Tuesday, August 31, 2010

loving: little tin soldier.

do you all read the super-cute blog little tin soldier? my friend k. -- who loves all things j.crew with an intense burning passion -- found it while googling "j.crew blogs" a few weeks ago, and after perusing a few posts i immediately added it to my google reader. linda, the blog's author, has exactly the kind of pretty, colorful, easygoing style i myself often try to achieve, and she posts a photo of herself in a ridiculously cute outfit and a drawing of herself in the outfit almost every day. adorable (and a covetable wardrobe, no?).

Monday, August 30, 2010

a new week + committing to...

happy monday, everyone! it's a new week -- one that's going to culminate in a long weekend for me, which i'm so excited about. but i think it will be a good monday-through-friday, too: there'll be lots of work, a catch-up lunch with one of my favorite people; exercise; the first day of september; and, with that, hopefully, the first hint of fall in the air. i'm looking forward to all of it.

so, that being said, here are the little commitments i'm making for the next seven days:

+ continuing the little routine i got into last week of waking up a few minutes earlier every work morning to get myself in the right frame of mind for the day. it's amazing the difference giving yourself time to digest your cereal, sip your coffee (instead of chug it), and get dressed in peace makes.

+ going to a new fitness class. i really miss spinning; i either need to find a new class or find something to replace it. i'll report back.

+ trying to live like this. i think about it a lot, but i never really do it. so, herewith, i'm promising to (try hard to) hold myself to higher standards; to not compromise; to not be petty; to not stoop. wouldn't it be nice to be described that way by others?

+ cooking a new recipe (this is an every-week commitment). i think this one -- from my favorite new food network show, aarti party (seriously, how cute is the tagline "eat. giggle. repeat"?) -- might just hit the spot. p.s. speaking of aarti, read her blog and watching her youtube videos here -- i much prefer them to the food network version.

tell me what your goals for the week are, and i'll see you back here tomorrow. xoxo

i love this photo by flying house studios. it just feels so hopeful.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

what are you doing this weekend?

happy saturday, friends! what are your plans for this last golden weekend of august? me, i am blissfully schedule-free, which means that i have no idea where this day is going to take me (with the exception of the gym).

the past week was a good one. i managed to get into a bit of a routine that i liked (amazing how giving yourself an extra 20 minutes in the morning to get your head in the right frame of mind sets the tone for the entire day), i felt productive at work, and i got spend some quality time with my friends, which included a super thursday-night celebration that ended up becoming a tour of sarasota watering holes. we love the fourth day of the week here, what can i say?

tell me what you're up to this weekend, and i'll see you back here on monday! xoxo

beautiful photo by sarah giraldo. check out her flickr; it's worth it. 

Thursday, August 26, 2010


last night i made my favorite vanilla cupcakes with vanilla buttercream frosting that i dyed a sunshiney orange (possibly my way of trying to counteract the gross, four-day rainfest we've had here this week). i used this recipe, which is pretty much foolproof and which never fails to elicit smiles from sweet-toothed friends. my love of cupcakes is well-documented on this blog, but these homemade versions -- pardon my pun -- really take the cake.

photos by me. the icing looks a wee bit peach, but that's ok -- these are tasty little beasts! 

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

field trip.


don't you just love this pretty photo by abby liga of liga photography? a showstopper, for sure. makes me want to run away and frolic in a field in a fancy dress (by the way, is fall here yet? i'm ready for scarf weather).

p.s. abby is the dear friend of a dear friend and she is just as lovely as her photographs!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

four-legged friends.

fairly certain one of sharon montrose's stunning photographs needs to take up residence in my home asap. (her baby animal prints are another example of things that are so sweet they make me cry.) the hardest decision i have to make? choosing between the kitten or the little lamb.

p.s. when i was teeny-tiny, my parents gave me a lamb stuffed animal and a kitten stuffed animal to keep me company in my crib (the kitten was my dad's when he was young). i still have both, and these photos make me think of them. 

photos by sharon montrose. tell me you love her work and those animals as much as i do.

Monday, August 23, 2010

the weekend + committing to...

happy monday, friends -- are you ready for a new week? did you have a good saturday and sunday? after a weekend of unplugging (and some major fun with friends on saturday night), i'm ready for the next five days, which are going to be busy, busy, busy. posts might be a little shorter than usual, but i'm going to try and post every day this week. which brings me to the things i'm committing to this week:

+ continuing with the balance thing, which includes moderating and prioritizing the decisions i'm making.
+ dressing nicely for work every day. (this sounds weird, i know.) my office is super-casual, but i'm thinking blown-out hair, some pretty red lipgloss, and maybe even a skirt are in order this week.
+ finishing my current book (amy bloom's where the god of love hangs out) and starting a new one. i think reading will help with the unplugging/balance stuff.

what are your little commitments for the week? xoxo

photos from ginny branch's etsy shop. there's not much that makes me happier than beautiful product photography -- so pretty.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

what are you doing this weekend? + some thoughts on balance.

oh, man, you guys. this week has been one of the longest ever and i am so happy it's the weekend. everything is fine, just busy -- long hours turn into late dinners turn into late bedtimes turn into still-early wakeups. you know how it is, i'm sure. so this weekend, i'm looking forward to regaining a little balance -- spending time by the water, hanging out with my friends, reading, unplugging.

unplugging. such a simple word, such a hard task to accomplish. lately, i feel like i haven't unplugged much at all (can you tell? hello, empty promise to post more and comment more this week. yikes). my sense of balance is totally off and there's not been much time to indulge in those moments of pleasure that i love so much -- noticing a cooler-than-usual breeze in the air; appreciating the eskimo kisses that oscar-cat gives me every night when i come from work; jogging the bridge at night; blogging.

i saw eat, pray, love last weekend and i really enjoyed it. similarly, i really enjoyed the book, in spite of some major existential issues i have with it. but the theme that kept coming back to me, over and over, was one of balance. i need to make more of an effort to find it in my life right now.

so, this weekend: unplug. and then next week: work on the balance. i think i've found my "committing to...," don't you?

p.s. what are you up to this weekend? are you feeling fall in the air yet? are you laying low, like me, or partying like a rockstar? please share, and i'll see you back here bright and early and (hopefully!) refreshed on monday. xoxoxo

love this photo by bawkbawk (love that flickr handle even more).

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

rosie the riveting.

one of my favorite things in the whole world is happening across little gems in unexpected places. though i've lived in sarasota for almost four (oh my gosh!) years now, i still find little surprises all the time -- whether in a great meal somewhere new, or a little shop in a part of town i might not normally visit.

on saturday, my b.f.f. k. and i were doing our usual saturday coffee-and-errands run, and we decided to stop in downtown bradenton on the way to the outlet mall (we both wanted to see if there was anything good at j.crew). that's where k. introduced me to retro rosie & cobwebs unique finds. a vintage shop that's curated like an anthropologie store, retro rosie & cobwebs is incredibly well-edited and filled with fantastic clothes and housewares. (i found just the kind of mirror i've been hunting for for my bathroom; it's now happily displaying my perfume bottles.) you can bet i'll be heading back to this place whenever i need something unique -- and, best of all, affordable -- for my home.

p.s. i'm especially smitten with that pouf of petticoats -- they make me happy. 

photos by me

Monday, August 16, 2010

the weekend + committing to...

happy monday, everyone! did you guys have a good end of your week last week, and a good weekend? i had an excellent one: i capped off a crazy few days of work with a movie (eat, pray, love -- more on that later) and a nutella crepe with girlfriends on friday night; celebrated my birthday and the end of a lovely summer with my best sarasota friends on saturday night; and spent sunday relaxing at home, cleaning, and doing a couple of little diy projects for my bathroom, which was in desperate need of some pretty. oh, and i got to go for a swim and i did a little work. a good weekend, indeed.

now it's back to what i'm sure will be another super-busy week, but first, how about a new "committing to..."?

anyway, without further ado, i commit to the following:

+ being a better blogger and commenter. i need to remind myself of this sometimes; you guys are so wonderful to me, always.
+ gym-ing it up at least three days this week.
+ working on finding balance. eat, pray, love really brought this one home for me in a variety of ways; i'll write more about it later this week.
+ continuing the detox i spoke of last week.

what are your little goals for the week? and, um, can you believe it's mid-august already?

p.s. i have some fun things to share with you this week, friends, and i can't wait to post them. yay!

photo by chara*coco*

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


every so often, when i'm driving around sarasota, i see a large, hawaiian-themed truck sporting a big plastic sculpture of a sno cone sticking out of the back (yes, i'm serious). it's one of those random sarasota sights; one that i notice and giggle at but often don't think twice about until i see it again.

well, it turns out that the hawaiian truck is called the hukilau hut, and the people who own the hukilau hut have just opened their very first storefront here in town. they sell a variety of hawaiian-themed food -- sandwiches, soups, exotic ice cream flavors -- but, best of all, they sell shaved ice. and you guys, it's amazing. i tried it for the first time today and i'm fairly certain i'll be back again tomorrow. look how cheerful that is -- the perfect treat for a hot summer day.

best of all? the hukilau hut CATERS. and even better than that, they become bartenders at grown-up parties. spiked sno cones -- suddenly, getting older doesn't sound so bad.

photo by me.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

sunset in santorini.

ever since joy posted this photo by marcel germain last week, i've been returning to her blog and his photostream to look at his beautiful photos of oia, santorini, greece. this photo, in particular, is my favorite -- it was taken at my favorite time of day, and it's called "a beautiful summer story," which seems especially apt. i've been really feeling the urge to travel lately -- i've never been out of the country; never been further west than colorado -- and santorini is at the tippy-top of my list. love.

photo by marcel germain.

Monday, August 9, 2010

the weekend + committing to...

happy monday, friends! did you have a good few days off? i had an excellent -- quiet, but excellent -- birthday weekend with my friends and family. on saturday, i went to my lovely friend and bride-to-be s.'s bridal shower, then spent the rest of the day with one of my sarasota b.f.f.s just hanging out, and then on sunday, my mom, aunt, and cousins came down and brought the above-pictured treats.

a little back story: my aunt, uncle, and cousins -- who are visiting my parents and grandmother right now from iowa -- lived in japan for the past year because my aunt, who is an english professor and also a genius, got a fullbright scholarship that sent her to tokyo. the items in the first photo are japanese souvenirs: a pink coffee cup from mister donut, which no longer exists in the u.s. but which apparently has quite a japanese following, and a pretty dish towel that perfectly matches my aesthetic. i love them both. the second photo is of totally yummy-looking cupcakes from orlando's blue bird bake shop, which i'm so excited to try. it's honestly a miracle i haven't devoured them already, considering the amount of sugar i've consumed this weekend.

which brings me to this week's committing to: in a word, detox. this week, i really need to take a big step back and look at what exactly i'm putting in my body and whether or not it's worth it. i'm not sure if i've mentioned this before, but over the past year and a half i've lost about 40 pounds, and i'm happier and healthier than i've ever been in my life. but something, lately, is sending me into a bad-eating spiral, and while i haven't really gained weight (at least not yet), i feel mushy and kind of out of control. as is to be expected, i think this is much more a psychological issue than a physical one -- i've always been an emotional eater; the trick right now is to figure out why i'm doing it again. and i think working hard to maintain the good habits i've developed over the past year is a good way to clear my head and get at what may be bothering me.

that being said, i'm not going to deprive myself. my friend a. is taking me out for a belated birthday dinner this week, my friend s. wants to do the same sometime this week, and saturday is my "belated-birthday-slash-summer-friend-get-together" party, so there'll actually be plenty of little indulgences -- it's just the in-between that i need to work on. sometimes we all just need to restart, you know?

so that's my goal for the week. what are you committing to over the next seven days? please share! xoxo

p.s. happy, happy 50th birthday to my wonderful aunt linn! hooray for august babies. i love being a leo.

photos by me.

Friday, August 6, 2010

what are you doing this weekend? + happy birthday weekend to me!

happy friday, friends! i feel like i'm a broken record because i keep saying this, but i am really, really glad it's friday. this week felt extra long, but at least i'm capping it off with something special: my 27th birthday, which is tomorrow. i actually am attending a very good friend's bridal shower that day, and one of my best-best sarasota friends is out of town this weekend, so i'm doing the whole birthday-festivities thing next weekend, but i'm still looking forward to a weekend of little treats and maybe even some family time (mom and aunt might come to visit).

what are you doing this weekend? are you celebrating anything? can you believe we're plowing through august already? tell me, and i'll see you back here on monday an older woman! eek! xoxo

pretty photo by nataliecreates

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

into the mystic.

it's been unbearably hot and humid here in florida recently--a situation that, yes, after 26 years and 361 days as a resident of this state i should be used to by now. still, stepping outside at 8 a.m. and gasping at the heat, and then feeling your hair start to curl in the humidity, is never pleasant. (although, in florida's defense, i love its beaches, i love sarasota, and the time in between november and may makes all of this worthwhile.)

anyway, i usually venture northward for at least a couple of days in the summer and get a respite from the heat, but this year i won't get to do that (sadness). so i was thrilled when i came across virginia's beautiful, calming "mist" set on flickr. the photos are like a breath of fresh air--i can almost feel myself stepping into the mist, wrapped in a sweater on a particularly cool morning. since i can't escape the florida heat right now, i'll happily escape into photos like these, instead.

all photos by virginia.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

loving: spool no. 72.

just a few pieces i'm loving at spool no. 72. while i tend toward a more subdued palette, and have recently moved in a preppier direction, clothingwise (ah, j.crew catalog, i love thee), spool no. 72 allows me to indulge my slightly more hippie side and provides the interesting details and pops of color that, i think, are a must for anyone's wardobe, no matter what her style.

anything jumping out at you, fashion-wise, lately?

Monday, August 2, 2010

the weekend + committing to...

happy monday, everyone! how were your weekends? mine was good--i got to spend time with my dear friend shun, who was in town from boston, and my family, who i don't get to see often enough. i also came back to sarasota with several clean loads of laundry (yes, i'm almost 27 and i still take my laundry to my parents' when i can) and minus one flip-flop. the sign of a good weekend? i think so.

oh, and the photo above is what i call cake carnage from my carrot masterpiece--which was pretty delicious, even if i do say so myself.

what do your weeks look like? mine is busy, but it's capped off by my 27th birthday on saturday. my good friend s.'s bridal shower is that day, and my friend k. is out of town until the 11th , so i'm not celebrating until next weekend, but i'm still looking forward to a week of little treats and saying "it's my birthday!" yes, 27 may be my scary age, but i'm still looking forward to a celebration with my favorite people.

so in the spirit of a new year for me, and a new month for us all, here are my commitments for the week:

+ no soda. i've been really, really bad about guzzling diet coke lately, and in spite of my prior commitment to quit it, i haven't been doing that well. it sends me running to the candy bowl and that is not good. so this time, for real: no soda. i think i'm going to try to get back to water, green tea, and coffee-only for awhile.

not stressing about 27 being my "scary age" and all the things that i think are supposed to come along with being in one's late twenties. it's not worth it. celebrate our youth, right?!

+ baking nigella's to-die-for brownies. (this is a fun one.) also, continuing to cook as much as possible at home.

+ focusing at work and completing another big project. i can do it.

+ cleaning my car, which is gross, and my apartment, which is also kind of gross.

so that's it for me this week. simple, but they're important to me. sometimes i worry that this list gets a little repetitive, but then i think that, often, the commitments i set for myself are ongoing--i can't expect to commit to completely giving up diet soda, and focusing at work and going to the gym are things that i should always do. i mean, right?

what are your current commitments?

photo of cake carnage by me.