summer playlist

I don’t often listen to music while I’m working because of the way my office is set up. It would be a nuisance to my neighbors. I’m also on the phone too much to wear headphones. There are some days where I’m bogged down by emails and research, so I just shut my door and put on some happy jams. The following playlist is my go-to for those days.


mother’s day gift guide

I feel very lucky that my mom is one of my best friends. She’s always been the mom that is cool & hip, without trying too hard. She’s kind, compassionate and giving, so I love being able to get her gifts. Below is a round-up of my mother’s day gift choices for this year.

If your mom is a foodie or an adventurous eater, try Raw Spice Bar. I actually got this gift for my boyfriend for Christmas and we love it. Every month they send you 3 spices based on their monthly theme. It gives us great ideas and inspiration for new meals and cuisines to try.

Everyone uses soap, so seek out a local artist or maker, like Lyes & Lathers. They’re local to me and we have a variety of their soaps already stocked in our bathroom cabinet. She has a great selection of innovative soaps and natural products.

Mother’s Day is the perfect time to buy your mom flowers, but why not by her a plant that will last longer? Pick up something at a local nursery and plant it in a handmade planter as a gift. I love this one from artcrafthome. She also has other handmade ceramic items that might be more of your mom’s style.

If your mom is anything like my mom, she’s obsessed with her pets. Pick her up some custom pet gift from Hither Rabbit.  I know my mom would LOVE a custom pet tote featuring her two pups.

After wrapping up your gift, don’t forget to add a funny card. It’s true, she is so much cooler now.

what to do when you don’t know what to do

This past month has been rough. Work has been harder, school has ended and begun again, the weather got warmer and then colder.

I’ve really been referencing the more/less concept I posted about earlier. I’ve had success in maintaining positives thoughts, despite doing nothing extraordinary,  I’ve been outside more (long walks with the pup!) and have garden plans next week. I’ve been cooking for myself more and more. In fact, I made this beef stew over the weekend in my new dutch oven. It was INCREDIBLE.

I’ve failed at less binge-watching TV. Big time. I’m currently on a Lie To Me bender, which is after I soared through The Good Wife & Bosch (on Amazon).

I finally have a break on the horizon next week. I’m trying to find that balance between packing my days full vs. getting so overwhelmed that I do nothing. How do you balance your time between work and play?

ikea shopping list

Saturday is my birthday and all I want to do is go to IKEA. We live about 1.5-2 hours away from 2 separate IKEA stores, so I’ve been stalking their website, making my shopping list and checking inventory for longer than I care to admit.
Here are my picks for this weekend:


1) LED solar-powered string lights
2) blue chevron doormat
3) wall clock
4) french press
5) blue fabric for new outdoor cushions
6) low-profile shoe cabinet


things I’m loving: banquettes

Banquettes aren’t anything new, and from a DIY perspective, instructions on adding them to your home at all over the place. I recently saw a house for sale that had a built-in banquette in a beautiful cognac leather, with amazing tufting and, ever since, I’ve been lusting after them.

The best banquettes I’ve seen are primarily in restaurants, like this:


That avocado green has my heart bursting. The tufting is not your typical diamond or square pattern, which really elevates the height of the booth.


More green, except this time closer to a jade green.

Banquettes offer a beautiful backdrop for your eating space. They can easily be the focal point or blend in to their surroundings. With details like this:


What’s not to love?

[ images from: // // kaper design ]


how to center art on a wall

Hanging art is annoying. There, I said it. In a fit of vitamin-D induced excitement, I finally got my act together and hung to pieces of art I’ve had sitting around forever. This is ridiculous, because I LOVE these two pieces, and they’re made to be hung together.

I had a section of wall space that was perfect for these two pieces, but I knew I would need them evenly spaced. I still use a calculator for everything, so I put off this project, thinking it was time-consuming.


SO EASY. You’ll need two measurements: the width of your wall space, and the width of your frames.

First, you’ll subtract the total width of your frames from the width of your wall. In my case, my wall space was 47 inches wide, and my frames were 13 inches wide. So, 13×2, subtracted from 47. I was left with 21 inches.

Second, you’ll take your remaining inches and divide it by your number of frames plus 1 (so 3, for me). This left me with 7 inches.

Knowing this, I measured in 7 inches from each end of each wall, and indicated where my frames would start, once hung. I then divided the width of my frames in half, to indicate the center point of the frame, where the nail would hang (13 divided by 2 = 6.5 inches). I marked that spot with a pen, and then did the same on the opposite side of the wall.

The hardest part was getting both marks to be level. A large level will make this easy.  A small pocket sized level (or your smart phone) will require a large straight piece of something (cookie sheet?) that spans the width of both marks. Make sure they’re even and make sure you take in to consideration where the nail will actually hit the picture frame. My frames have an inside lip on the back of the frame of about half an inch.

And always, photos are to be hung eye level! Don’t hang anything a foot from the ceiling. That’s just silly.

Final step: stand back and take multiple photos of your work so you can plaster them all over social media, and show off your DIY warrior skills. The moral of this story is stop putting things off because once you finally do them, you’ll kick yourself for not doing it sooner.

more // less

When winter ends, and spring is on the horizon, I tend to do a mental spring cleaning. I seem to adopt poor habits when the weather is cold and dark. Spring is always a bright spot on the horizon. This year I want to approach both spring and the new year in a new way. That means less poor habits and more living.

more //

-sunshine, get outside!
-fresh food, treat food as fuel, not comfort.
– positive thoughts, recognize one positive thing each day. keep your mind upbeat.

less //

– sweatpants, they’re crazy comfortable and all but let’s start putting forth some effort.
– binge-watching tv, this goes along with getting outside. so easy in winter to watch the entire netflix catalog.
– assumptions, we both know it makes an ass out of you and me, so stop jumping to conclusions about everything. let it happen and then decide how you feel.

2016 and beyond

This blog has obviously suffered from my lack of interest and schedule. My last post was nearly 2 seasons ago! My 2016 goal is to blog more, and provide introspective and beautiful content. It is easy to get overwhelmed with the idea of blogging. Feeling like you have to post daily, no matter what, which isn’t necessary. Going forward I will only post a few times a week, probably 3 at most. I can’t create the life I want if I’m constantly posting about a life I’m not living.

Things that are happening around here:

I’ve gone back to school. Balancing a full-time career and school work has been manageable so far. I’ll be taking more classes next term, so hopefully that balance continues.

I’ve spent the entire winter snuggling with the pup. I can’t help it. He’s too cute.

I’ve made a commitment to living a life with purpose. More on that in the next few weeks.