Wednesday, February 29, 2012

nothing left for me to do but dance

I have never been a gym class girl - I prefer to sweat it out solo, usually on the elliptical or the treadmill. Then a few friends and I started going to Zumba classes together once a week, and I am so into it. Now, I'll be the first to admit it's taken me a while to get use to the dances- and you can totally tell who's been coming to the classes regularly (either that or they are professionals). All of a sudden though it clicks and you start remembering the standard moves each week, and you stop looking like the fool in the back of the room who has no clue what's going on. It's also probably one of the best sweats you can get in an hour. At the end of each class, I am already looking forward to the next week's.

(photo credit)

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

pour the wine dear

This little sign made me laugh, though sometimes it's such a true statement. Wine is definitely on my list of things to survive on a desert island with, along with apples, cheese and chocolate. If that doesn't sound like a party waiting to happen I don't know what does.

(photo credit)

Monday, February 27, 2012

don't you ever interrupt me, while I'm reading a book

An update on my current completed reading material. I've been on a fiction kick lately, but all over the place, one historical fiction novel and two contemporary fiction novels. I am probably due to read some non-fiction soon, but for now I am enjoying the stories.

1) Commencement - J. Courtney Sullivan, Not too long ago I read Sullivan's other book Maine. Commencement is the story of four girls who meet during their first year at Smith College. The friends take separate paths after college but are truly their for each other, despite the odds of friendships and life changes. I liked that the story went back and forth between the four characters, highlighting differences, as well as a look into their current lives and memories from their school years.

2) Honolulu- Alan Brennert, another author I am revisiting after reading another novel by him. I loved his first book about the lepers on Molokai, so taking another adventure in Hawaii was on my agenda. The story focuses on a young Korean picture bride, who comes to Hawaii to marry a man she has never met.  The story follows her from her home in Korea to Hawaii, and the people she meets through out her time have a way of coming back into her life time and time again. The history of Hawaii plays a key factor in the novel, as Brennert brings in real events into his novel including Hawaii's last monarch and political events that rocked the island nation before it reached statehood. I enjoyed the story of friendships that the lead character made and how these continued to play out through out the novel.

3) One Summer - David Baldacci, normally Baldacci writes novels about CIA operatives that are really thrilling and mind bending. In this book, he took a completely different approach and looked at the dynamics of a family after two terrible tragedies strike. The father, who was terminally ill, makes a dramatic recovery after his wife dies in a horrific accident. As he struggles to normalize life for his three children, he deals with grief and guilt. It's a very sweetly told story of a man and his family who come back from a total collapse, and how each deals with the changes in their lives.

Friday, February 24, 2012

his trusty llama stands beside him

How cute is this sweater from Madewell? I think this would be great for a casual Friday out for work, or even for playing on the weekends. The llamas are perfectly matched with a little heart in the middle- showing some llama love. I also really love navy blue and white together, reminds me of summers on Cape Cod with the prepsters.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

runnin' down a dream

I am turning into a marathon viewer as you can see by the photo of my friend above taken just before she crossed the finish line in Austin, Texas this past weekend. A few of my friends and I ventured to the Lone Star State to explore the city, and watch our friend complete her forth marathon. Yes, that's right number four, and she's currently planning the next one for adventure. Now that I've been a spectator at more then one marathon, I've noticed a few things that make marathons more fun for both the runners and the cheering sections. My tip for the runners is to write your name in very large print across your shirt- lots of the runners at the New York marathon, had their names very visible. Why should this be a must do? It allows those of us watching for our one runner, the ability to pretend we know you- and cheer you on by name. I would think it would feel amazing to have strangers shouting tips of encouragement as you undertake a massive physical feat. For spectators- you need to map out your viewpoint (or viewpoints), depending on the course you may be able to see your runner more then once, which is pretty awesome- and for the runner it's great to see your supporters a few times as you run for victory.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

your hair it's everywhere

I recently decided to try solid shampoo and conditioner- mainly because I was intrigued by the concept of not having tons of plastic bottles in the bathroom. I also do have a desire to be more environmentally friendly, so the idea of using bar shampoo is just another way to reduce my carbon footprint. I picked up both the solid shampoo and conditioner from Lush on my way home from work a few weeks ago and I'll probably never look back to bottled shampoos again. The smell is absolutely heavenly- and lasts all day in my bathroom which is pretty amazing (think about the fact that I shower by 6:45 in the morning, and go to bed around 11 each night). My hair also feels so manageable and soft, it's not drying like you would think from a soap like product- these little guys pack quite a moisture rich punch.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

ch ch ch ch ch cherry bomb

Floral prints scream spring time - which is why I really like this draped top from Banana Republic. The cherry blossom print is very cute with the neutral beige background. Dressy enough for work, and great paired with jeans this top will be a go to all season long.  Makes me want to take a trip to Washington, DC to see the cherry trees bloom this spring.

Monday, February 20, 2012

these braids with the twist and turns

I was recently reading how a woman should never leave her house without at least one piece of statement jewelry on her person, completing the outfit. This braided cuff was given to me as a birthday present from a good friend - who clearly knows how much I love silver. This is great for a night on the town, or for some zing for a special occasion such as a wedding. I wore it for the first time to a big conference call at work- might have been a bit much for the office, but sometimes you need a little bling in your regular life.

Friday, February 17, 2012

I will not take my love away

Love Actually is one of my all time favorite movies. I love that all different sorts of love stories are told throughout Christmas time in the great city of London, none the less. Not everything is a fairy tale, people make choices that impact every aspect of their lives including their hearts. I am always a bit sad when the young man, in love with his best mate's wife, finally professes his feelings knowing full well she cannot not reciprocate back. Though, I  am most drawn to the writer's love for the woman in which he could not speak to and how the language of love prevails overall leading these two to each other despite the obstacles. This clever little film does remind us "that love actually is all around" - it just might not be in the traditional sense.

(photo credit)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

one sweet love

Conversation Hearts are a classic Valentine's treat.  My mom always use to give my sister and I these as a little present in the morning each Valentine's Day when we were kids. I never liked the purple ones- but I remember reading the little messages thinking about the day someone special might present me with the kind words upon the candies. I also remember when the candies got a makeover for the new generation and messages like "email me" came about, changing these little babies forever. Nostalgia is key for me and my favorite saying will always "true love" - call me predictable if you must.

(photo credit)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

I wear my pink pajamas

 Valentine pajama bottoms would be a very cute addition to the pajama drawer. I love themed jammies- even if you are over the age of five (though the under five crowd can get away with pajamas that make them look like little animals). This particular pair isn't juvenile though which is important to me when picking out new bottoms to lounge around in. I also really like that that you can cuff this pair, which means no dragging the hems on the floor.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

growing up and falling in love

Happy Valentine's Day - hope everyone has a happy and fun day today. If you are lucky enough to be in love, embrace and celebrate it- make sure your special someone knows exactly how important they are in your life, and how loved they truly are. If you aren't in love, remember that today is not all about couples but a reminder to be kind to everyone - it's a perfect opportunity to show friends and family or even a stranger a little love even in the simplest of ways. Send someone a card, bring an extra coffee to your friend at work, and smile all day long- your happy mood will be infectious.

(Photo Credit)

Monday, February 13, 2012

a hug around the neck

Happy Valentine's Week! I thought it would be nice to share signs of love that have touched my heart in someway everyday this week- as a way to celebrate. I've also been a bit eager to tackle a themed week of postings as so many other bloggers seem to do, it's rather neat to see how people tie things together. Perhaps this will be something I consider doing regularly, maybe this will go miserably.

These two labs could not be any sweeter as they embrace each other in a hug- definitely brings a smile to my face to think of animals showing affection to one another. Pets have a way of stealing our hearts away and this photo makes me want to go out and adopt two little fury friends like the yellow labs.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Down the Memory Boulevard

Quiet a few of my friends have children who are just about to turn two, which is such a fun age. I have extremely fond memories of books I loved as a child, so I've been trying to add to their collections with some of my must haves. One of my favorites, and my mother's favorites is Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey.  I casually mentioned to my mom on the phone that I was going to send this book to a friend for her little girl, and she quickly started to say "Kuplink, kuplank, kuplunk" the repeating line of the story. My mother must have read this book to me hundreds of times, and I remember loving how little Sal and the little bear both have similar adventures. I hope that this books brings back great memories for my friend's daughter when she is older as it has for me.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

that song in my head

Remember in high school, when you would play your favorite song over and over, and then over and over again? I still do that more then I'd like to admit, I find that one song, or those couple songs that I just can't stop wanting to hear all the time. Thank goodness I no longer have to rely on the radio to wait to hear those songs that are stuck and itching to be heard. I cannot get enough of Clem Snide's song "Bread", the lyrics just are so sweet and tender- "so keep your hands soft, for high fives and shakes". I also love the light melody of the guitar and simpleness of the vocals.  I hope you enjoy listening to it as much as I do.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

letters that I sent

As you may recall, one of my 2012 resolutions (which can be seen here) was to do more DIY projects. I was a bit disappointed in myself that I never got my act together in December and didn't get out any Christmas cards - I didn't even go to a store to buy them. I was trying to think of something that would allow me to be creative, but also do something nice for people- so I thought it would be fun to start making homemade cards for birthdays and other special occasions. I've actually really enjoyed putting together cards and thinking about who is receiving the card and make it for them based things I know they like or just something that makes me think of them. I love having a creative outlet that is not overwhelming, but fun to spend a little time crafting without making me feel like I've tried to take on too much too fast.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

a little sweet and simple

These photographs are so sweet- I found these beautiful images by Carlos R Photography. I really enjoyed looking at the little proclamations of love and affection. Both of these photos have an innocence to them- the red heart balloons and the Converse sneakers, make these truly seem as though little moments of peoples' lives were captured by someone just passing by.

Monday, February 6, 2012

sunglasses on baby

Sunny days are the best, even in the winter when it's completely deceptive on how cold it truly is outside. I've been fooled more then a few times dressing in fewer layers, and then freezing my tailbone off walking around and thinking why didn't I just grab a sweater to wear with my outfit. I love wearing sunglasses no matter what the weather is outside (even on cloudy days) - I found this great pair from Anthropologie - which reminds me of the really big glasses from the 70's.  Makes me long for warm weather and flip flips, and all those extra hours of summer sun.

Friday, February 3, 2012

pink, like a deco umbrella

It seems that everyone is into a unique manicure- the standards still hold but there's something about having a fun twist to your nails. I love trying to paint patterns on my fingertips- however my hand is not very skilled. Long ago a friend had amazing patterned nails- which she confessed were the Sally Hansen Nail Effects. I was intrigued to try them for myself and of course never ever could find them anywhere. Alas, this week a trip to CVS brought me face to face with several choices. I picked pink polka dots- even though it's a bit summery for February (just because the groundhog saw his shadow doesn't mean I have to wait six more weeks). The instructions are pretty easy to follow to apply what I would call stickers to your nails- and by nail number three I felt like I had mastered how to do this. So far no complaints from me, and very minimal chipping - much longer then I usually make it after a trip home from the nail salon. I have also received many compliments on my pretty patterned polish - I will definitely be purchasing these again.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

I'm cuddling close to blankets and sheets

My bedroom was overdue for an update- usually, when I move to a new apartment I like to change the bedspread and give my new room a completely new feeling. I've been in my current place about 10 months now, so I was really holding back on the purchase. Blue is almost always the color I choose for just about everything, so I really surprised myself when was drawn to the red and white quilt from West Elm. I love the pattern and how there's a bit of a mix and match of the red and whites (the shams match the reverse of the quilt). Since I freeze in the winter, I also picked a grey duvet cover to cover my well loved down comforter - I like the way the white pops off the darker color. I can't wait for summer though when I can remove the down comforter and just enjoy the light weight quilt. At least for now though the combination is warm enough on those cold winter nights.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

compartments plus three

My jewelry was getting a bit out of control on the tray I had been storing everything on - I never could find a matching pair of earrings with ease, or find particular rings when pressed for time. It was jumbled mess that just screamed for a new solution. On a trip to TJ Maxx, I found this very cute compartmentalized tray which is perfect for sorting jewelry by color, type, occasion  on my dresser. I also really like the french dots and the pink - I find them very complementary to the dark wood dresser in my bedroom. My only fear now is filling this with too much jewelry and running out of storage space - perhaps I should have gotten two.