Monday, January 31, 2011

the weekend + committing to...

happy monday, friends -- as you read this, i am getting ready to head off to work! yes, after a month of freelancing, i'm heading back to an office, and i can't wait. i'm wearing a cute outfit (you know, like, actual pants) and everything.

and i can honestly say that, as we come to the end of january, it was a pretty great month. leaving my job was the best thing to ever happen: a bunch of opportunities opened and continue to open up, i got to take a little trip, i've reconnected with friends and family, and i feel fresh and rested. there's a forward momentum, for sure, and i'm so, so grateful for it. this quote is really ringing true right now:

in the midst of winter, i found there was, within me, an invincible summer.  
(albert camus)

what an awesome feeling -- one i hope you all have felt, as well.

ok, so, before i get all rambly and sappy, here are this week's commitments -- tell me yours, too!

+ doing well at my new job. eeeeeep! though it's a contractor position right now, it's at a company i know and love with people who i've known for years and really love. yay!

+ in that vein, stick to one of my new year's resolutions and dress like a grownup. this includes hair and makeup.

+ work on a detox plan for february. more on this to come tomorrow.

+ embrace tea. i don't know why i have the urge to drink more hot tea -- maybe it's all the blog reading i do, and all the mentions of hot tea i often see, or maybe it's that i found a recipe for an orange-chamomile and lavender honey tea that looks divine. who knows? but yes: embrace tea.

+ jog a few miles a few days this week. yay, exercise. also: pilates every night.

+ find a yummy treat to bake for the super bowl party i'm attending for a bit on sunday.

see you back here tomorrow, everyone -- i hope you have a wonderful, bright monday! xoxo

photo by braedon photography

Saturday, January 29, 2011

what are you doing this weekend?

happy saturday, friends! did you have a good week? did you get to sleep in today, or were you up and at 'em bright and early? whatever your plans, i hope they got your weekend off to a great start.

i've been a little all over the place this week, and i have a lot of work to do this weekend before starting a new full-time gig on monday (eek!). it's a full-time contract job for now, but it's also an amazing opportunity with a group of people i know well and love even more, so let's hope it turns official full-time asap! but at any rate, i'm looking forward to getting back into a routine. this past month has been great, but i need a bit more structure.

so anyway, for me the weekend will be filled with proofreading someone's manuscript and a few other work projects, but also catching up with my sarasota friends and working on an exciting little project that another dear friend of mine and i are launching next week -- i can't wait! i'll be sure to show it to you guys when it's ready. other than that, sleep, cuddle-time with oscar, movies, and soup are on the agenda, and i couldn't be happier.

what about you? what are your plans for the weekend?

see you back here monday! xoxo

photo of anthology, a sweet bookstore in scranton, by me.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

scenes from scranton.

just two pretty pictures from my travels in pennsylvania, both with a mint-green theme. the first photo is from a fantastic home/apothecary store called lavish that's pretty much a soap lover's heaven. the second is from outrageous, a jewelry shop/bookstore (best of both worlds?). i'm not going to lie, right now i'm wishing i would have taken that necklace (and its birdcage) home...

photos by me

Monday, January 24, 2011

happy monday!

happy monday (evening), friends! as you probably know if you follow me on twitter, i'm in cold, snowy pennsylvania at the moment. please note that it's 70 degrees in florida right now, and when i woke up this morning it was -3 here. hence the ensemble above -- earmuffs and large knitted gloves.

but i am having a wonderful time catching up with family and friends (especially my 90-year-old grandmother -- dad's mom -- who i haven't seen in three years), and i'm getting some work done and pursuing a few opportunities. i think i'll be going home totally refreshed, which is something i desperately needed. so yay for that.

i hope you all are having a fantastic start to your weeks and that you had a wonderful weekend, as well! xoxo

p.s. the usual weekly  "committing to..." post will be back next monday -- i'm committing to that this week! ha!

Friday, January 21, 2011

what are you doing this weekend? (i'm taking a trip to the frigid north!)

happy friday, friends! did you have good weeks?  are you ready for the weekend? do you have big plans, or are you planning on using the next couple of days to relax and unwind? (i don't know about you, but last week was busy for me!)

i'm actually heading up to the northeast this afternoon -- i apparently chose the coldest weekend ever to leave florida, right when the temperatures here decided to finally hover at a beautiful 70 degrees. (i know, i know -- pity me! ha.) but in spite of my severe lack of winter-appropriate clothing, i am excited to see family and friends and hopefully spend at least a little time playing in the snow. 

posting may be light next week, but you can follow me on twitter, if you'd like, and i'll definitely try to pop in and say hi, both here and on your blogs.

wishing you guys a wonderful winter weekend -- see you back here next week! xoxo

lovely photo via 

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

book talk.

i've been devouring books lately, you guys -- i've read three in the past two-and-a-half weeks, which is partially due to semi-unemployment and partially due to that newfound love of life i've been feeling. in anticipation of my trip north on friday, i'm plucking some as-yet-unread books off my shelves so i'll have something to flip through on the plane, but i thought i'd give you some quick reviews of my three most recent conquests in case you're looking for a little reading material yourself.

the cookbook collector, by allegra goodman. my aunt gave this to my mom as a christmas present, and i picked it up before mom could get to it -- then realized i only had two days to read it before returning to sarasota. so i plowed through, but i actually ended up enjoying it, kind of in spite of myself. this is a book that could easily have turned cheesy, but its main characters -- two sisters who are very close, despite leading very different lives -- give the novel its soul and force you invest your emotions in them. foodies, take note: this is not actually a book about food or cookbooks, although cookbook collecting does come into play, peripherally, for a bit. but it's worth picking up nonetheless, as goodman's writing style is transporting -- it's very easy to get lost in her lush descriptions. the perfect book for a rainy afternoon and a cup of tea.

freedom, by jonathan franzen. this is a big, heavy book in all senses of the word, and i actually just finished it on sunday night. it's a novel that feels epic; like it's going to be one of those books that will be taught in high school english classes and held up as a masterpiece of american fiction. franzen is a very straightforward writer with a journalistic bent, and freedom is not only the story of a family -- it's also a commentary on politics, the environment, and the state of things during the bush/cheney administration. still, franzen's depiction of the relationships between the members of the berglund family-- both husband/wife and parent/child -- is the best and most compelling part of freedom. read this, you guys. when i closed it, i felt that internal shift that i only feel when i read something that's truly profound.

dear american airlines, by jonathan miles. i picked this up -- almost by accident  --  for $2.99 at a book sale one afternoon after work, and i'm so glad i did. a little book -- literally -- that packs a surprising emotional punch, dear american airlines begins its life as a demand for a refund from american airlines when its narrator, bennie, finds his flight grounded in chicago while he's en route to his daughter's wedding. but it quickly turns into the history of bennie, a reflection on all the mistakes he's made in his life up until this point, and he his earnest, almost heartbreaking belief that he can make things at least a little right if he can just get to the wedding. miles is an incredibly engaging writer -- i loved the little liberties he took with form and grammar -- and he made me misty-eyed as often as he made me laugh. i'd recommend this to anyone; i really thought it was great and it's not hard to get through.

so that's what i've been reading lately -- what about you all?

genius photographs by candice lesage austen -- aren't they just lovely?

Monday, January 17, 2011

the weekend + committing to...

the image above (by rodney smith, via oh joy!) is decidedly summery and not-wintry, but i love it anyway: the gorgeous color of the model's dress, the blue water, the joyfulness of the entire scene.

i've been feeling pretty joyful myself lately. and i know i sound like i'm beating you over the head with a two-by-four, but really: it's amazing the difference being in a good mental place has made in every aspect of my life. i'm probably jinxing it by saying this, but i've been waking up every day feeling so much happier. i've been wanting to exercise and talk to people on the phone and write and travel and apply for jobs clean and get my life in order again. things aren't perfect, but they're getting there.

you guys, seriously: if you're in a toxic environment (personal or professional) and you can leave it, do. doing that was the best thing that's happened to me in a long while and, looking back, i wish i would have just up and quit a lot earlier. being miserable is not worth it, it's just not. and if any of you are going through something similar and need a sounding board, feel free to email me or tweet me -- i'm happy to talk about it with you. i'm no therapist, just someone who went through something difficult and can probably relate.

aaaaaannd now i'm climbing off my soapbox. back to our regularly scheduled programming:

how were your weekends? mine was quiet, but really good. i slept in, cleaned, baked two batches of gingerbread (one cream-cheese frosted, one plain), went running for the first time in quite awhile, did pilates, watched movies, hung out with friends, and generally relaxed. a good few days, indeed.

and now here we are, back at monday, and i'm ready to share with you my little commitments for the week. i hope you'll share yours with me, too.

+ go running on tuesday and thursday, and exercise in some form every day.
+ make a(nother) batch of split-pea soup. so simple and delicious.
+ finish up the planning of and start the execution of a fun creative project i'm working on with a dear friend. (eee! yay! more on it soon.)
+ complete a couple of freelance assignments i'm working on.
+ get my apartment all cleaned up before i leave for my trip north on friday -- the worst thing ever is coming home to a dirty house, isn't it?
+ continue to feel the positivity.

see you back in this space tomorrow, friends! xoxo

Friday, January 14, 2011

what are you doing this weekend?

happy friday, friends! it's the weekend again -- yay! how were your weeks? can you believe we're halfway through january already? it's crazy how time is flying, isn't it?

my week was actually really good -- i feel like there's some good juju being given by the universe right now, and it's making me feel happy and light and back to my old self (instead of this version of myself -- you know, the soulless zombie one). one thing that's really helping me stay positive is taking long walks almost daily -- this photo is from one i took while strolling the bridge the other day, and i have some more that i'll share with you next week. being outside in the crisp january weather is so cathartic; i can't recommend it enough. (and i know it's a luxury that i get to go at, like, 2 p.m., but i hope that even when i'm working full-time again, i'll keep up this little tradition.)

other than that, things have been pretty quiet. i've been resume-updating, cover-letter-writing, job-applying and getting ready for a trip up north for a few days next week. and this weekend i expect more of the same, hopefully with more outdoor-time and friend-time thrown in the mix, as well.

what about you? tell me, and i'll see you back here on monday!

p.s. thank you for all your wonderful comments this week! you guys are seriously the best. xoxo

Thursday, January 13, 2011

bow-ed over.

more clothes love, this time from juliette hogan. how pretty (and prettily styled/photographed) are these looks?  i'm now positive i'm going to need  (a) some ankle-length navy pants, (b) something with bows, and (c) something in that gorgeous lavendar color in my spring wardrobe.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

wishful thinking.

last night at 10:45 p.m., my friend t. and i bundled up (well, bundled up by florida standards) and drove to siesta key beach, where we scattered our wishes for 2011 into the gulf of mexico at exactly 11:11 p.m. we'd written the wishes on strips of paper, and watching them flutter into the ocean was like watching little butterflies take flight -- i felt almost proud. 

there's something magical about the beach at night, and that magic -- coupled with the fact that yesterday felt like a lucky day -- made sending off those wishes all the more fun and crazy and auspicious. it was a great, unexpected thing to do, and i came home feeling giggly and happy and full of possibility.

how were your tuesdays? how are your wednesdays? xoxo

photo by me

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

loving: emersonmade's spring collection.

if you had asked me a few months ago what store in which i'd most like to max out my credit card, i probably would have said something along the lines of j.crew or madewell. but that's before i discovered emersonmade, whose classic, feminine aesthetic is exactly how i aspire to dress (and which i will be shamelessly copying in my attempt to dress more like a grown-up).

seriously, i'll take one of everything, please. including the goldie & stripes reversible day bag.

p.s. happy 1/11/11! love that there are so many one-themed days this year.

Monday, January 10, 2011

the weekend + committing to...

happy monday, friends! did you have a good weekend? i had a quiet, but really nice, one. after a week of being pretty sick with my annual new year's cold, i spent friday night at home on the couch with a dvd, which was delightful and helped me more fully recuperate.

on saturday, my mom and aunt came down from winter park for the afternoon, which was great. we had lunch and tea at my favorite sarasota lunch spot, then walked around burns court and stopped in at awesome orchids (pictured above), a great plant/home decor shop where my mom bought herself gorgeous orchid and me the cutest little succulents you ever did see. we also hung out at the beach for a bit -- it was too cold to actually go in the water, of course, but it was perfect weather to sit on an old wooden bench and enjoy the salt air and sunshine. i love my mom and was so glad to see her -- the timing couldn't have been better.

saturday night, my dear friend t. and i went over to a new friend's house for a little dinner-and-movie get-together, which was lovely -- one of my favorite things in life is curling up on a couch with a good friend and a good movie, and chatting, snacking and drinking wine.

another favorite life-thing of mine is going out to breakfast, and my friend k. treated me to just that sunday on siesta key, after which we tooled around the island before heading back to our respective houses for  indulgent mid-afternoon naps and then later, for me, a long walk over the ringling bridge at sunset. i haven't done that in a long time, and it felt great -- i'm trying to carry that feeling into this week.

so in that spirit, here are my commitments for the next several days:

+ continue the job hunt in earnest. network shamelessly.
+ exercise daily. 
+ drink lots of green tea and eat lots of fruits and vegetables to ensure i don't get sick again. yay, antioxidants.
+ don't resort to hermitude. get out, walk around, go over to friends' houses. just because i'm on a big-time spending freeze doesn't mean i can't show my face in public.
+ stay positive -- remember that this time in my life is actually an opportunity to figure everything out.

and you? what are your goals for the week?

photos by me

Friday, January 7, 2011

back to black.

i really love this look. it's so classic, and those boots -- oh, i covet them. i need to start embracing black tights again.

p.s. have you seen the sartorialist's video, a visual life? i'm sure you have, but just in case, here's the link. it's so beautiful.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

hope is the thing with feathers.

i hope you guys will indulge me with a few more posts on my current career situation. getting back out in the job market again is a really weird sensation; i moved on from my last full-time job without a gap in employment, and while i am doing consulting work, i now get to pick out what it is i really want to do. it's scary and exciting and liberating, and while i promise not to talk too-too much about it here, i do want to share my thoughts and feelings on it all with you, especially because i know many of you are, or know people who are, in the same position.

for some reason, i keep coming back to eat, pray, love (don't judge). i'm not sure if it's because i recently rewatched the movie, because i'm feeling like i need to get away for awhile -- maybe even relocate someplace new -- or because i just really admire elizabeth gilbert's conviction that she needed to truly recreate her own life to be happy and give fully to others. whatever it is, it's a recurring thought.

for the last two months, i'd been pretty checked out -- from my friends, from my family, from my life in general. i tried not to show it here, but i started to develop an apathy towards my life, and those of you who know me in real life know that apathetic is not something i am. so it was scary. i started wondering if maybe i was depressed -- if maybe i should see a therapist; be on medication. that's why the following dialogue from the movie version of eat, pray, love really resonated -- it's a conversation between liz and her best friend, delia:

delia: you have a support system here, liz! you have friends and family who love you.
liz: and do you feel my love for you? my support for you? no! there's nothing! i have no pulse!

exactly. that's exactly how i felt.

the good news is that i'm starting to get my pulse back. i'm scared about next steps, but i can't stop thinking that this is an opportunity. in the past 24 hours, i've gotten numerous emails about both full-time and part-time work from my own support system -- it's overwhelming in the best way possible, and i feel so utterly grateful and humbled. i'm starting to feel that my life is my own again; that i want to love and support my friends and family again the way they love and support me. and it's an amazing feeling -- like emerging from a cocoon and seeing and feeling sunlight for the first time in months. so if any of you are going through the same thing right now, i just want you to know that there is light, and even though it may not feel like it right now, i promise you will feel its warmth again.


Tuesday, January 4, 2011


happy tuesday, friends.

i love this photograph, don't you? i feel like it represents my life right now: it's winter, but there's a lot of light on the horizon.

hope you are all doing well. xoxo

Monday, January 3, 2011

2011 + committing to...

hi, everyone -- happy first monday of 2011.

i can tell already that 2011 is going to be a year of big changes. i'm looking at the new year as one in which i need to move forward with my life. that in 2011 i need to make choices that make me happy and that are right for me, that i shouldn't settle, that i shouldn't be afraid of change. i've also learned a lot about my own worth, as both a person and as an employee, and i'm grateful for that.

i tend to start new years thinking that the resolutions i've made are going to take effect instantly. this year, i don't feel like that -- i feel like, as i said in the first paragraph of this post, big changes are going to happen in 2011, but i think they're going to happen when they should and that they're going to be changes that stick with me for the long haul.

so in that vein, here's what i resolve to do in 2011:

+ find a job -- no, a career -- that's fulfilling professionally, financially, and emotionally. relocate if necessary; don't be scared of it.

+ pay off all my credit card debt.

+ take vitamins.

+ cook more. follow mark bittman's plan for eating healthily: eat (mostly) vegan, and when i don't, minimize my meat intake; watch my weight, exercise.

+ speaking of exercise, do it as close to daily as possible, even if that just means a little walk around my neighborhood. i'd also like to run another 5k this year.

+ dress a little more like a grown-up. replace flip-flops with heels or pretty flats; embrace dresses; wear pants that are not denim every so often.

+ tell my friends and family how much i love them (a lot) as much as possible.

+ work on my blog more; come up with some original series for it. i love this space and i want to make it a place people want to come.

i think these are all good, attainable goals with which to kick off 2011, don't you? do you make new year's resolutions? if so, what are they? please share -- i'll see you back here tomorrow!


photo by confetti system