na na na na na na......today is my BIRTHDAY! na na na na na na....is it your birthday TOO?!
Sometimes I think Molly Ringwald really set the bar high for what a birthday should be. I mean who doesn't want to be sitting cross legged on top of a table in a pink poofy dress with flowers in your hair while blowing out birthday candles? With Jake Ryan. I mean really, it's birthday done right.
And seriously, why on TOP of the table? I mean what, were all the chairs broken? And how did that conversation go exactly....uh, what's up Molly. Thanks for coming over and ditching your sister's wedding. All my chairs are out getting reupholstered this week....but we could just, y'know, sit on this paper thin glass pane table top. Cause y'know, even though I flunked math, geometry and physics this semester...I'm pretty sure it could hold both of us. Ahhh, the 80s.
But I digress.
Today is my birthday. My b-day. The day that I was born.
They say that as you get older, you get wiser. And I think a big part of that wisdom is just figuring out who the heck you are in the first place. Of who you were put on this planet to be. And then... being ok with it. Of finding a way to be 100% comfortable in your own skin. Because it's just like what Socrates first said with, Know Thyself,. and Will Shakespeare expounded on when he penned the words To Thine Own Self Be True.... you just gotta do you. And really, for my money, in all the annals of literature and academia I think it was the poet laureate Nikki Minaj who really said it best with somebody please tell them who the eff I is. Truth Nikki Minaj, truth.
This past year has been a real exercise in struggle with this for me. I vacillate. I wander. I flip and I flop. I go between what I think I'm supposed to be, and the person that I really am. Because sometimes I think this world has a tendency to reward the glamorous. The successful. The I have what you want's. The jet set lifestyle mixed with a Kim Kardashian sized pair of sunglasses. And above all else, whatever you do you must always. look. like. you. have. it. together.
Well here's some birthday wisdom for you. Ready? I don't always have it together. In fact, most of the time that's the case. And trust me when I say, there are 80s style tube socks out there more glamorous than me.
We showed you some pretty pictures from our time in Australia, right? But what we didn't tell you is that we were so jet lagged, that we were back in our hotel rooms by 7:15 most nights watching Big Bang Theory re-runs in our pajamas and taking in the quirky brand of creation that is the Aussie tv commercial. (My personal favorite was: Rice Milk....not as bad as you would think it would be!). And yesterday, when we shut down for the evening for the pre-birthday warm ups, I sat on our couch and watched the Lifetime Movie The Perfect Husband: The Laci Peterson Story on Netflix starring one Dean Cain. And then I spent the next twenty minutes reading the wikipedia entry to see what happened next. Because what can I say, I love me some Lifetime (Television for women who never want to sleep again) movies. That and obscure 80s movie references are just part of who I am.
And since today is my birthday, my b-day, the day that I was born....I thought it would be good to put together a list of some of the other things that are making up me, just as I am, right now. To help me remember that it was always enough.
Personally, I like to think Socrates and Molly Ringwald would be proud.
As I found out pretty clearly while putting together our Australia recap post, apparently I really really REALLY like navy & white clothes. Geez, talk about a style rut. As it turns out, I also really like anything with sequins and all things nautical. So after seeing this top on the website, I'm now convinced that Jenna from J.Crew is in fact Big Brother.
We've now officially watched all the seasons of Bones on Netflix and now we're starting over at the beginning hitting all of our favorites along the way. What can I say, this show is so choice. Even if we do always make the huge mistake of watching it while we're eating.
This year I really want to start learning film. I haven't yet. I'm kind of petrified of it. But in my experience, being scared to death just means it's something I really need to do.
I la-la-LOVED all the meals we had in Australia. And the BEST part? Because that part of the world is all upside down, the calories just fall right out. True story.
I hate it when that happens! :)
I've been a long time Yankee Candle fan since I got my first vanilla cupcake candle in college. We were walking through the mall a couple days ago, and discovered that they've just come out with a line of "man candles" including Riding Mower, 2x4, and First Down. LOL! And just like that, I fell in love with them even more.
I watched The Notebook for the first time all the way through on our flight home from Australia. It made me smile. And then I found *this* on Pinterest and it made me laugh out loud. My favorite part is the quote at the bottom.
We love us some wine. And a couple months ago, Justin brought this bad boy home to have with dinner and our whole world was pretty much changed. It's a New Zealand Sav Blanc, and it tastes like grapefruit. It's perfect for those summer nights we have coming up sitting on the front porch swing.
This is my jam. J'adore from Dior is my favorite perfume ever. It was the one that I was wearing all the time when Justin & I first met, but I haven't worn it in a long time. When we were Sydney there were those Charlize Theron ads for it everywhere for some reason, and it reminded me how much I love it. I think a new bottle may have to be in my future.
In addition to 80's movies, 80's power ballads are ALSO my jam. And signing them with dramatic flair in the car? Even better.
Stuff Justin Loves: Shooting from the Hip & the Olympus Pen
The past few days have been good for me. Mary and I have changed the pace of how we usually travel. Where we would normally blitz in and out of a city barely catching a blur of what it's all about, this time we made the call to switch up some of our travel plans to make time to stay in Sydney and just be. And I've been forcing myself to do the same with my shooting. To slow down and not be so rushed. As we've been walking around exploring side streets and taking time to do a little people watching, I've been taking my Olympus EP-1 with us just about every where that we go. I love it because it's small and lightweight, and easy to take with us. Which means that I actually get to document our lives for a change too.
Plus it has a really fun B&W filter that is about 180 degrees from the way we usually process our black and whites... but I love it! I love the extreme contrast. I love the heavy grain. And what I probably love most about this camera is that I can shoot from the hip and catch moments when people aren't "on" for the camera. I love that it's wide angle and tells a bigger story. And I love that we can catch some of this life as it's passing us by. When you think about it, that's really why most of us got into photography in the first place, to tell a story and document life. And for the past few days, I'm just really glad that the story I've been able to tell has been ours.
**We got the EP1 a couple years back now, but if you're looking for a really great point and shoot to take with you when you travel I highly recommend the updated Olympus EP-3. It's small. It has interchangeable lenses. It has super fast focusing. And it just looks plain cool while you're walking around a new city! :-)
When I was little, my favorite song, was Inch by Inch. My mom and I would sing it as we worked in the garden and she would sing me to sleep with its gentle rhythm at night. And when I first saw the song performed by John Denver and his singing muppet plants, I'm pretty sure it changed my life.
Fast forward 20 something years later, and Inch by Inch, is still a song that echoes through my head every Spring as I plant, weed, and water my garden beds. And after all this time, I still think there is a small part of me, that waits for the day when one of my plants will burst into song. And I'm pretty sure, if any of my flowers are going to start singing, it would be my ranunculus. It's a fun word to say, a crazy looking bulb before it's in the ground, and an absolutely gorgeous flower once it blooms. At the risk of making my other plants jealous, I think it might just be my favorite flower of them all!
So because it's Monday, and my renunculus are in full bloom, I thought I would share a little of the fun with you! Leave a comment below... name your favorite flower, your favorite springtime activity... anything really! And I'll send one lucky commenter a $25 dollar gift certificate to Home Depot, so you can buy some flowers of your own! And if you figure out how to make them sing... let me know! :)
I hope everyone at WPPI is learning a lot and hanging out into the wee hours with other photographers! I miss you all! Dance and extra dance to Ke$ha for me :) So while you all are partying it up in Vegas I thought I would bring a little fun and frivolity to the blog! Just a little list of things I'm loving (and repinning) that will hopefully bring a smile to your Tuesday!
This past weekend, Mike and I bought a new mattress (ecofriendly! yay!) and went a little bigger than our old mattress. Which is awesome! Except it means that our old bed frame is obsolete. So right now, we have a box spring and a mattress on the floor. And the funny thing is, we kinda like our new, lower perspective on things! So instead of going out to buy a whole new bed frame, we went looking on Pinterest for some interesting ways to make it work! And we are loving these two ideas!
Next weekend, Mike and I are going to get a 'lil crafty and DIY ourselves a base and headboard for our new bed. What do you think? We adore the writing on the old farm boards, but were thinking of putting a little chalkboard paint in one corner and then mixing up the message whenever we feel ready for a change! (The pallete bed originally came from Apartment Therapy and the headboard from Sugar and Cloth)
It's February. And although it has been unseasonably warm here in the Northeast, it's still a little drab outside. So I need a little cheeriness in my life right now. I think this little beauty of a pillow from Kate Spade could be perfect!
Seriously? What better way to wake up? (I don't think it's available online anymore, but I've got my eye on the Kate Spade outlets!)
Due to the unseasonably warm weather, I have been able to keep up my running routine all Winter! Which is awesome, because I am NOT a treadmill fan. I love to run but what I really like... is this SIGG water bottle from LuLu Lemon
Is that the truth or what?
And finally, speaking of dessert. I want these mini donuts served with mini cappuccinos. If anyone will bring me a tray of these, I will be your friend FOREVER! Martha Stewart is a genius!
How's that for a random, fun and frivolous Tuesday post?!?
There was that time when we took a full day layover in Vail, Colorado on the Spread the Love tour in 2010, just so I could try some hot chocolate that I had only seen a picture of. It was from this place called Rimini and they called it cioccolato. And, it was....amazing.
There was that time in Paris during my year abroad, when some friends and I stayed in a questionable little flat at the base of Montmartre. We had to pay in cash, and I'm pretty sure we were just staying in someone's home. But every morning, they would bring us chocolat chaud and croissants with real marmalade. It was heaven. The only thing that would've made it any better, was if they sang Lady Marmalade when they delivered it. But I guess that would've been pushing it.
There were those countless times in high school during the November & December football games, when a styrofoam cup of watered down Swiss Miss from the boosters club was all that stood between us in our cheerleading skirts and certain hypothermia. I guess they figured frostbite & amputation didn't really scream Go Fight Win. And once my friend Erica discovered the genius that is dunking a Snickers bar in hot cocoa, we were all pretty happy. Slightly less frozen....and happy.
And of course, there were all those times growing up. When you'd put on seventeen layers of clothes just to go out sledding for fifteen minutes. Where your toes and fingers would go completely numb, while the rest of you was sweating bullets and the scarf wrapped twelve times around your neck threatened to suffocate you. So you'd lay in the snow on your back and stare up at a bright white sky while you tried to cool off. Red nosed and out of breath, you'd go back inside and start to peel off the layers. While your mom put milk on the stove and dug in the cabinet for the mini marshmallows. And even then as it was happening, you somehow knew... those were the moments you were going to remember forever.
Yes, hot chocolate has been a big part of my life.
And like all the things that make life sweeter, you just want to take the time to remember them. And to, of course, share that sweetness with others.
So we thought we'd run a contest. :)
Tell me your favorite hot chocolate associated memory in the comments section below, and one lucky commenter is going to win a canister of some of my favorite hot chocolate of all time: the peppermint hot chocolate from Williams Sonoma. It is truly divine. And.....GO!!