I’m in one of those unavoidable phases where you want to update, but don’t, because you feel like you have too much to update about, and procrastinating seems like the easier option. That, and I’ve been busy since we got back from Hawaii! Two of my brothers came into town that weekend, one of whom is staying with us for over a week. It’s so rare that I get to spend this much time with my family, that I tend to block everything else out and just focus on that. I’m sure you’d do the same!
- Hawaii was, beautiful. Relaxing. Very rainy. But all in all, amazing! Especially because Julian managed to lose his wedding ring in the ocean. Miraculously, a snorkeler found it. Can you believe it??
- There is nothing cuter than grateful, over-cuddly, purry cats after you come home from a trip.
- Julian’s birthday is coming up very soon (tomorrow) and I’m so excited to be able to celebrate with him! Last year we were in Berlin for his work, and the year before that he was in Nashville without me. Any fans of him that are reading this – be sure to wish him a Happy Birthday tomorrow!
- You have to read Unbroken, the memoir/biography about Louis Zamperini. I read it on vacation, and it’s earned a spot in my top 5 fave books of all-time. Even Julian, who does not read, is reading it and loving it!
- I’m in the process of ‘cleaning out’ certain areas my life to make room for a new venture. More to come about that…
- And randomly, have any of you ever had orange plums? We just got a big bunch of them from a local farm and they are absolutely delicious. They taste just like purple plums, but they have this gorgeous citrus color, just like the inside of a plum!
Guess what? My talented soapmaker Mom is doing a giveaway on DC wedding blog Capital Romance today – $50 worth of her handmade (and cruelty-free) soap, lip balms, scrubs, etc from her Etsy shop. All you have to do is leave a comment to win the gift certificate, and as I type this, there are only 8 comments, so your chances of winning are pretty high.
I’ve told you all before how huge a fan both myself and Julian are of her soap… it’s all we use! Now’s your chance to get some fo’ free. And how awesome would it be if someone who read her daughters blog was the winner? I’d be so proud. So go, enter to win! And when you do win, be sure to order her Bliss, Tranquil, Sunny, and Blueberry soaps. They are all favorites in our house.
Have I mentioned lately how great it is to have a Mom that makes soap? Last time I was home, I requested some lilac soap, and just like that she whipped some right up, even though it’s not in her usual lineup. It smells soooo amazing… just like Spring.
Just a quick note to say that very, very few things in the world are as ridiculously wonderful as having brothers and sisters to laugh, cry, fight, and grow up with. And that I am beyond blessed to have 5 (technically, 10 including Julian’s siblings!) smart, beautiful/handsome, courageous, hilarious, talented, and loving siblings. /gush
I don’t know where this picture came from, but it’s making my day. My Grandpa down in Dallas, who is the Chief Email Forwarder in our family, sent it my way. And now I’m sharing it with you. I mean, how can you not share something like this? Even if it is 100%, without a doubt, Photoshopped.
Today I’m cheating. And by that I mean I’m reposting something written by someone else, because quite honestly, she (Deena Munsamy) says it better than I ever could and you really don’t need me chiming in with more input.
Three-Word Phrases, can be tools to help develop every relationship.
There are many things that you can do to strengthen your relationships. Often the most effective thing you can do involves saying just three words. When spoken sincerely, these statements often have the power to develop new friendships, deepen old ones and even bring healing to relationships that have soured.
The following three-word phrases can be tools to help develop every relationship.
~ Let me help:
Good friends see a need and then try to fill it. When they see a hurt they do what they can to heal it. Without being asked, they jump in and help out.
~ I understand you:
People become closer and enjoy each other more when the other person accepts and understands them. Letting your spouse know – in so many little ways – that you understand them, is one of the most powerful tools for healing your relationship. And this can apply to any relationship.
~ I respect you:
Respect is another way of showing love. Respect demonstrates that another person is a true equal. If you talk to your children as if they were adults you will strengthen the bonds and become closer friends. This applies to all interpersonal relationships.
~ I miss you:
Perhaps more marriages could be saved and strengthened if couples simply and sincerely said to each other “I miss you.” This powerful affirmation tells partners they are wanted, needed, desired and loved. Consider how important you would feel, if you received an unexpected phone call from your spouse in the middle of your workday, just to say “I miss you.”
~ Maybe you’re right:
This phrase is very effective in diffusing an argument. The implication when you say “maybe you’re right” is the humility of admitting, “maybe I’m wrong”. Let’s face it. When you have an argument with someone, all you normally do is solidify the other person’s point of view. They, or you, will not likely change their position and you run the risk of seriously damaging the relationship between you. Saying “maybe you’re right” can open the door to explore the subject more. You may then have the opportunity to express your view in a way that is understandable to the other person.
~ Please forgive me:
Many broken relationships could be restored and healed if people would admit their mistakes and ask for forgiveness. All of us are vulnerable to faults, foibles and failures. A man should never be ashamed to own up that he has been in the wrong, which is saying, in other words, that he is wiser today than he was yesterday.
~ I thank you:
Gratitude is an exquisite form of courtesy. People who enjoy the companionship of good, close friends are those who don’t take daily courtesies for granted. They are quick to thank their friends for their many expressions of kindness. On the other hand, people whose circle of friends is severely constricted often do not have the attitude of gratitude.
~ Count on me:
A friend is one who walks in when others walk out. Loyalty is an essential ingredient for true friendship. It is the emotional glue that bonds people. Those that are rich in their relationships tend to be steady and true friends. When troubles come, a good friend is there indicating “you can count on me.”
~ I’ll be there:
If you have ever had to call a friend in the middle of the night, to take a sick child to hospital, or when your car has broken down some miles from home, you will know how good it feels to hear the phrase “I’ll be there.” Being there for another person is the greatest gift we can give. When we are truly present for other people, important things happen to them and us.
We are renewed in love and friendship. We are restored emotionally and spiritually. Being there is at the very core of civility.
~ Go for it:
We are all unique individuals. Don’t try to get your friends to conform to your ideals. Support them in pursuing their interests, no matter how far out they seem to you. God has given everyone dreams, dreams that are unique to that person only.
Support and encourage your friends to follow their dreams. Tell them to “go for it.”
~ I love you:
Perhaps the most important three words that you can say. Telling someone that you truly love them satisfies a person’s deepest emotional needs. The need to belong, to feel appreciated and to be wanted. Your spouse, your children, your friends and you, all need to hear those three little words: “I love you.” Love is a choice. You can love even when the feeling is gone.
Ben, I doubt you are reading this. You’re probably somewhere in Tucson drinking scotch with your fiance, lighting something on fire, being awesome and talking about the latest manly, death-defying stunt you pulled. But in the off-chance that you are reading this, I want to publicly wish you a Happy 25th Birthday. I’m so glad the days of us spending years apart are behind us – with you in Arizona and me in LA, it’ll be more like when we were kids and less like when you were living in Korea or Germany. I’m so proud of all you have become and can’t wait to see where life takes us both. You are truly one in a million. I love you forever, brother bear.
Ew! I almost let another Thursday slip past me without documenting my list of glorious things that I appreciate and looooove this week. All in all, I’ve had my mind and body busy with other shtuff so I haven’t been able to blog all week. Sad face. I know you’ll forgive me, because, not only is it the right thing to do but – well, you ain’t got no choice! Muah!
Above all else – the weather in LA lately! Think “the perfect week in Spring.” It’s so fantastic, I open my bedroom windows every morning and cherish the fact that I live in a place where you can wear tank tops in February. It could be a little warmer, but all in all, I’m stoked. It’s got me closing my eyes and trying to will Springtime to get here FASTER! Speaking of, I think I found my swimsuit for this year. Behold:
Some other stuff that is pretty incredible:
unexpected phone calls (a lot this week, actually); being able to spontaneously spend a night chatting and hanging out with my Step Mom who was in town on her way to Vegas for a wedding; getting super inspired; trying three new recipes this week and LOVING each and every one of them (Julian, too!); surprise love letters and boxes of Valentine’s Day chocolates; watching so many movies; real, Southern fried chicken (Honey Kettle in Culver City – I DIE); cute white puppies at work that look like stuffed animals; being inspired by Sara Janssen’s Simplify Saturday post and filling three trash bags with clothes I don’t wear, need or want; rearranging my bedroom (rearranging a room can make ANYTHING better!! Top 100 favorite things to do, easy.); finding out my brother and his fiance will be spending the weekend with me in LA (first time for him meeting Julian, eee!);
making the decision to step outside my comfort zone, challenge myself and trust in my abilities; the French windows in my apartment; Bath & Body Works room sprays; getting our invitations all designed & ordered (thank you, Danny!!!); window shopping for clothes online; when work orders groceries, and Wednesday lunch; boyfriends who do the dishes for you everyday; quick pump-me-up phone calls with my girlfriends; heightened excitement and anticipation over my friend Julia’s upcoming baby; seeing Julian after his first ever professional deep tissue massage – CUTE, and hilarious; this raincoat; perfecting the art of pancake-making (wipe the pan with an oil-soaked paper towel); a garage full of firewood for fires in my fireplace (it might be warm during the day, but it’s still cold at night! This is the desert, after all!); not caring about NY Fashion Week and being totally o.k. with that; helping a homeless man buy a large coffee instead of a small (I realize how trivial this sounds, but it still made me feel good);
This oldie-but-goodie music video from Julian’s BFF and Best Man, Marc Scibilia. This man is going to be famous. This song was from the Ron Paul Presidential campaign tour, which Marc played on. Video directed of course, by Julian. And yes – all those people playing instruments are Marc!
The Internet in 1969. Might be a fake, but if not, too funny!
I wrote 2009 in the title of this, I still can’t believe it’s 2010. Where’s my flying car? So, I haven’t done one of my ‘Bits ‘n Pieces’ thingamajigs since before Christmas, therefore many of these items are old, but – who cares. Many of them warrant their very own blog posts, but I don’t have time for that right now, so you get a list. Love ya!
One of the images in my ‘Wedding Inspiration’ folder. From 100 Layer Cake.
Seriously cute wedding pics from a NYE eloping!
Up The Lacquer: I want these limited-edition Chanel nailpolishes. Can you imagine the hours of painting-and-picking fun I could have with them?! What cute colors.
The Blogosphere 2.0: Veteran blogger 11D writes about how the blogging community has changed/evolved in her six years of blogging. Among her findings are the demise of the A-list, a dwindling sense of community except among niche blogs, a lack of crediting and reciprocity with links, and burnout by reader and blogger due to over-saturation of content. The Zeray Gazette has a great follow-up, calling out the blogging industry and claiming it has become too commercialized.
FINALLY! The Oatmeal’s comic-style guide to Ten Words You Need To Stop Misspelling (is it coincidence that I misspelled “misspelling” just now?) Among them: lose vs. loose, your vs. you’re, to vs. two vs. too, its vs. it’s and of course… effect vs. affect. Amazing.
The Decade In Culture: A fun, quick look at the major events of the last decade. Yeah, this is one of those things I found before the end of the year but am just now posting… sorry! Also interesting: The decade in 7 minutes. That one was wildly popular on the SocialVibe blog.
VintageWhere.com: Want to start shopping vintage so you can keep up with the more green/fashionable trends? The chick from What I Wore created this searchable map/list of vintage/thrift shops across the country.
Happy New Year – With Turquoise!: Photos of chandeliers with turquoise in them. Mmm, I love turquoise. And chandeliers! House of Turquoise (all about the use of turquoise in home decor, delish) is awesome, btw.
What Is Yoga, Really?: A piece from a GOOD community member. Pretty interesting background on yoga… he also references a book, The Yoga of Jesus that I want to check out. Man, I really need to start doing yoga again. Just thinking about it makes me more aware of my tense upper back.
New Uses for Old Things: I love Real Simple! It’s like Martha Stewart for the realistic housewife. I also love recycling and refurbishing. Lots of cool ideas on how to take things around the house and make them new again.
What Is The Monkeysphere? – This article is more than two years old, but is filled with priceless information about society, human nature, and our lack of compassion for people who are outside of our “inner circle,” or as they refer to it, the Monkeysphere. The author explains how the same reasoning applies to individuals and larger corporations (and government). It’s worth a read. For me, it emphasizes the importance of “loving thy neighbor,” even if there seems to be nothing in it for you (P.S. there is always something in it for you).
“If a man doesn’t feel sympathy for his fellow man at $6.00 an hour, he won’t feel anything more at $600,000 a year.
Is College Worth It?: This diagram contains stats about the study and lifestyle habits of America’s undergrads and how their finances and worth stack up after the fact. As a college dropout, I can see their point, I’ve managed to become successful by hard work, paying attention to my employers, and taking advantage of opportunities to gain hands-on experience. Same goes for Julian, who never went to film school, yet knows more about filmmaking than most aspiring directors. In his case, he was blessed with a homeschooling environment that allowed him to concentrate on his passion. That being said… I still want my kids to go to college. (via 11d)
The Poetry Clock: I don’t know how it works (I guess it lights up certain words to let you know what time it is), and it really doesn’t seem efficient, but this poetry clock sure is purdy!
Vaccinating Our Son: Our Approach: I don’t have kids, so I won’t be doing any vaccinating anytime soon, but it’s never too soon to start researching I suppose. Plus, I totally trust Chris and Kelly as I agree with many of their stances on diet, health and eco-responsibility. My instincts tell me to do your own research on vaccinations versus following “doctors orders” which sadly aren’t always the smartest approach. If you’ve got a bun in the oven or a freshly baked bun, could be worth taking a look.
Non-toxic nail polish: I don’t even want to think about the amount of chemicals I’ve ingested over the years while using my teeth to peel nail polish off my fingernails. This is a great idea. Thanks to my friend Sarah, who is aware of my issues with nail polish peeling, for sending this my way!
Julie Powell’s blog: I love, love, loved Julie & Julia. Not only is Meryl Streep basically my theatrical idol, but this is a very cool story (and true!) If you aren’t familiar, you’ll have to check out the movie. I’m kind of jealous of Julie Powell, who began blogging her way through Julia Child’s French cookbook LOONG before blogging was the “in” thing to do. If only I were a few years older. Sidenote: why are we always trying to be the “first” to like something? Is there some secret prize you get for being the first person to discover a band or start a trend?
Simmer Down! Green Is Sexy is Rachel McAdam’s blog with two friends that is filled with daily tips on how to live a more sustainable lifestyle. This post is all about how to give yourself a facial at home with nothing but herbs, oils, hot water and a towel… I can’t wait to try it.
An (obviously) fake trailer for SATC 2. Bunny MacDougal returns!! Only hardcore fans of the show will appreciate this.
Michael Pollan (of In Defense of Food and The Omnivore’s Dilemma) has a new book out, a small handbook called Food Rules with easy rules to follow for healthy eating and smart grocery shopping. He talks about them here:
The funniest thing about this “how to wrap a cat for Christmas” video are the clever annotation speech bubbles from the cat.
Hahaha, aww… this high school theatrical performance of Peter Pan is quite possibly the most hilarious thing I’ve ever seen. I feel for the kids though – producing serious theatre in a public high school is seriously tough. It takes me back to my days as an “Osbourn Player.”
It’s been a wild couple of weeks, but undoubtedly some of the happiest days I can ever remember. What is it about being newly engaged that makes you feel like you’re walking around in a dream? I feel like my head is in the clouds surrounded by little cartoon hearts. I’m back in LA, without my darling (who is still in Nashville working on some music stuff), but with plenty of catching up to keep me busy and my mind off of missing him!
The time I spent in Nashville was divine – I’m so thankful I had the chance to spend a week and a half of (mostly) uninterrupted time with my future family-in-law and all of Julian’s friends, some of whom I will know the rest of my life. So many great moments, I don’t even know where to start. The southern food, naps on the chaise lounge, Jenesis braiding my entire head of hair, wearing onesies on Christmas morning, massages on the stairs, the great folks at Eastgate CCF, looking back on baby books and love notes from new mothers, kissing my sweetheart at midnight on New Years, countless trips to Starbucks, window shopping in various Nashville malls, getting ready with Jeorgi in the bathroom and buying/cutting my own “man pants”, perusing bridal books and magazines with Kayla (also newly-engaged), awesome conversations with grandparents who have more wisdom than I could ever hope to, ice skating, laughing my face off with Julian’s siblings, watching them spontaneously write and play a full-band version of the Power Rangers theme, cuddling his stinking adorable nephews, even the pathetic snow flurries that were falling when Julian dropped me at the terminal on Monday morning.
My flight back was uneventful, always a good thing, except for the fact that airport security confiscated my brand new jar of (heavenly) Loveless Cafe peach preserves. I was planning on giving them to Lauren, who generously drove to LA from Pasadena everyday of my absence to feet Fatterson 1 and Fatterson 2, but instead, she just got a thing of biscuit mix. Merry Christmas, Lauren!
The first day back at work was busy, but not totally nightmare-ish, a lot of catch-up meetings and returning e-mails. Now I’m here at home, repainting my nails (of course) and waiting for my girl Francesca’s flight to get in from NYC. Because I’m a good friend, I offered to pick her up from the airport … even if it is arriving at 2:00am. So now I have to make the decision…. coffee? Or nap?
At least I have PLENTY to think about while I’m waiting – who knew wedding planning was such a huge task? Or shall I say, 4140371 mini tasks?! I’ve only been engaged a week and I’m already overwhelmed by the questions, the suggestions, the requests for me to tell the proposal story over and over again. I guess it’s a part of the entire experience – after all, this only happens once! I guess I should savor every moment of it. That being said, I have a few things in mind for what I want, but there is still much up in the air. I’m more looking forward to actually being married to the love of my life. This is without a doubt the HAPPIEST time of my life.
Sorry, you’ll have to forgive my abundance of barfalicious gushiness. I am just… well, if you’ve ever been engaged, you know what I mean. If not, you will understand one day!
ALRIGHT, I’ll cool it. Now that my holiday break is over, I’ll be returning to my regular blogging schedule. But one last thing before I get back to my DVR for the evening (that I must enjoy now before I get rid of my cable TV) – I am very proud to say that I managed to finish another book in my never ending stack! The Shack was awesome. I’m also working my way through C.S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity and The Millionaire Next Door audiobook. So much great info in that last one.. well, both, to be honest. Highly recommended.
This blog has been a bit silent this past week, but I promise it is for a good reason! You see, all this week, my life has revolved around MAKING CHRISTMAS GIFTS. If you recall, I declared I was going to make all my gifts by hand this year – which, as it turns out, requires a good deal of planning, collecting, purchasing, and then of course… making. By hand. And shipping, on time, to ensure they arrive by Christmas.
While I don’t regret a moment of it, trying to get it all done with only a few days to do so was EXTREMELY exhausting! When I wasn’t working this week, I was dragging Julian through Michael’s, making him cut 2x4s (by hand) for my letter blocks, browsing thousands of fabrics, cutting, gluing, sanding, painting, taping, beading, gold-leafing, folding, brushing, wrapping, etc. While my whole body aches from lack of sleep and from moving from one project to another with only brief momentary breaks for food, my fingers have received the brunt of the pain – I can’t decide if hot glue guns are my best friend or my worst enemy. I also have splinters. Delicious.
But the good news is – I got every last project done! And with the exception of a few minor mishaps (i.e., burning the cover of a scrapbook while attempting to iron on letters, spilling half a box of tiny beads all over the floor), it all went smoothly. I even managed to get them to UPS on time and they should arrive by Christmas (unless the 20″ of snow expected in Virginia tonight slows them down)! Love UPS.
I will post photos of my lovely creations, but I can’t just yet for fear of spoiling the surprise for my Moms, Dads, sisters and brothers! While it was tough on a short timeframe, all in all the process was amazing. I really missed making things with my hands… it is so, so gratifying and fun. I wish I were going to be able to watch my family open the presents.
All together now…. EXHALE.
I am SOOOO looking forward to the weekend! Tonight is a date night with my superstar boyfriend (whose new video, Techno Jeep, is currently going viral) and this weekend will be spent relaxing, reading, enjoying fires in the fireplace, and maybe (MAYBE) attempting to make hot chocolate on a stick again. You see, I destroyed the first four batches I tried to make because the melted chocolate did not agree with the cocoa powder. IDGI. It prompted my first (and God willing, my only) holiday meltdown of the season.
So, in summary, if I had time to write Things I Love Thursday yesterday, it would have been HANDMAKING GIFTS. So much fun, even with dark circles under my eyes, burnt fingertips and possible beads in my cat’s stomach.