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February 2012
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April 2012

project life : week twelve.

I read a bit last night about folks feeling like Project Life takes too long to put together. I, too, can spend hours on a week's spread...if I choose to. This week? I chose not to. This week is simple. Super simple:

W12fullfull week w/insert. i'm totally okay that the two sides of this week don't "go" together.

super. simple.

i saved the tag from the lime juice that dressed this salad...i like having little extras like that.

W12insert5x7-ish insert - Hunger Games movie poster + some facts about the movie. pop culture rocks.

guess what movie I saw?

highlights of the week + a snippet of a friend's birthday card.

and that, my friends, is all. :)

hello monday & grasping for gratitude.

I am not in a hello Monday mood. My day has not started off well, and I've spent most of the morning battling a sick headache. Blech. In an attempt to shift my mood, I'm trying to focus on gratitude for what is left of my morning. Breathing in gratitude, and breathing out stress...

*I am grateful for a kind physical therapist.

*I am grateful for friends who will patiently listen to my woes.

*I am grateful for green tea.

*I am grateful for pretty daffodils at my desk.

*I am grateful for creative opportunities.

*I am grateful for an assistant account manager who is simply wonderful (Em, if you're reading seriously rock.)

*I am grateful for the chance to begin again. (and again, and again, and again.)


Live Well Lived: Looking Your Best

Oh boy - the Live Well Lived question for this week is a tough one - 

What are your favorite tips and tricks for framing and showing off your beautiful face?

I'm sure that many of you react to this question the same way that I do - "eeek! showing off?? how 'bout fixing?" Negative self-talk much? I'll make you a deal - I'll try to answer with a positive slant if you will. Here are the tips & tricks that I've gathered over the years...

Use sunscreen religiously. I have very pale, freckled skin that is prone to dark sunspots. I wear sunscreen every day. My current fave is Mineral Fusion's SPF 40. I'm also a huge fan of their SPF 30 Brush On Defense.

Pay attention to brows. This is embarrassing, but I think I was probably 35 before I started to even bother with waxing or plucking. I'm fortunate to have uniquely colored eyes (blue-green-grey depending on what I'm wearing), so neat brows help to show them off. 

Wear a scarf. It's an obsession with me. I love scarves...and think that they're the perfect way to frame your face (and divert the eye UP!). 

Pull your hair back. This might sound odd, but y'all have seen my hair, right? It's curly, unruly, and there's A LOT of it. It can be overpowering, so sometimes pulling it back is the best way for me to frame my face. 

Please don't leave me sitting here with this question all by myself - tell me at least one tip. C'mon, you can do it!! 

ps. don't forget to enter the current Life Well Lived Sweepstakes!


foodie friday.







The unseasonably warm temps that we've been having lend themselves toward light, summery meals that make us of the grill & outdoor seating. YAY! I tried out a bit of an unusual recipe from Healthy in a Hurry: Grilled shrimp, Watermelon, & Feta Salad.

This was definitely an interesting mix of flavors - a mild citrus marinade, sweet watermelon, mint, and grilled shrimp. I thought it was really refreshing, but wanted it to be a wee bit more substantial. I think the simplest solution would be just to serve the whole thing on a bed of baby spinach. I might also add in some cubed grilled mango. Overall, though - this was a fun dish!

What did you eat this week?

Traveling Smash - KP's book.

I mentioned a few months ago that I have the privilege of doing a Traveling Smash project with some dear friends. It's an amazing group of women and I'm so excited to see how this project develops over the year. I inherited Kelly's book first - which shouldn't intimidate me b/c 1)I came up with the order, so I knew I was getting her book first and 2)Kelly is one of the sweetest people that I know. But, ahem, she's also a scrapbooking rockstar. Eeks. Kelly's book is now on it's merry way to Lain, but I thought I'd share a peek here...

Smash full

Traveling smash close

After I took the photos, I realized that I neglected to write anything about wine. What?? How could I forget the wine? That's the fun thing about SMASH books, though...they're not meant to be pristine. So I just back and wrote a "PS" note and called it good. 

project life : week eleven

That's right's week 11!! I'm happy to say that I haven't lost that lovin' feeling. (And that's not just the pain meds talking.) 

week 11, with 2 inserts.
week 11 left side. consciously backed away from the red for a bit - subbed in a more mellow orange. some details: 
got this AWESOME gift from my little brother this week. I've been a fan of The Prophet ever since Bryan introduced it to me in high school (BF, if that was a ploy to pick up worked). I photographed the book & note, and then slipped the actual folded note behind.
words of wisdom from austin. he's clever, that one.

I was reading Learning to Breathe this week, and came across this quote. Timely, eh? Type inspiration from Elise.


week 11, right side w/insert

the second, smaller, insert - the contents list from Conscious Box.
week 11, right side. details:
the battle of the eggs. i'm still not sure who is winning.
instagram + CK Ali's Hand + vintage AC stickers
every week is better with little cupcakes. oh, and what's that? a doily? who do i think i am, stephanie howell?? ;)
thanks for stopping by!





hello lumbar transforaminal - I am grateful that I was able to get in so quickly (an appt miraculously opened up on friday...think someone read the blog?)

hello crazy warm temps. I heart you. 

hello catching up on creative projects. 

hello Soul Centered by Sarah McLean. I attempted to meditate through the epidural today. The nurse even commented that it didn't seem like anything phased me. 

hello Learning to Breathe: My Yearlong Quest to Bring Calm to My Life by Priscilla Warner. HIGHLY recommend.

hello new washi tape. I'm typically late to a trend, but I'm loyal when I get there.

hello Hunger Games date on Friday with 2 girlfriends - we even bought tshirts!

Hope you said hello to lots of goodness this Monday.

(hello Monday is a Lisa Leonard inspired practice)

march 12 on 12 / take twelve

All photos taken with my iphone - I think that next month I'll set a reminder to take a photo each hour. I found myself scrambling at the end of the day to ensure that I made it to 12!



I've had a number of emails asking me to explain how I put together my 12 on the 12th insert each month. The answer (which may sound like greek to some of you): I created a layered template in PSE that I can drop photos into. I've added text boxes to the bottom of the document for date & details. Realizing as I type this that I neglected to add the numbers to each square (it's not a part of the template). 

For anyone interested, I'm offering the template for less than the cost of a latte in my newly opened Etsy shop - Figuring Out 40. I honestly have no idea what I'll do with this shop. Digi stuff. Maybe some paper stuff. Who knows! Anyway - template is here. (note: if you're unsure of how to use layered templates, there are some excellent video tutorials out there - just google "using layered templates" and you'll find people much smarter than me explaining the ins & outs)

foodie friday (healthy in a hurry)

I think that I've mentioned before that I am a cookbook junkie. Love exploring new titles. So when this cookbook showed up as a NetGalley option, I quickly raised my hand (pick me, pick me!)...


Here's what one of the authors has to say about the book -

"I've discovered that there are just two important tricks to getting delicious, healthy meals on the table. The first is choosing lots of fresh, unprocessed foods, and the second is having a foolproof plan to get you in and out of the kitchen quickly. This book delivers on both."—Karen Ansel

That pretty much sums up my goal for daily meals, so sign me up! The recipes in this book are so approachable, so do-able that you'll really have NO reason to not cook up a healthy breakfast, lunch, or dinner. I also think that this would be the perfect cookbook to share with your kids - the recipes are really that managable.

So far, I'm a fan of the Egg Sandwhiches with Wilted Spinach, the Spinach, Pear, and Pomegranate Salad, and the Broccoli Rabe & Ricotta Crostini. I've got a dozen other recipes bookmarked to try. I'll be ordering a copy of this book when it's released in April - everything about it is just straight up inspiring. Lovely photography, great styling, and even a spunky font. Love, love, and love.

Healthy in a Hurry (aff) is available on Amazon in April, but you can pre-order it now!

A digital copy of this book was provided by Weldon Owen Publishing, through NetGalley. I haven't been compensated for this review. Opinions expressed are my own.

giving up vs. keep going

be brave and keep going...

(found on pinterest, via Brave Girls club)

I had another frustrating doctor's appt today. When I left the office, I sat in my car crying and emailed my life support team with the subject line "I give up." I don't want to be that person. I don't want to give up. I want to be a warrior. I want to show up, ready to battle. I just don't think that I can manage that today. So, for the moment, I will just say this...

Dear new Dr's office:

I understand that I am "fairly mobile" despite being in pain. I am aware that I can still touch my toes (but for reference? when not in pain, I can fold in half with my forearms clasped & hanging an inch above the floor...thank you yoga). I understand that many other people come in hunched over, unable to sit in a chair. That does not lessen my pain. I would like you to take your "pain scale" and shove it...b/c my 7 might be someone else's 10. 

I am tired of repeating the story again & again & again. Hip pain during/after a half marathon. Self-treated with yoga & exercise & advil. Diagnosed with possible labral tear. MRI did not indicate labral tear. Sudden onset back pain 4 weeks ago. MRI shows bulging disc. Now listen carefully - UNABLE TO SLEEP DUE TO PAIN. 

Please excuse me while I cry as you tell me that the first appt that you have available for the injection (that holds the promise of pain relief) is when I'm traveling. Please understand that I am not trying to be difficult. It's just that I haven't had a full night's sleep in more than a month, and yes, I get that new mommies do that all the time...but I am not a new mommy, and I need to sleep. I have no patience, no filter b/c my brain has not had the opportunity to rest & recharge itself. 

Please also understand that I "get" pain managment. I know the drill. Been there, done that. You'll notice in my chart that I survived a horrific car accident that resulted in a crazy long recovery that involved it's own fair share of pain. I am not looking to score a scrip for pain meds. I can't take the good stuff anyway - see that red alert in my chart? That's a drug allergy. And the stuff that I CAN take? I'm well aware of the potential side effects, and have personal knowlege of the extremes of said side effects (two words: bowel impaction). Trust me, I'm not in it for the narcotics. 

Please know that I sit in meditation every day, trying my best to breath & focus on healing. I slowly work my way into downward dog and then collapse into child's pose b/c it just hurts too much. I try to calm my growing stress about not going to the gym, knowing that my health insurance premiums are tied to activity. 

At the end of the day? Please know that I am trying to be brave & keep going.