I think I fulfilled my word quota for the month with yesterday's post. So I'll leave today's with just a few of my favorite things about fall. Ahh, I just cannot get enough of the deliciousness of this season. Happy Friday.
"Happiness... not in another place but this place, not for another hour but this hour." - Walt Whitman
As I hurried to work this morning, the rain making every commuter on edge and irritable, I tried to put my head in a good place. I turned 30 last winter. As I start a fresh new decade I'm proud of the person I have become. I had a fantastic childhood and teenage experience. Many people don't look back fondly on those years, but that's not the case for me. I had a loving home and was surrounded by amazing friends. We experimented, we pushed the boundaries, we talked for hours about the future we dreamed to create for ourselves.
My 20's were a bit messier. Life just wasn't quite as simple. Instead of the world being full of promise and hope, reality hit us. Some people landed on their feet, others fell a little harder. We had daunting choices to make of careers, marriages, cities to call home. I tried my best to make investments in my future --- choosing the person I wanted to partner with on this wild ride, we bought a house, we opened a business, we saved money so we'd have more choices down the road. Looking back on my 20's they were at times stressful. I experienced anxiety for the first time in my life. At times it was a challenge for me to step away from the buzz of who is working where, who is dating who, who is climbing faster and who is getting left behind.
But as my 20's came to an end, so did much of that angst. I rememebered how different we all are. The formula for my own happiness is entirely unique to me. Comparing is not only a totally useless exercise, it can be completely distructive. Trying to follow someone else's path is a virtually full proof way to never achieve genuine satisfaction with yourself. We don't know what is motivating others, what their fears are, what their dreams are... If we can know that about ourselves by this age, then I'd say we're doing pretty well! So, on that note --- a couple of things that I've learned about myself. Things that are truly critical for my life. I think that if I can keep focused on those things, how to build my life so that it allows for more of the things that bring me happiness and get less overwhelmed with stuff that just doesn't fulfill me I will continue moving in the right direction.
"Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors and let each new year find you a better person" - Benjamin Franklin
The Secrets to My Happiness......
1. Travel. No doubt about it. I have written a little about this already but travel does it for me. I could not live without it. I need to explore new places, try new food, experience people and culture different than my own. Luxurious or budget, domestic or international, city, country, beach. I truly don't care. I just like to go. I need to go. It's absolutely critical.
2. Love. Marriage has taught me a lot about myself. We will celebrate our 5 year anniversary next month. It's been a rollercoaster unlike anything I could have prepared for. My husband and I have fought hard to be where we are today. We overcame challenges I could never have imagined. It hasn't been a fairy tale but we keep at it. I am proud of us. I am proud of what we're creating. I'm proud that we didn't walk away. I'm proud that I'm still madly and hopelessly in love with the man I married. I simply couldn't have it any other way.
3. Space. I require a lot of independence. I like a lot of time to myself and am grateful that I have both a husband and a job that allow for that. I don't like to be micro-managed or asked to account for my time. It makes me feel suffocated.
And on a lighter note: red wine, my ipod, my family, driving, best friends, fall in New England and theme parties :)
Feel free to add your own if you're so inclined. It would be interesting to hear...
"The Nicest Thing" by Kate Nash
All I know is that you're so nice
You're the nicest thing I've seen
I wish that we could give it a go
See if we could be something
I wish I was your favourite girl
I wish you thought I was the reason you are in the world
I wish my smile was your favourite kind of smile
I wish the way that I dressed was your favourite kind of style
I wish you couldn't figure me out
But you always wanna know what I was about
I wish you'd hold my hand
When I was upset
I wish you'd never forget
The look on my face when we first met
I wish you had a favourite beauty spot
That you loved secretly
'Cause it was on a hidden bit
That nobody else could see
Basically, I wish that you loved me
I wish that you needed me
I wish that you knew when I said two sugars,
Actually I meant three
I wish that without me your heart would break
I wish that without me you'd be spending the rest of your nights awake
I wish that without me you couldn't eat
I wish I was the last thing on your mind before you went to sleep
Look, all I know is that you're the nicest thing I've ever seen
And I wish that we could see if we could be something
Yeah I wish that we could see if we could be something
It's a bit grey and drizzly here in Boston today. I cannot complain though since the fall weather has been spectacular this October. A day like today always makes me think of the Northwest, one of my very favorite places on this planet. It also makes me want to dress like this and drink good coffee all day long...
Blogs are interesting, aren't they? To be honest, it took me awhile. Now I can't imagine my work day without these little respites. I read a lot of them, depending on the mood I'm in. I have daily reads, I have periodic reads and I am constantly checking out something new and losing myself in some wonderfully written words or photos. Quite simply, they inspire me. At first glance, they might seem self indulgent. Without better understanding, a reader might wonder, is this even appropriate? Am I getting some bizarre satisfaction living as though I know these blog writers? But really, that couldn't be further from the truth.
To me, blogs are about inspiration. They are sharing ideas. Many are just downright aesthetically gorgeous. They provoke and expand and enable me to think of something as simple as something new to make for dinner or maybe more complex like Joslyn's Operation Simplicity or Jenna's post on being the household breadwinner.
I try to look at the blogs I enjoy as a calm space and a place that invokes positivity in my day-to-day. I've been a long time reader and can genuinely say my simple life is a little better because of it.
This book came out more than 5 years ago yet it still sits on my nightstand table. The reason is I just never get tired of it. I can pick it up and read just a random excerpt, or start again at page 1, there is always something new I learn and an overwhelming sense of "yes!" when I read it.
It isn't groundbreaking and it isn't particularly scientific. What it is, is just a little glimpse into the European way of thinking about food and wellness. A critic might argue that it's overly simple --- ie., if you want the second glass of wine skip the bread basket, but I think that's entirely the point. Guiliano stresses that food should be enjoyed, that we should let go of some of the "guilt" that surrounds our eating habits. However, the focus should be on fresh fruits, vegetables, cheese, meats and fish.
Anyways, you can read plenty of reviews and summaries around the web. I just thought it was worth re-mentioning since it is one of my very favorites. It's a quick, fun read with a certain lightheartedness to it. The book doesn't lecture its readers nor is it patronizing. It's just informative and a good reminder of the approach I like to take towards food.
Of all the things in the world, I'd say traveling is my favorite. There is something about the newness, the change of scenery, the break from the ordinary. I love being in a new place and discovering what it has to say. There's also the post-travel bliss. It's as though travel has the ability to completely realign my perspective and remind me that the insignificant is truly insignificant. There is very little that a good meal shared with someone you love in a new place can't cure. Cheers...
Have you seen this site, Catalog Living, it has hysterical one-liners about some of the staging we see in popular catalogs. Take a look if you need a good laugh to get you through the end of the work week.
No Elaine, you take out the trash. I’m busy plotting my takeover of Paris.
I love quotes, lyrics, poetry --- the whole thing. I guess that's something I really love about the blog-world. The way seemingly perfect strangers have the extraordinary ability to articulate exactly the way I feel. In many ways, one of the things I love about reading a great quote is it makes me feel understood. It's crazy to read something written centuries ago and have it resonate just so perfectly. Good writing is timeless. It captures our feelings of love, acceptance, trust, greed... --- emotions that are relevant because we are humans and nothing else. Here are a couple on love that speak to me -
“The minute I heard my first love story,
I started looking for you, not knowing
how blind that was.
Lovers don't finally meet somewhere.
They're in each other all along.”
―Rumi, The Illuminated Rumi
“He’s not perfect. You aren’t either, and the two of you will never be perfect. But if he can make you laugh at least once, causes you to think twice, and if he admits to being human and making mistakes, hold onto him and give him the most you can. He isn’t going to quote poetry, he’s not thinking about you every moment, but he will give you a part of him that he knows you could break. Don’t hurt him, don’t change him, and don’t expect for more than he can give. Don’t analyze. Smile when he makes you happy, yell when he makes you mad, and miss him when he’s not there. Love hard when there is love to be had. Because perfect guys don’t exist, but there’s always one guy that is perfect for you.” - Bob Marley
"The real work in a marriage is not in the planning of the party. The real work is in unpacking all the baggage you brought along." - Excerpt from the blog, In Jennie's Kitchen
My husband and I just returned from a trip to Madrid and Barcelona. To say it was magic, is an understatement. I love Spain. I love the culture, the architecture, the people, the cities, the style and maybe most of all --- the food! My love for all things Spanish is not new. I have been drawn to this magnificient culture for a very long time.
In Barcelona, Pan con Tomate (bread with tomato) is served in most restaurants. Don't let the simple name mislead you --- it is the perfect start to a meal or in our case, Sunday afternoon snack! When we returned home from the trip, my husband had some tomatoes we had grown in the garden. (note: this is not the part of the blog where I tell you how simply amazing and effortless our backyard garden is. Actually, quite the opposite. We've never grown anything and have pretty much killed any potted flower I've ever brought home from the local garden store. This year, my husband planted a tomato plant --- no watering, no love --- but voila, we have delicious tomatoes. Quite frankly, it's a miracle :) ) Anyways, I digress. So we have these garden fresh tomatoes and with our Barcelona inspiration we made our very own Pan con Tomate ...it was absolutely fantastic. If you have lingering garden tomatoes, I urge you to give it a try but be warned, do not attempt this with grocery store "tomatoes" - the secret to the amazing Spanish cuisine is in the fresh, local produce. Garden or farmer's market tomatoes only for this, por favor!
Grill the bread or toast it under the broiler until browned on both sides. Rub with the garlic and drizzle with as much olive oil as you like. Rub and smash the tomato against the bread so that the pulp saturates the toast. Sprinkle with salt, and enjoy.
Faith Durand of Apartment Therapy wrote, "I've always felt that a huge table is the heart of a home. At least, the heart of the kind of home I want to have. A massive table sees dinner parties, family meals, late-night writing sessions, flower-arranging, and bottles of wine with friends and conversation that extends far into the night. This kind of rich future meant that I wanted a table with a past. For reasons of sustainability and texture, I wanted a table built of reclaimed wood."
I was happy to find her article and grateful for her ability to articulate exactly why I am so drawn to Farm Tables, too. I dream of the day when I can enlist Mr. Ellison to build a table for my family to gather....
You may know Christina Perri has a beautiful voice and writes emotional, gritty songs. What you may not know is a blog post she wrote in 2010 was one of the very first I read and is something I have never forgotten. I wholeheartedly agree. I believe that lives should be lived with intention. I believe that if you want something badly enough, sincerely enough, true enough - it will happen. The universe is funny like that...
I should introduce myself. Here are some photos of what inspires me. You might realize you and I are similar, or perhaps quite different. My intention with this space, however, is to be nothing more than a place that, similar or different, you might pull up a chair, warm cup of coffee in hand and think to yourself --- I'm glad I found this little spot. I like it here...
"All right, fine. You wanna be in a band? Fine. Go ahead. Play every night. Play three times a night! Don't just dick around the same coffee house for five years. Don't dick around with her or with me. I mean, try at something for once in your life. Do something about it, but you know what? You better do it now, and you better do it fast, because the world doesn't owe you any favors" - Lelaina Pierce, Reality Bites
The namesake for my blog is based on one of my favorite fictional characters, Lelaina Pierce. Winona Ryder played her in the 90's Gen X hit, Reality Bites. I loved this movie almost twenty years ago (!) and I continue to love it today. It has some of my absolute favorite lines. The characters and their interwoven stories and relationships together with a witty and thoughtful screenplay make it a perennial classic in my book!
I've thought about a blog for a long time. There are so many that I follow that I simply feel grateful this funny little Internet phenomenon exists. While my talent for design, fashion, cooking and overall awesome-ness will never compare with some of the amazing people out there, my brain was getting jam packed with thoughts and inspiration. I decided to create a little space for myself here. Let's see if I enjoy the ride...
...believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even if it leads you off the well worn path. and that will make all the difference" - Steve Jobs