado tree.

RORY: You know, I think I'll get my own avocado tree.

LORELAI: See? You could get your own cherry tree, get your own peanut tree, just have peanut butter all day long.

RORY: Peanuts don't grown on trees. They grow under the ground.

LORELAI: Whatever. My point is you can have anything you want.

RORY: Oh, yes. It’s wide open.

LORELAI: What do you mean, peanuts don't grow on trees?

RORY: Mom, trust me. I'm a college graduate.


xo.


(PS. Part of/most of this script sounds strange out of context. Go watch Gilmore Girls!)

Monday, January 23, 2012

via everyday musings
"Take this time to breathe deep and let whatever is on your mind go. You can't make someone do something. You can't make something work. Sometimes, you literally have to just let it go. That doesn't mean give up. It means let it go." - My yoga teacher, Harriott.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

twloha. [subject: me, photo credit: katie gandy]
I've decided to turn Top 5 Friday into "Links I Love". Why? I don't like the constraints I put on myself for Top 5 Friday. It's both a limit and a deadline. No thanks. So, welcome to the first edition of Links I Love! I just couldn't make up my mind, so it took me all weekend to narrow it down from the hundreds of posts I probably read this week.

Enjoy!

1. Sometimes you need an attitude adjustment or a perspective shift. Sometimes life seems glass half empty, but you can definitely make it half full.

"You'll do fine. People have phenomenal capacity." // Project Life Week 2

2. I am slowly but surely learning this trait - How to Say No (Without Being an Asshole).

3. An old friend and I discussed the idea of my blogging "seriously" or maybe writing professionally one day. This post on Organizing Inspiration may be an excellent place to start.

4. This week, Black Eiffel hit me with two motivating posts. One about Pretty Closets to jump start my cleaning project! And another about Alt Summit and Up & Coming Blogs - the inspiration is endless!

5. We often think about the things we wish were or could do. If you make a list, it might come true. A lot of these things are the kind of woman I want to be, too.

6. Meg also reposted this Dear Sugar post. It's quite intimate. "What you resolve will need to be resolved again".

7. Oh hi, Blue Print Cleanse. This is just another reason to convince me to spend my life savings on a juice cleanse. Thanks, Nicole!

8. Secrets don't make friends - especially if you tell ones that don't belong to you. End of story.

9. Once I make my closet pretty, I will be hitting the pantry. How could I not want to after seeing these before & after pantry photos?!

10. Gentlemint - Pinterest for boys.

11. This moved me to tears - Why I love Jesus, but Hate Religion.

12. Find your Daily Dose of Pretty at The Beauty Department. I realize this is incredibly girly.

13. Apple just changed the game. Again. Watching the iBooks Textbooks video made me want to go back to high school. This is how we do.

PS. I just found out my dear friends Charles & Myron had a free range chicken named after me at the Keegan Filion Farms Barn Raising today - how fantastic & flattering!

Friday, January 20, 2012

But seriously...

Listen to this song because I almost got into an accident Shazam-ing it.

And this one, too. It almost made me cry on Gossip Girl.

Haters gonna hate.

You're welcome.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

I'll trade the moon for the sun, but this feeling for no one.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Do One Thing Everyday That Scares You.

Go back to school. Make a new friend. Join the military. Quit your job & get a new one. Write a song. Read a book. Rock out in your car. Stand alone. Say what you mean. Dye your hair. Hug someone. Let someone hug you. Get married. Have a baby. Ask a question. Wear purple eyeliner. Say NO. Say YES. Keep your mouth shut. Call an old friend. Do a new workout. Go to the doctor. File your own taxes. Take care of someone. Start a new business venture. Move to a new city. Try a different food. Treat yo self. Cut up your credit card. Wake up early. Go to a concert. Laugh at yourself. 


I am constantly in awe of the things we can push ourselves to do. My friends and family are quite inspiring in that respect. I love that the people in my life are constantly moving forward/re-arranging their lives to be better. Sometimes that brings them very close. Sometimes that takes them very far. But luckily never more than a comfortable phone conversation away.

What are you doing right now that scares you? Or is about to change your life?

And the only solution was to stand and fight.

Monday, January 16, 2012

My friend Tony has been through so much in his life and despite everything manages to have such a beautiful perspective on life. It's truly inspiring.

"And when I look back upon times that should be painful, all I see is beauty from the Love that I have received. I leave you with an applicable Mumford quote: "In these bodies we will live, in these bodies we will die. And where you invest your Love, you invest your Life." - Tony Alessandro

I am blessed enough to find myself in the same place as him. It's hard to keep yourself down when you find yourself surrounded by such a large and supportive cheering section. There will never be a way to repay my family and friends for everything their love has done for my life.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

working on a resolution // via instagram 
So, this is a pretty revealing post and I am about to admit a couple of things about myself that may sound bad and/or cocky, but I don't mean to be that way. I am really a nice person... I swear.

A few (yeah. yeah. over three...) years ago, I broke up with someone who crushed me. (It happens, I know.) Most people get over that sort of thing quickly... I did not. I think I may have, but up until now I was like a serial dater. Literally, I would go out with guys one to four times, then find something horribly wrong with them or the situation and then find a way to stop seeing them/just ignore them.

Either I didn't find them entertaining or intelligent or attractive or nice enough. Or I was too busy or tired or bored. I always managed to wiggle my way out of the dating situation and leave them hanging.

How terrible is that? I KNOW. I AM SUCH A BAD PERSON.

But I wasn't ready. I didn't know them. I didn't trust them. And I didn't want 
to. At all.

via instagram
So, for three years, I have basically been leading guys on and mentally dumping them before they have a chance. To be fair, I have dated some real douchebags, but I have also dated some really (really) nice guys, too. (Hi, I'm really sorry if you're reading this....) I let them all loose.

Recently, I have gone out with a few different fellas and have mentally pulled the plug - as per my usual (subconscious) plan. (I swear it's not my intent when I start going out with them.) But for some reason, this time... there was this one guy where it didn't seem quite fair for me to do that. More so, I didn't want to stop talking to him. (Ok, so that's sort of a lie. I did try to pull a fast one and ditch him, but then my friends called me out on it.) 

At first, I sort of freaked out. He was super attentive. I got a book on our first date and my favorite flowers on the third. I got texts at least every morning and every night and we visited each other every weekend. I was really overwhelmed and ready to bail, but after a lot of thought, and being called out, I decided not to... I found him to be thoughtful, intelligent, attractive and funny. All at one time. That's crazy, right?

And then you know what happened? He did the same thing to me that I did to all the other guys. I got let go. Karma, eh? Except he was much nicer about it than I have ever been and he even explained himself to me. (I'm just a bitch when I do it - I never give an explanation.) And while the reasons are neither here nor there or for any sort of public forum... Ouch. 

(This part is going to sound cocky....) This is the first time in three years, that I have been upset about a guy. I mean, I have always been the one to cut if off and that leaves you feeling pretty confident. But now, whoa. I don't know what to do. I'm not upset with him. I'm not upset with myself even. I am... disappointed? Honestly, I'm not sure how I feel about it at the moment.

What I do know is that I am happy to know that for the first time in over three years that I let myself feel something and be open to the idea of someone else. That is such a huge thing for me - even though I definitely got shut down. 

I guess I just learned a lot about myself through this whole experience.  

I also learned that I should never feel like I am convincing someone that it's a good idea to date me. My friend said to me "I want you happy like in the movies." And I feel like if he feels that way that someone who wants to date me should feel even more than that. Clearly, that was not going to happen in this situation.

I spent a lot of time in my life dedicating myself to someone else. And don't get me wrong, I absolutely wanted to do that at that point in my life, but now I know that it should be reciprocated. I should only be dating guys who are head over heals for me. 

I should never settle.

So, that's what I learned today.

It hurts when someone says they don't want you whether you've known them for three years or three months. You need to treat people the way you want to be treated. And, above all else, remember how much you deserve and never think that second place is an ok place to find yourself. 

[Disclaimer: I am not mad at this guy. I do not hold this decision against him. He did nothing wrong. It's not a big deal. We may even turn out to be friends - certainly stranger things have happened.]

Friday, January 13, 2012

I feel like the two weeks (ah!) of the New Year went by crazy fast. I have had so much going on - work, being sick, cooking, baking, eating delicious meals, sleeping enough, not sleeping enough, training at the gym, getting speeding tickets, reading books, plant care taking, getting an iPhone, hanging out with friends, meetings fellas, discussing life, building relationships. Everyday, I learn a little bit more about myself and then throw it all into the next day.

Life is so uncertain. There's not really time to dwell on it. You just have to do what you feel you want to do. Put yourself out there. Sometimes it works out. Sometimes it doesn't. It's ok. You have balance happiness and pain.

Deep, right? I think it's my Happiness Project Calendar. Or I'm just getting wiser. Or I'm too tired to think about uncomfortable things.

via instagram
So, without further ado, Top 5 Friday! I skipped last week, but these ones are thoughtful for you...

1. Like cheese & wine, relationships get better with time. I can't even begin to tell you how much I liked this post about relationships. Just a few points to consider.

2. Thought Catalog brings a spot on post about Things We Need to Be Happy. Read it and tell me it's not true. I dare you.

3. I just recently discovered Lululemon & their blog. Love. This post about challenging yoga was both informative & entertaining. Make sure you watch Sh!t Yogis Say.

4. It's time for January's Network of Nice Hook Ups!

5. My mom suffers from Seasonal Affective Disorder and I've always suspected that I have a part of those genetics. I'm longing for summer already! Here are a few tips & tricks to beat the winter blues! And I was so interested in this that I googled it and here are a few more ideas!

Today, someone handed me a post it. (I love post its.) And on it were the words "Youth Lagoon". He told me that it had been too long since we talked about music and that was his gift to me. And now it's my gift to you. Enjoy.

I have more dreams than you have posters of your favorite teams. You'll never talk me out of this.