Sunday, January 30, 2011

Beverly Hills / Chinatown / Hollywood

Hey everyone!

My coworker Jess and I are chillin' in coach, sharing a coke, snackin' on pretzels, and finding ways to entertain ourselves on this 4+ hour flight from Cincinnati to LA. It's been a day of early flights, long layovers and some quality girl time. I really enjoy trips with Jess. She and I have very similar travel habits so it's always a breeze. That's important when you travel with someone a bunch; whether it's Haiti or Los Angeles, we've got this.

We don't have to hit up any meetings until early tomorrow morning, so we're going to meet some of our friends from our Haiti trip and head down to Chinatown for delicious noodles and red lanterns galore! I'm also really hoping to find a cute Asian-patterned raincoat. Cross your fingers one's waiting for me with a friendly street vendor.

(Image found here.)

I really love traveling. Sitting in airports all day inspired me to begin drafting a post about handy travel tips I've learned over the past year and a half. I feel like I'm far from what some may call an "expert traveler," but I do know my way around. However, my post may be majorly one-upped by this month's extra-interesting edition of ReadyMade. There are some awesome packing/snacking/planning tidbits for those already itching to travel this spring. 

Harbor and I are beginning to plan a majorly fun trip up to the DC / Richmond area this spring (if we can pull it all together). Anyone else planning a great little getaway in 2011?

More later. Have a happy start to your week. 

Saturday, January 29, 2011

DIY: Make a bow belt!

Happy Saturday!

I'm sitting in Starbucks with one of my roommates, Allie, listening to the new Iron & Wine, enjoying an iced hazelnut white mocha (2 pumps WM, 1 pump hazelnut, nonfat, no whip -- if you're curious) and looking for cute Valentine's Day cards for my friends. I'm pretty close to narrowing down the perfect set... and I'm way excited. Let's just say they involve cats, fun colors, and fuzzy stuff. No more clues, though. :)

In other news:

I've been daydreaming about bow belts for weeks now, and I've yet to purchase one. If you've got a few bucks on hand, I highly recommend heading over to Darlingtonia Moccasins and purchasing one of Katie's gorgeous belts. They're so well-made and look adorable.

However, a Darlingtonia belt isn't in my budget this month, so I've gotta get crafty if I want one.

Here's a helpful DIY I considered trying this afternoon. Looks pretty easy, right? My only concern is that I'm super short-waisted, so I wonder if they'll work on me. I can only try, right?

Have you guys found any cute bow belts online this season? Have you made one? I'd love to see photos of your creations.


Friday, January 28, 2011

What's in my bag? An edition dedicated to business travelers.

Since I'm zipping around America this week [arrived home from Austin today, and head to LA tomorrow] I figured I'd do a "what's in my bag?" post. I feel sort of silly posting this, but every time I come home and clean out a bag to prep for another trip I always think, "Wow, I really like remembering what I've had hiding in here," plus I have a real love of organizing my bag contents into a cute pattern wherever I'm working. The same goes with packing -- I always make a list of what I need to pack, then lay evvvverything out on my bed before it can be tucked away into a bag. It's a bad habit, but the more I travel, the better I get at minimizing and organizing.

So, without further ado, HERE is what I've got in my bag when I travel!

1. My pile of work. My MacBook; a manilla folder full of directions, hotel/rental car confirmations, reminders, itineraries, etc; my notebook; and my Moleskine weekly planner. I love that thing so much -- lets me doodle, write long reminders to myself, brainstorm, or just jot down special moments on the go. I've been using it for 3 or 4 years now and I can't find a better planner for my brain.

2. My Gussy clutch! On this trip, I kept work receipts and my checkbook inside. I learned from my boss; she carries a glittery bag for things like receipts and PD. I decided that boring old receipts deserve a pretty bag to travel in too.

3. Bobby pins. I have them on me at all times.

4. Gum. Another "all the time" staple.

5. Neutrogena lip balm.

6. My MEND bag. I got this for Christmas and I can't tell you how much I'm enjoying it. I needed a good, durable bag for my travels that had enough room for a laptop, but still functioned as a weekend bag if I needed it to be. It's perfect. (I also wanted to avoid buying a leather bag... and boy was it hard.) MEND bags are sewn by Ugandan women, some of whom currently live in IDP camps. Each bag is made from Ugandan cotton, and sewn by a woman who escaped imprisonment by the LRA. Really sturdy, a great way to support our global family, plus it's versatile and very cute. My bag was skillful crafted by the lovely Ajok Betty.

7. Laptop cord.

8. Phone charger.

9. My plane tickets. In an ideal world, I get upgraded every flight.

10. A travel-friendly hairspray. I like


and Dove travel-sized hairsprays.

11. L'OCCITANE en Provence shea butter mini hand cream. Airplanes make me dry so I need something serious. Drinking a ton of water helps too, but sometimes it's hard to choose water over a free, icy coke to sip alongside those peanuts.

12. A notebook for shopping lists, quotes I find, to-do lists, inspiration, addresses, etc. This particular baby notebook is from Target.

13. PaperMate flare felt-tipped pens are my favorite of all time.

14. My marigold wallet/clutch from DSW a few years back.

15. Car keys.

16. Getting a BlackBerry was exciting. Just think how getting an iPhone will feel! (Only a little while longer until Verizon gets iPhones.)

17. Earbuds. For the iPod and for in-flight entertainment.

18. Shades I snagged from a retirement community thrift store for two bucks last summer. I love 'em!

19. Smith's Minted Rose lip balm. In the winter months I wear this stuff daily. In the spring and summer I switch to their rose salve.

So, there you have it. It really bugs me I only have 19 items and not 20. But, it's nothing to lose sleep over. I'm going to savor this quiet house with a glass of wine, a crochet hook and a suitcase full of yarn.

Enjoy your Friday night!


Looks like it's time to make a clock! lolz

Get it? Time... to make a... clock?

I hope the title of this post made you laugh or roll your eyes, or both. I got back from a work trip to Austin, and I'm taking the rest of the afternoon and evening to catch up on sleep and unwind. As soon as I looked in the Project ReStyle Flickr group, I almost screamed out loud... I found this clock and I couldn't even wait another minute to share.

Seems simple enough to make. Find a yucky old clock from a thrift or secondhand store, remove the inner-workings, and mount the pieces to a new face. Learn how Brittany made her clock.



I seriously love the clock mixed in with all her other cute items on the wall. I have a wall of pretty things too, and a brand new handmade clock would be a perfect addition. Her clock reminds me of my trip to Chicago last month. I fell in love with the wall of clocks in Renegade Handmade.  

If you're really crafty/handy/imaginative, then Project ReStyle is something you'd love too. I really want to participate, but I find myself over-thinking everything I want to try, then getting way too inspired when I look at what other talented ladies are making, and want to try and make projects like theirs. I think the goal I need to set for myself is to just find something I already own and don't like anymore, and dream about what it can become. Which I suppose is the entire point of this project, isn't it? :)

Any suggestions for a project I should tackle first?


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Happy Birthday, sweet boy.

Harbor's 25 today! We're just about to go out for dinner, so I'll update about this week later. But I just really wanted to post the photo of him blowing out an Anthropologie candle at midnight, with Matilda by his side. Sometimes you've got to get creative.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Birthday week!

I love birthdays. I love them so much that I rarely ever confine the celebration to the literal day of birth. This Wednesday is Harbor's birthday, and we've started his b-day celebration week off right!

I surprised him with a trip up to St. Augustine last night, and it was a blast! The original plan was to head to Nalu's for fish tacos, walk around a bit and grab paletas at The Hyppo for dessert. Turns out, Nalu's wasn't open (or maybe they just have shorter winter hours?) so at first I thought we may have to hop over to our staple restaurant Pizzalley's, but THEN I was struck by a genius idea. And off to The Floridian we went!

The Floridian is the cutest little restaurant that serves local, seasonal and sustainable ingredients and seeks to support community farmers, producers, etc. You can tell because the flavors are so intense, and surprisingly, the prices are way inexpensive for the quality and portion size. Plus, they have the most creative menu ever, and it's constantly changing with the seasons to ensure freshness.

I enjoyed a glass of red wine in their bar (past "The County Line" -- literally, the restaurant sits on the country line and since it's too expensive to get a liquor license for both parts of the restaurant, you have to walk to the back bar and enjoy your drink) before we were seated. We had fried green tomato bruschetta for an appetizer, then enjoyed some of the local catch for dinner. Harbor had fish n' grits (polenta cheese cakes, sheepshead, and fancy collard greens in a beet sauce), and I had a cornbread stack (blackened sheepshead, a HUGE piece of yummy, cake-y cornbread and pickled veggies) and a side salad. Portions are huge there, so don't expect to go home hungry at all.

Then we walked just down the road and got paletas at The Hyppo -- a new, very popular gourmet popsicle joint. Paletas are Mexican popsicles, traditionally made with tons of fresh fruit and spices. They are so dang good. Last night I got "honey honeydew" (blended fresh honeydew with real honey) and Harbor got "horchata." (Probably in honor of Vampire Weekend.)

All in all, we had a blast. Had some quality time chatting in the car, scrumptious food, amazing desserts, and lots of cute moments.

He doesn't know what I'm cookin' up the rest of this week in celebration of 25 years of Harbor. So, to be continued... :)


Sunday, January 23, 2011

Dreaming about my bunk in Haiti (and subsequently my mosquito net, DEET, and chlorinated water, too).

This week Jess and I are going to give a presentation to elementary school kids about our trip to Haiti. The school collected hundreds of toothbrushes and toothpaste tubes for our trip, and we're going to share about the adventure as a way of saying thanks and providing the kids with a global perspective.

In light of this, I've spent some of this evening remembering little moments, smells, sounds. November seems an eternity ago... I hate that it's so difficult to remember sometimes. It's like the entire trip was a dream.

But, that's the way memories work, isn't it? I've learned that my memories really start to lose their sharpness and "feeling" roughly three months after an event occurs. Clarity begins to fade, and then your stories are all you have left. Unless you don't tend to them when they're fresh, or else they are likely to fade as well.

I recently heard about a man who has recorded a ridiculous amount of personal memories (something like over 500 handwritten pages of simple remembrances). It doesn't matter if it seems significant to him or not, he just jots them down when they come to mind. An example given was a memory he has eating an ice cream cone at a fair when he was 8 years old. And I love that. Personally, at times I feel selfish telling stories. I get this feeling in my gut that says my moment isn't significant enough. But you know, that's life. Life is comprised of moments, decisions, experiences, happenstances, relationships and feelings. And I like that this man (whoever he is) has deemed his insignificant memories significant. Because in time, over a span of days, months, years, and so on, this man's "insignificant" becomes his life. And that is intrinsically valuable.

So, tonight I'm sitting here, trying to remember Haiti. Because I am frustrated that my memories fade, and because I miss those lovely faces. And because it's important.

I really can't wait to go back.


Weekend Awards!

The past two days have been really, really low-key and relaxing. Yesterday I got to sleep in (finally!) then spent the day hanging with my friend Carra, icing cupcakes, watching Harbor play a show, and eating way too many salty snacks. Today I enjoyed church then headed over to Sonny's BBQ to eat lunch with the boys before they drove to Tampa for their show tonight. So now I'm full of salad and cornbread (aaand corn nuggets) and ready to tackle some projects I've had lying around for too long. But, first.. it's time for this weekend's cutest-ever projects!

Cutest Nailpolish Award goes to...

The Clothes Horse. I stumbled across this blog post while aimlessly reading this week. I thought they were beautiful and wanted to try them myself, but I had just painted my nails a pretty grey color. I decided to give it a go anyway.

Mine didn't turn out nearly as pretty, but I'm excited to try again with black nail polish soon. (And, before you ask, I bought that ring during a lunch break for a quarter.)

Cutest Collaborative Journal Award goes to...

Katie Licht! This lady is super talented. I met her through Elsie and Rachel's "Tell Your Story" Art Journaling Course almost a year ago, and have been an admirer of her work ever since. I love logging onto my Flickr or Tumblr account and finding her work. She's really sweet. I love her style, her eye for design and composition, and her cute doodles. Plus, she's got the best collection of ephemera and odds and ends. (Check out Katie's Flickr, and her Tumblr too.)

Best-Idea-I-Didn't-Know-I-Was-Already-Doing Award goes to...

Little Tiny Photo of the Week! The Dainty Squid makes Project 365 so much easier with her 52-week Instax Photo version. "52 Weeks of Instax" is a fun way to incorporate your Fugi film love with a neat memory project for 2011. One of my goals for 2011 was to take more (high-quality) Instax Mini photos, and I love the idea of taking one every single week. And, thanks to Harbor, I have a brand new Instax Mini-print photo album (thanks, Photojojo!) to store all my memories in. I highly encourage this project if you're into instant film too.

instax mini photo album

Today's goals:

1. Make/bake cupcake pushpins
2. Finish up my Haiti "thank you" notes
3. Create some sparkle bracelets for friends
4. Figure out how the heck you're supposed to turn granny squares into a blanket! I can't tell you how excited I'll be when I'm all curled up and granny chic.

Hope your weekend is restful too.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Today consisted of:

One breakfast hang with Chad.

Two trips solidified. Four flights booked for next week.

One surprise visit from the boy during work.

Two quick phone calls with dear friends.

Four sweet girls, five pizza "crusties," and two hours of The Babysitters Club.

Three more granny squares.

Eighteen cupcakes baked for some hardcore boys.

One sweet Little Tiny. (The best cat ever born.)

And one of the best memories:

(photo courtesy of Tyler Malone Photography)

So happy.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Right now, I'm all about...

Crazy, colored hair!

I saw Rihanna's latest music video last night and was amazed by her red hair. Sure, I am probably way behind in figuring out that she's rockin' red right now, but I was still really into it. Sort of tempted to have this shade of red on my head... at least for a month or two in the summertime. It's so pretty!

Also really into her jewelry, nails, and some items of clothing in this vid.

My friend Whitney has amazingly wild-colored hair. Right now it's a pale purple, but her favorite is when she gets to mix pinks and violets. Really suits her and I can't imagine her any other way. Isn't she lovely? (And, this awesome photo was taken by another beautiful friend and sweet sister, Carra Sykes!)

Still my favorite actress. And the pink hair is even cooler.

And I'll wrap up with Kaylah of The Dainty Squid. She always has the most vibrant and uniquely colored hair, and I enjoy reading her blog to see what color it is each month.

Ok, enough stalling before bedtime. I'm off to dream of candy-colored locks.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Mid-day kitten pick-me-up.

Who needs one?! Well, here you go. This girl's got it all figured out.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A very productive day.

What a busy day it's been! I had to commute to Orlando for meetings all morning, then rushed back to the office for intern training. But, not before stopping by Lollicup for a yummy taro milk boba tea! I love living in Brevard County, but when I've got an icy, boba-licious treat in hand, it's hard to remember I once lived only 10 minutes away, instead of one hour away.

Sweet, sweet bubble tea. You are a refreshing treat any day of the year.

Oh, and this one time Harbor and I were celebs in Lollicup.

My time in the office this afternoon was great. I really love every new group of interns we get. It's a really exciting time -- to begin to learn little habits, idiosyncrasies and character traits that makes them who they are. I also love getting to know why they support TWLOHA and how they decided to spend a few months with us in Cocoa. If you've ever been curious about interning with To Write Love on Her Arms, I highly recommend you check it out. I never was lucky enough to go through our Intern Program, but it sure seems like a blast. :)

I've got a little craft DIY coming up soon. My very first, I might add. So stay tuned.

Annnd now, off to watch Mad Men with Harbor! (Is anyone else in love with this show like we are?)


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Just found out about a yarncrafting social networking website of sorts, called I'm still trying to sort it all out, but it appears to be a space where users can keep track of projects, chat in forums, join groups and share inspiration. The site layout isn't very well-designed and seems a tad outdated, but it seems interesting. I'll spend some more time exploring it and seeing if it's worth investing time into. I was really intrigued by the "yarn" tab. I like seeing the best type of yarn for each project, and maybe I can learn about new brands I don't typically spot at Michaels or Joann's.

Really hoping to knock out a ton of work on my blanket this weekend. Everytime I think about it being done I get so excited! Maybe I should add some yarn to my inspiration wall at work... that would be sure to keep me motivated. Perhaps a pretty granny square will end up hanging there next to Kirsten Dunst. :)


Monday, January 17, 2011

So, I made shortbread.

What a great day off! After an unexpected drive-your-boyfriend-to-work morning, I came home and made a little list of what I would like to accomplish for the day. At the top: BAKE SHORTBREAD! And not just any shortbread, but dark chocolate almond shortbread at that.

I drew inspiration from an almond joy post I stumbled upon yesterday, and then searched around in Honey & Jam's blog for the perfect recipe for shortbread cookies. My friends Holly and Nichole crafted alongside me as I worked on granny squares and waited for my goodies to bake. Here are some photos from their kitchen. If you'd like the recipe, head over to Honey & Jam and take a peek! The only addition was the dark chocolate drizzle and the dark chocolate roasted almonds I added on top. (Feel free to comment with any questions regarding my recipe additions.)

These didn't last long around my house.

In addition to my shortbread baking, my housemates and I baked pizzas together for our weekly House Dinner, and then I just cuddled with Matilda after I painted my nails all crazy. (Another check off the to-do list from my morning). Now it's time for an evening movie date before bed.

Here's to a sweet rest of the week.

Spring is coming.

Hope your day is swell. Have a listen to five of my favorite songs of the wintertime. Now to start dreaming about my spring playlist...


Sunday, January 16, 2011

Granny square blanket update.

If you were wondering (and, let's be honest, I know you were), my granny squares are coming right along!

I took a photo to document my progress this evening, and my squares covered our entire ottoman! I could sew three more and have a very small lap blanket just to make my "Finish by February" goal easier on myself, but I'm going to make 23 more and have a nice, snuggly blanket instead. Here's to the process!

Anyone else wrapping up little crafting projects already in the new year?


Wedding weekend: Tommy & Anna

Hey everyone!

Just arrived home this evening after a weekend in Jacksonville. It feels so great to be home, snuggled up in my pajamas next to the Little Tiny. (That's one of the many names I have for Matilda.) Two of Harbor's and my friends got married this weekend, and I was able to stay with some dear family friends while we were up there. This weekend ended up being way more fun than I had anticipated, because I was able to spend so much quality time with loved ones. I'm sure I'll say this a million times on this blog, but roadtrips with Harbor are truly the best. I love the one-on-one time we have, and I love how little relationship issues get sorted out along the drive. I also love playing games and singing along to bad radio and good iTunes playlists. I am immensely thankful to be dating a man who knows how to listen to me and is patient. He's just really great.

Here are a few photos from our trip:

I wore a cute little outfit, inspired by Florence + the Machine.

Tommy was way too intense getting the garter off of his new bride, Anna. Oh my!

Plus... Harbor caught it. Double oh my!

Annnd, I found out late this evening that our boss cancelled work tomorrow for MLK Day. I love finding out I have a day off at the last-minute. It hasn't given me time to plan anything, and allows me the total freedom to spend it in a relaxing, productive way. So, I've decided that tomorrow I will bake cookies, craft (because I'm way behind on a guest blog post for my friend Mary Anne), and pet the Matilda.

I found this recipe tonight and it looks crazy. Except, I'm not so crazy for coconut, so I'm going to try and make shortbread cookies with an almond on top, coated in dark chocolate. I remembered today how much I miss making shortbread, so this will be the much better option.

Ever had these Pecan Sandies? I hope to make them so much better... photos to come of this delightful adventure.

Hope your weekend was as wonderful as ours, and that you got to spend time with friends.


Friday, January 14, 2011

Right now, I'm all about...

Juice Box Cameras!

I received this cute little camera for Christmas, and it's the best thing ever. I just hide mine in my purse or tuck it into my camera bag and go exploring. Harbor got it for me from the ever-wonderful Photojojo, but I recently discovered another site where you can choose your juice box for only $23. So awesome. I think I'm going to start collecting these guys... and I've got my eye on the milk carton next.

You can only buy the "apple juice" box in the Photojojo Store, but it does come with a free roll of film, and it's $25. I just developed my first roll over the weekend and was shocked with how pretty they were. These photos were taken with 800 film, but I just reloaded my camera with some expired 400, so I'm anxious to see how those turn out. (Expired film colors + light leaks = heaven.)

Here are some photos we took:

I'm going to a wedding up in Jacksonville this weekend, and I plan on taking some fisheye photos with my lil' Lomo. I'll be sure to post some when we get back.

Start dreaming about the weekend ahead!