Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Wise Words

"Maturity is the capacity to endure uncertainty" - John Finley

A great reminder. It's easy for me to get overwhelmed and start spinning into anxious waters.  Something I've worked very hard on this year is recognizing that I don't have to know the answer to every question and that often times the anticipation is harder to face than a problem itself.  Sometimes it's easy and sometimes it's more challenging but I liked this quote and the reminder that I'm not just getting older, I'm getting a little wiser too. 
(elephant painting)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


For me, the idea of reading is often more appealing than the reading itself.  I constantly have a running list of books I want to read but in truth, I struggle to make time for reading and the list grows and grows while the books pile up on my night table and in my Amazon shopping cart.  

Here's what is currently on my list.  Maybe by writing it down here I will make myself more accountable. 

Dear Self, Stop thinking about reading these books and do it.

Gift from the Sea, Anne Morrow Lindeburgh -

The Omnivore's Dilemma, Michael Pollan -

Ancient Rome, the Rise and Fall of an Empire, Simon Baker -

Catcher in the Rye, JD Salinger -

(image via Pinterest)

Monday, November 28, 2011


We headed down to NJ last weekend to celebrate Thanksgiving with my family.  Everything was so fantastic; a house full of nieces and nephews, great and easy conversation, and to see my parents just soaking up every moment of Grandparent Goodness is truly good for the soul.  As we get older and the family gets bigger with the addition of spouses and babies, it seems every holiday becomes even that much more fun. The family feels so alive.  I am truly blessed and grateful. 

On that note, I wanted to bring something with me to kick off the holiday season.  I created a fun Christmas cd full of some of my favorites and wrapped it up for each family.  Everyone liked it so much, I repeated the idea again for a holiday get-together tonight with some of my girlfriends.  ....and I think I'll pop it in the mail and send it to a few friends who live out of state.  That's the beauty of giving a gift that cost about $1 --- you can give it to as many people as you want!
Brown Wrapping Paper, Target.  Baker's Twine, Papersource. Gift Tags, Target. Sparkle letters, AC Moore.  That's it!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

On Marriage

In honor of celebrating our five year anniversary tomorrow (!!) here are a few things that I've learned along the way.  Let me preface by saying I am no means an expert.  This is just what I've gathered through my own relationship's successes and failures as well as some individual soul searching.

1) Future. When choosing a partner, I think a good conversation to have is to ask where you see yourself down the road.  Ten years from today, twenty years from today, forty years from today. Sure, life isn't as cut and dry as that but choosing a partner that has a similar vision for their own future is important.  When times get tough, it is helpful for me to remember - we want the same things.  We are on the same team.  Without those shared goals, the tendency is to feel isolated and misunderstood and those feelings can quickly multiply into a host of other issues.
2) Equal. This isn't an issue of who makes more money, who does more around the house, who spends more time with the kids --- this is an issue of fairness. No person is so above any other person that they are entitled to enjoy their life any more than someone else.
3) Magnetic.  I believe in the Law of Attraction. I believe you get back what you give.  Treat your partner the way you want to be treated, speak the way you want to be spoken to, listen the way you want to be heard. Words are cheap, promises are easy... I value action. When I'm acting neurotic, anxious and insecure that's what I get from my relationship. When I'm calm, content and open minded, I get the same back to me.
4) Perfection.  He's not perfect and neither are you.  Choose your battles carefully.  Focus on what matters and forget what doesn't.  I repeat, he's not perfect and neither are you.
5) Battles. Marriage is the hardest thing I have ever done.  It has taught me so much about myself and what I am truly capable of enduring.  Let go of any thought of, "I will never tolerate ____"  "I would never do ____" "If this happened to me, I would do ____"  Just let it go.  Things you never expect will happen and you will surprise yourself by how you react.  Marriage is so complicated and there are just so many dimensions.  Going into it with some preconceived hard-nosed "rule book" of what you will/won't do is laughable.
6) It's Personal.  On the same note, marriage is insanely personal.  Because it works for you, doesn't mean it works for everyone.  Because it works for everyone, doesn't mean it works for you.  Stop comparing. Don't ask for so many opinions.  Just keep chipping away towards a relationship that fulfills you and your partner.
7) You. Take responsibility for your own happiness.  It is not your spouses role to make you content.  Sure, they should undoubtedly be a happy compliment to your life but it is your life and only you can make it the best one for you.  Blaming your spouse for a job you're dissatisfied with, resenting them for a life you wish you had --- is bogus and an easy scapegoat for your own fears and hesitation. Go For It!  

Conclusion, I don't think marriage is for everyone.  I have more respect for people who have the strength to recognize that their partner isn't a compliment to their life and are willing to let it go, than those that stay in an unfulfilled status quo.  I also think the right marriage can be an absolutely amazing gift, and like most things, the greatest risk has given me the greatest reward.  There is nothing I am more proud of, there is nothing that brings me more joy, there is nothing that matters more to me in my life than my relationship.  We will continue to learn, we will continue to struggle, and hopefully we will continue to have dance parties in our kitchen. Happy Anniversary, amor de minha vida. 
You and Me via Pinterest

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

5 years - Part I

Thanksgiving Day will mark our 5 year wedding anniversary! Simply amazing.  I have a few thoughts on marriage and weddings themselves that I am hoping to share tomorrow.  In the meantime, one of my very favorite components of our wedding... the words are as true today as they were 6.5 years ago when I wrote them.

he's from Rio de Janeiro, she's from Andover. He's a product of the 70's, she's an 80's child. He says, "eu te amo" she says, "I love you" but beginning on a rainy night in London these differences became opportunites.  He taught her that anything is possible and she made sure they never gave up.  He never fails to make her smile and she faithfully supports his dreams.  and on a warm night in July 2005 he got down on one knee    ....and she said yes.


Don't know about you but I'm ready for the holiday weekend!  Good food, my family all in one place, a few days away from the office.  Yes, please! 

And if you have some complex relationships that you will be dealing with this holiday season, I highly recommend this quick read via, "How to Be Friends with Your Sister"  It has some worthwhile reminders that can be applied to a wide range of complicated relationships as the season of frequent visits, too much alcohol and high stress gets underway!  :)

(image via Epicurious)

Monday, November 21, 2011

Working on My Fitness

I'm not a natural athlete.  Never have been, never will be.  But I've finally found a few things that work for me.  A consistent theme around here that you may have noticed is - find something that works for you, that's all.  For a long time I tried to trick myself into learning to like to run.  The truth is, it's just not for me.  Nothing makes me feel LESS engaged than running on a treadmill in a crowded gym. 

But I still need to keep up with my cardio...enter boxing.  This is not cardio-boxing taught by your local aerobics instructor.  This is the real deal. This is gloves on, 1-2 combinations, heavy bags, boxing.  It is FANTASTIC and the hardest workout I've ever experienced.  What I love about it though is I'm actually learning something.  Each week, I can feel myself making steps forward.  The a-ha moment when you hit the bag right because your hip was rotating and you weren't just flailing from the shoulder.  There is so much to think about --- hands up, stance correct, hips turning, slip, jab, hook. If you are not totally engaged and focused, you just can't do it.  And to be totally engaged and focused on what I'm doing means my mind is not anywhere else.  And perhaps that is what I really love about it.  After an hour, I'm not only drenched in sweat and high with natural endorphins but I've forgotten about whatever was on my mind before the class started.   I love my Monday nights. 

....but why when you search boxing on Pinterest is every picture of a super model sexpot in her underwear?! 

Here's my own coach. She's totally badass, doesn't box in her underwear, and is the 3x Golden Glove Champ!

Boxing/MMA Training
(images - my own)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

20 Things...

Have you ever read this fantastic list from Mighty Girl?  I saw it last year but I still keep it printed and tucked away at my desk.  Sometimes when I'm really struggling, I glance at it and soak up its truth. Enjoy your Sunday!

1. Consider the source. If you’re worried about someone who dislikes you, first ask yourself whether they’re an asshole. If you don’t like them, and they don’t like you, that’s not a problem. That’s a mutual understanding.
2. Get off the couch. If you find yourself playing hard to get, don’t pretend to be busy. Just be busy.
3. Don’t waste your time. If you have to play hard to get, move on. You’ll know when you’ve found a healthy relationship because it won’t confuse you.
4. When in doubt, shut up. Silence is a smart negotiation tactic, the best option when you’re processing how to respond, and always more productive than lying about what you’re thinking.
5. Don’t complain. Maybe venting makes you feel better, but letting off steam can also lull you into maintaining the status quo. Unfortunately, the status quo is pissing you off, which is why you’re whining in the first place. If you’re frustrated, turn that energy toward fixing your problems, not bitching about them.
6. Don’t obsess. Worrying is complaint’s ugly cousin. Either use that energy to change your situation, or relax.
7. Find an age-appropriate style. No one wants to see a 20 year old in beige slacks and a wool blazer. Buy trendy clothes, wear the slutty dress, do something ugly with your hair. Be part of your generation, so you can laugh at the photos later.
8. Be polite. It keeps doors open, lessens the potential for misunderstandings, and increases the odds of getting invited back to the beach house.
9. But defend your boundaries. When someone isn’t taking no for an answer, clarify what you want, and then respond forcefully. Being polite to someone who isn’t hearing you is naive.
10. You look good. There’s no such thing as the hottest person in the room. Everyone is attracted to something different, so just take those odds and run with them.
11. Being nice is overrated. In fact, “nice” is the least interesting thing someone can say about you.
12. Keep it to yourself. “She seems nice” is an excellent thing to say about someone you don’t like. Particularly in the company of people you don’t know.
13. Know your audience. When you’re telling a story and someone interrupts you, let them.
14. Let your passion shape your profession. You know that thing your dad says? “If work wasn’t hard, they wouldn’t pay you to do it.” Please. There are professional rock stars, astronauts, puppy trainers, and bloggers.
15. Sex is personal. Don’t bother with one-night stands if they’re not your thing, and don’t judge people for enjoying them (or not). Waiting to sleep with someone doesn’t make you an uptight prude, and jumping into bed doesn’t make you a spontaneous adventure seeker.
16. Focus. The saying, “what you’re thinking about is what you’re becoming” isn’t just chilling, it’s a universal law. Be aware of how you’re investing your attention – including your words, and your actions.
17. Cut yourself a break. Don’t offer a running commentary on your own faults. When you do, the people around you listen. Give yourself space to change your character.
18. Don’t be intimidated. World travelers are just people who bought plane tickets. Pulitzer Prize winners are people who sit alone and write. You can break the most profound accomplishment down to a series of mundane tasks.
19. Choose good company. Ask yourself if a person makes you better or drains your life force. If the answer is B, you’re busy next time they call. And the time after that.
20. Enjoy your body. Odds are you’re more beautiful now than you will be again. Ask your roommate.

Saturday, November 19, 2011


Lately, I just cannot get enough of Mr. Anthony Bourdain.  His words on politics, food, travel and general thoughts are really resonating.  The other night the Travel Channel aired an episode titled "How it All Began" and it included cuts of a documentary made of him in 2000 as well as recent interview segments.  I watched it twice!

Here are a few of my current Bourdain favorites.  Humor aside, I think what he is saying is very important.

“Maybe that’s enlightenment enough: to know that there is no final resting place of the mind; no moment of smug clarity. Perhaps realizing how small I am, and unwise, and how far I have yet to go"

“I, a product of the New Frontier and Great Society, honestly believed that the world pretty much owed me a living--all I had to do was wait around in order to live better than my parents.”

"Travel changes you. As you move through this life and this world you change things slightly, you leave marks behind, however small. And in return, life - and travel - leaves marks on you. Most of the time, those marks - on your body or on your heart - are beautiful. Often, though, they hurt.”

[On the Food Network] "Why am I so angry? Why can't I just let it go?  I guess because I worked so long just standing in kitchens cooking on a professional basis, it hurts me to see people do bad things to food or disrespect it. And as someone who's traveled the world and been fortunate enough to see people - often very poor people - cooking very well, and valuing food, it just makes me cranky when I see food misrepresented or disrespected. And because I can just be a miserable SOB sometimes."

[On Republicans eating Fried Butter at a State Fair in Iowa] "Is diabetes good? Is morbid obesity good? You're celebrating that.  An example like that first of all, how good can it be?  You're celebrating something that is on a level of excess and grotesqueness that is leading directly to terrible health problems."

Friday, November 18, 2011

What I'm Feeling...

Today I just want to go somewhere.  I want to be away from the buttoned up.  I want to listen to good music, have conversations with people who have a point of view, and release.  This is how I'm feeling, this is where I want to be....

(via pinterest)

Thursday, November 17, 2011


My big sister got an incredible promotion yesterday.  She has worked tirelessly to be in the place where she is today.  Not only does she have incredible career ambition, she is raising two beautiful daughters, and finds plenty of time to still do the things that make her the person she is.  (I don't know many other women who headed to New Orleans to celebrate their 12th Annual Jazzfest while being 6 months pregnant and leaving a 2 year old at home!)   Careers and marriages and families are incredible feats in their own right, but a person who is able to find balance in all three while still being true to themselves is my truest role model. 

Perhaps what I admire most about her lifestyle, is she is carving her very own story.  Many of the decisions she makes might be out of the ordinary, and most definitely different than the home we were raised in, but she knows what she needs to feel fulfilled and goes after it.   If more of us could strive to really find contentment within ourselves and let that trickle through our lives - to our marriages, our children, our jobs, our friendships - we'd be a much happier people. 

Congratulations, big sister!  I hope you soak up every moment of this great achievement --- you have earned it!


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Covering the floors...

These worn, thin rugs are really speaking my language!

(all images via Pinterest)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


My mom has the most gorgeous set of mismatched teacups and saucers.  Growing up, one of her friends gave her a different one each year.  Each one is uniquely perfect.  The collection is rather random in color and style yet it comes together to form something really special that I've always admired.  It makes sense that the same way I am drawn to that collection, I am really inspired by the use of mismatched china sets. 

I'm thankful I chose not to splurge on china when I got married. I just didn't feel ready to commit to anything at that time --- perhaps nothing appealed to me because the look I really love is the vintage mismatched rustic look.

So last year my mom got me started on my own teacup collection; it's a fun (and stylish!) way to carry on her tradition.
(images via Sunday Suppers & Pinterest)

Monday, November 14, 2011


When I'm getting the urge to be creative, all I have to do is go to Papersource.   It's such a happy store.  It has a great card selection, unique gifts, gorgeous wrapping papers and decorative accessories --- ribbon, twine, and everything you would ever need to dress up your gift.  It also has a wall full of notecards.  I love keeping these around because they are an inexpensive way to include a quick note when you have something to pop in the mail to a friend.  What's even better, though, is to use their special hole punches to easily cut a snowflake, a mapleleaf, or any other image you see fit to enhance your note just a tiny bit.  Since they have so many color choices, you can put together a nice and unique combo. 

From Papersouce
 Pair together 5 note cards and 5 envelopes, punch a hole in each of them, wrap the set with a satin ribbon and you've got a classy looking, and practical, gift idea for less than $5!  Perfect if you give to a lot of teachers, coworkers etc.
(via Pinterest)

Need a Laugh...

I'm usually not one for the viral video thing but, honestly, this one had my husband and I in hysterics over the weekend.  Plus it's only about 40 seconds.  I promise, you will laugh - and who doesn't need that on a Monday morning?!  Enjoy the start of your week, friends.

Friday, November 11, 2011

The Heart

This was read in an Elena Brower yoga class I took tonight. How profoundly gorgeous and a wonderful way to start the weekend.
The heart is quiet rather than noisy, intuitive rather than deductive, lives entirely in the present, and is, at every moment, accepting of the reality God gives in that moment. Moreover, the heart does not seek to distance or dominate anything or anyone by labeling. Rather, it begins with an awareness of its relationship with the rest of creation (and everything and everyone in it), accepting rather than rejecting, finding similarity rather than alienation and likeness rather than difference. It knows no fear, experiences no desire, and never finds the need to defend or justify itself. Unlike the mind, the heart never seeks to impose itself. It is patient and undemanding it does its work with no prompting. Little wonder, then, that the mind, always impatient and very demanding, manages to dominate it so thoroughly unless we are vigilantly watching and making our hearts the absolute kings of our beings. - Father Archimandrite Meletios Webber
(image via Pinterest)


Do you subscribe to GOOP?  It's Gwyneth Paltrow's newsletter that comes every couple of weeks.  I highly recommend it, regardless of whether you are or are not a Gwyneth fan.  She brings in experts to talk about everything from style to cooking to travel to raising children.  It's definitely a worthwhile read. 

This week's issue was about holiday gift ideas so in honor of that, I thought I would put together a few gifts I'll be giving this year. Gift cards make great gifts but giving it with a corresponding present really pumps up the volume. 
AHeirloom state inspired cheese boards via etsy are very fun.  I've given this along with a gift certificate to a favorite specialty cheese store.  They are also fun and unique hostess gifts if someone's been kind enough to invite you to their Cape House :)
I don't know where you live but we've had snow in October, crazy week long power outages, hurricanes and record setting snow falls here in New England.  I think these matches from Restoration Hardware are a perfect stocking stuffer for your husband, brother or dad.  Throw it together with a Home Depot card and you've also got a great housewarming gift!
These personalized spatulas from Williams Sonoma are a new find for me.  I've got a seriously talented baker friend and I'm psyched to give these to her, inscribed with the name of her home business.   Pair it with a Williams Sonoma or Sur le Table gift card and you're good to go!
I wasn't kidding, I love the holidays!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Feliz Aniversario

Today is my husband's birthday.  We've known each other for 10 years and I've spent the better part of my adult life with him.  My husband is different than me. He was born outside of the US and his family and their culture and traditions are very different than my own.  Those differences, along with challenges that arise in every marriage, have made us question, at times, whether we were making the right decision.  Those differences, however, are also the reason I can overwhelmingly say "yes!" we are. 

My husband isn't afraid. He's not trying to follow a path that is not his own.  He is honest and loyal and passionate.  He pushes me out of my comfort zone and for that, makes me a better version of myself.  Ten years later we can still stay up all night long talking as though we had just met.  He can make me laugh like nobody else can and to be by his side is to feel secure and happy.

Happy Birthday to Meu Amor.  Thank you for being the man that you are.  Thank you for loving me the way that you do.  Thank you for fighting for us when it wasn't easy and for working so hard to build the life we dreamed about.  You mean everything to me.  eu te amo.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Beautiful Words

"Develop interest in life as you see it; in people, things, literature, music - the world is so rich, simply throbbing with rich treasures, beautiful souls and interesting people. Forget yourself...."
Henry Miller
US author (1891 - 1980)

Gift Wrap

I love the holiday season.  Without doubt, my favorite time of year.  I guess it runs in the family because my mom is probably finished with her shopping by now (most of it's done before Halloween!)  As much as we always laughed about my mom's crazy tradition, I'm beginning to think she was quite wise and I'm doing a little better every year to be more like her.  For me, getting ahead of my shopping is the key to enjoying the holidays!  It's not fun to sit traffic for 45 minutes just to get into the mall parking lot...even worse to shop aimlessly through the picked over racks.  So --- here I am, beginning of November trying to really brainstorm and, at the very least, have a mental list of my gifts.   That leaves me December to just soak up the fun, bustling energy of the holiday season and plenty of time to sit in front of the lit tree and wrap my presents, a special little hobby of mine!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Blog Love

Not sure if this happens to anyone else, but sometimes I just completely lose myself in the sheer talent of people out there.  Yesterday was one of those days. Wow, wow, wow.   Have you ever seen Hello Naomi?  I spent way too much time just devouring her lovely blog yesterday.  The styling, the creativity, the raw talent.  Oh, then she happens to take this completely dreamy vacation through France, Italy, Greece and though I wasn't drooling enough over her site!  

(photos via Hello Naomi - it was hard to pick just two!)

Monday, November 7, 2011

Wish List...

This scarf from lemlem is HIGH on my priority list these days.  I saw it a long time ago and its never escaped my mind.  That's when I know it's a worthwhile purchase.  I love the look and the company's mission.  Yes, please.

Healthy Choice...

It was a picture perfect fall weekend here in Massachusetts.  I loved every single second of it!  On Sunday, I made this snack for us to enjoy while we watched some football and hung around.  It was super easy, incredibly healthy and made the house smell fantastic!   I highly recommend it and am looking forward to making it again for the holidays.

Warm Mediterranean Dip
1 Medium Eggplant, peeled
2 Red Peppers
1 Red Onion
3 cloves of garlic
2 Tbsp of Tomato Paste
Olive Oil, s&p, oregano

Cube all veggies and toss them in olive oil, salt and pepper and oregano.  Roast at 400 degrees for about 45 minutes, stirring once or twice.  Once the veggies have softened, blend with tomato paste (keep it chunky) and serve immediately with pita chips. 

(image via Smitten Kitchen)

Friday, November 4, 2011

Pale Blue Dot

This is an excerpt from Carl Sagan's Pale Blue Dot.  Last Spring I audited a class entitled Philosophy of Space and Time. It was the most complicated and heady class I have ever taken.  We would spend an entire lecture talking about some pretty crazy concepts --- infinity (both maximum and minimum), space, geometery etc.  I won't get into the specifics but what I took away from that very complex class was actually very simple.  Like Sagan says, studying astronomy makes him and his problems feel small, I felt the same way in this philosophy class.  Mathematicians, Theologians, Greek Philosophers and thousands of people have studied these topics yet still no definitive answer remains.  It's quite amazing really.  In all of the science and brilliance of humanity, some things are just a mystery.  They always will be.

On that note, some words from Sagan.  A great reminder to me that the world is grand.  It will scare you and thrill you and fascinate you and upset you.  And so it is. 

(Photo credit: NASA. Via
Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there--on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.
The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds.
Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.
The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.
It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known.
-- Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot, 1994

Thursday, November 3, 2011

My Life as a Blog...

What a great post on Kirtsy today on why people blog.  Although my site here is very new, I'm really enjoying it.  My answer to the question would be as follows:

I created this space as a place for me - a journal and a collection of things I like and the way I feel.  One day, it might be fun to flip back through and remember a trip, a recipe, a song, or a feeling I was experiencing at this particular time in my life.  I've found this blog to be a place which inspires me to live with a little more intention.  I consciously try and think of things that I like, things that inspire me, things that make me feel good and that I feel comfortable sharing in this vast public abyss also known as the internet.

I'm happy I started this space.  I look forward to its continued journey.

Art by Tracy Kafka via etsy

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


I am so grateful for this site.  For $18/month (!), you have unlimited access to more than 600 yoga and meditation classes from some of the very best instructors practicing today.   The classes can be selected based on your preference --- from 5 - 90 minutes.  Beginner to very advanced.  Mediatative to rigorous and physical.  There is absolutely something for everyone.   Best of all, it streams directly to your home laptop so you can do it on your time.

The only somewhat scary part is now I have no excuse!  I can do a 45 minute class while my dinner is cooking, I can do a 15 minute sun saluation before work, I can do a 60 minute vinyasa flow class on Sunday morning.  All of this without leaving my house!   No commuting time.  No parking, no hassles.  For anyone that ever *wishes* they had a more dedicated yoga practice, this is the answer.

I've taken some incredible classes as of late, and I'm trying to commit to 3x/week. To me, it is the ultimate mind, body exercise.  

An excerpt from a poem that was shared in a recent class that I took.  Enjoy -

In Blackwater Woods - Mary Oliver
Look, the trees
are turning
their own bodies
into pillars
of light,
are giving off the rich
fragrance of cinnamon
and fulfillment,
the long tapers
of cattails
are bursting and floating away over
the blue shoulders
of the ponds,
and every pond,
no matter what its
name is, is
nameless now.
Every year
I have ever learned
in my lifetime
leads back to this: the fires
and the black river of loss
whose other side
is salvation,
whose meaning
none of us will ever know.
To live in this world
you must be able
to do three things:
to love what is mortal;
to hold it
against your bones knowing
your own life depends on it;
and, when the time comes to let it go,
to let it go

(image via my pinterest)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Galley Kitchen...

We own an investment property.  A two-family, 100+ year old "farmhouse" style.  I hesitate to call it farmhouse, but I guess that's the closest description I have.  It is a bit of a mish mash of random additions, work, and neglect.  How's that for a description :)    I fell in love with the upstairs unit when we bought the house 6 years ago.  It is charming, unique, and full of natural light.  We did some work to really make it our own but I tried to keep it true to its roots.  

The first floor apartment needed work....lots of it.  My husband and I moved downstairs last year, because quite frankly, the work could never get done with tenants in the apartment.  For the past year, we have slowly been chipping away at what needs to be done.  I'm proud to say, it's really coming along!  Eventually I will post some before and after pictures.  A very unique challenge for this house is --- it is an investment property.  Ideally, we'd love to keep the house for a long time but rent both units.  Our goal is to move in another two years or so.  The problem that presents is creating a space I feel comfortable calling home but also keeping it neutral and VERY budget conscious.  We have tried to work with the space we have and keep our budget for either very superficial changes (ie, new paint) or changes that improve the house itself (ie. we've replaced old windows, hot water heaters, added lighting).  It's important to me that every $1 we invest, we feel will give us $1 back.  Some day, when we are in our "real home", I will care a little less about that and a little more about making it a space for *us*.  

Our next project, tackling an ugly outdated galley kitchen.  Here are a few inspiration photos I found.  Ours will look nothing like this, but it's a good reminder to keep a small space light and bright and the importance of tying the dining area, located behind the kitchen, in as one cohesive space.
Love the farmhouse sink and brightness of the space

We have a similar space to the right of our stove so I'm thinking of backsplash possibilities. I like this one.

Like the use of the rug
 (all images via my pinterest)