Monday, January 31, 2011

Bragging Rights

You won't be hearing much from me this week because I'll be here. My very kind boss (with excellent taste-obviously) has picked this location for our annual leadership team offsite. Yes it's directly on the beach in California. And yes, the entire thing looks EXACTLY like the beach house from Something's Gotta Give. Really, I'm picking my jaw up off the floor at every turn.

It is beach chic at it's absolute best.
Truth be told, I've been running around like a shopping addict at an outlet mall since I got here taking pictures of everything on my phone because I FORGOT MY CAMERA. So lame.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Highlights from the past week

  • Madelyn finally lets me put bows in her hair. As long as I sneak up behind her and she doesn't see me. And no one mentions the word "bow" which instantly prompts her to reach up, yank it out, then look at me like "how the heck did this get here?"

  • The same child also greeted me without a stitch of clothing on yesterday morning when I went to get her up for school. My little escape artist thought it was hysterical that she had figured out how to take her jammies off all by herself. It was cute, but her ability to outsmart me is becoming increasingly alarming.

  • Last week at my birthday lunch with Matt's family I had a few sips of a Krispy Kreme MILKSHAKE. You heard me. It tasted like a cold and creamy donut hot off the press. It should require 9 hail Marys and a 10k jog to make up for the way I felt after drinking it. Sinful, happy, and fat.

  • I'm going to Santa Monica for work next week. We're holding a meeting at a gorgeous upscale resort directly on the beach. I'm slightly excited.

  • I saw Eat Pray Love a few weeks ago. It was not good.

  • We saw No Strings Attached on Saturday and it was surprisingly good.

  • I am completely ob-sessed with these snap pea crisps. I eat them constantly. If you're interested, they're cheapest at Trader Joe's. Tell them I sent you ;)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Today I turn 29.

I spent part of yesterday celebrating thanks to a work holiday (appreciate that, Martin) and plan to spend tonight at home cuddled on the couch with my two favorite people.

I've never been a huge birthday person. I get why it's celebrated, but I never wanted a big to-do.

I do though, given its proximity to New Years, think my birthday is an excellent time to reflect on what I want the coming year to look like.

So here are a few notes for what I look forward to in my last year as a twenty-something.


send more handwritten notes and less emails

take a family vacation to the beach

eat more greens and less sugar

take Madelyn to the zoo

spend more time outdoors

have candlelit dinners

take joy in the now and worry less about what's to come

read more books and less facebook status updates

buy fresh cut flowers

save more and buy less

trust in God's plan and quit trying to make my own

be grateful

do my nails and (seriously) quit picking my cuticles

do more pilates

listen to good music I actually like and less radio I don't

be tolerant

image from here

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Cut the Crap: My Inspiration

A few months ago I found this great blog called Makeunder My Life. It's written by a girl named Jessica who got her start in the blog world by showing people how to simplify their life and design it with intention and purpose, and who also happens to be a very talented jewelry designer.

Organization and jewelry? A girl after my own heart.

You can imagine that when I found this blog it was like I had just found the Clinton to my Stacy. "I'm not the only one who thinks these things!" I thought. And I read on. And on. And on. Back through her many archives full of great ideas and inspiration.

This morning I was browsing through my google reader and happened upon this gem from Miss Jessica's site:
I couldn't have said it better myself.

I highly recommend you check out this page and learn more ways to Cut the Crap from your own life. Her vision board particularly stuck with me because it's near identical to what I would make for myself. All it's missing is a few tiny footprints and a sweet husband to share my wine with.

And if you happen to divert over to her jewelry shop as I so often do, my birthday is next week and I really wouldn't mind one of these.

Honey, are you reading??

Monday, January 10, 2011

Baby it's freakin freezing cold outside

When I moved to Atlanta I didn't realize that even though it was a short 6-hour drive from my hometown of Orlando, I was moving to a drastically different weather pattern. I arrived armed with flip flops in every shade of the rainbow and a light fall jacket convinced it would be adequate. Seriously, the only closed-toe shoes I had were my tennis shoes.

Now here I am, 6 years later, and I have boots, coats, scarves, gloves, and an elementary education in driving on ice. All of which come in handy on days like these.

Behold, the snow day:

Winter weather advisory in effect due to snow and ice, and we've been advised to stay off the roads until tomorrow afternoon.
Notice we literally probably got 1" of snow at our house but we're expected to have the most ice of anywhere in the city. We didn't exactly get the best end of that deal.

So, the monkey and I are holed up in the house hibernating in our jammies and eating mac and cheese. So far we've spent a lot of time playing at our new kitchen and nursing runny noses.
This afternoon we have a packed agenda that consists of playing blocks, taking naps, and watching Finding Nemo and Oprah. It's going to be a busy day.

Hope you are all safe and warm wherever you are!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

I'm calling AARP

You know you're getting older when an impulsive late-night shopping spree yields these "goodies":

Behold the purchases who's arrival I'm excitedly anticipating: a Shark steam mop, a Kurv (i.e. a glorified dust buster), and a jumbo box of diapers sent to my front door that I didn't have to go to Target to get.

I think I need to get on and order something obnoxious and overpriced so I know that I'm still breathing.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Cut the Crap II: The Purge

Cut the Crap Part II: The Purge

This segment in Cut the Crap is about The Purge. This is the first step in making your life cleaner, more organized, and definitely less-stress. I think oftentimes people don't realize the mental "space" having extra stuff takes up in their life. For example, when you're looking for something specific but you have to plow through drawers and cabinets of things you don't even like or use just to find said item, you end up annoyed and in the process waste 15 minutes. Or when you're trying to get dressed for work and you're rifling through a closet full of clothes and can't find a single thing to wear, you begin your day frustrated and negative. Sound familiar? Sound like fun? I don't think so either.

As someone who is an admitted purge-a-holic, this is my plan for ridding your life of the unnecessary extras, leaving you with just those items you need and love, and more time to enjoy your life.

1. Take 20 minutes each night this week and tackle one room. Don't overwhelm yourself with trying to de-clutter your entire house in one evening, just do one room each night. Go through every.single.thing in every drawer, closet, cabinet, vase, etc... If it's not moving (i.e. your husband, child, or pet) it should be examined. For each item, ask yourself two questions:

"Do I use this?" And "Do I love this?"

If you haven't used it in the past year, you aren't going to. And if you don't love it, why do you waste time every week dusting it? Anything that doesn't fall into these categories should go to Goodwill.

This includes ugly gifts that you perhaps don't want but have kept out of guilt, cookbooks you don't use, DVDs you don't watch, games you don't play, books you've read and have no use for, etc...

I did my own purge recently--what the heck am I saying, I do one every month--and cleared out TWO trunks full of stuff: two bags of clothes, serving tray I've never used in three years, diapers that don't fit Madelyn, books, frames, candlesticks, toys that we don't need (i.e. the 39th stuffed animal in the closet), etc etc.

Afterwards I felt lighter, more efficient, and happy for having helped others who will shop for these things at Goodwill, get an excellent deal, and love them the way I never could!

2. Now, it's time for your closet. And this one may take a while. I would spend an hour or maybe even two going through your entire closet one evening. I'd also bring a nice bottle of white, light a candle, and think about who's style you admire. For me, I'm a huge Reese Witherspoon fan. She can do no fashion wrong in my eyes. So when I'm going through my closet assessing what I do and don't need, I think of her style. It's simple, polished, a little trendy, but mostly classic. Try every single thing on and ask yourself these questions:

Do I FEEL good in this? Do I look good? Have I worn it in the last 12 months? Does it fit my "vision" for how I want to be perceived?

If the answer to any of these questions is no, it goes. And don't be dramatic about it, just put it in the donate pile. They're just clothes. And trust me, you'll feel better when you know you have a closet full of items that you love. It will take you half the time to get dressed.

3. And lastly- pictures. I think part of the problem people get so behind on printing and organizing their photos is that there are waaaay toooo many! We do not need 13 pictures of the same thing, pictures with blurs, copious pictures of inanimate objects, or pictures that aren't even that good. Pick your absolute favorite pictures from each event and delete the rest. Then give these some meaning- put them into an album, frame them in your house, anything. No one, even your children, is going to want to flip through 19 pages of pictures from "that one time we went to the pumpkin patch!" It's much more impactful to just show those that really capture the event.

Disclaimer: I realize that I, by nature, am a purger, and not everyone is like this. There are times that Matt is genuinely afraid he's the next item to be dropped off at to Goodwill (most of the time this is not true.) But the reason I'm this way is that I believe life is too short and our time is too precious to surround ourselves with anything less than the best. You don't get to enjoy the things you love the most when they're surrounded by things you could care less about.

So go forth and purge! You'll reclaim time and maybe even a better attitude in the process ;)

image from here

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