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May 2012
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Life Well Lived: inspire me.

It's time for another Life Well Lived question! This week's query...

What are your favorite resources for inspiration on style, fashion, beauty and living life well?

I could answer this question with one word:  Pinterest...but that would be too easy, wouldn't it? I'm sure that I've mentioned before that I do not have a well-honed fashion sense. What I do have is a 20 year old daughter who will say "Uhm, madre? No." while pointing me back into my bedroom. Ha! However, since she lives in another country for part of the year, I'm left to fend for myself. A few of my go-to sites...

1. (style/fashion) Lisa Leonard's What I Wore Wednesday posts: I love her sense of style, & adore how she combines colors. Plus, she has curly clearly we should be friends. 

2. (beauty) Sephora: After 14 years in the industry, Sephora is still my first stop when I'm trying to find a particular product. Well, 2nd first stop is my desk. Lots of treasures there.

3. (style/fashion) The No-Brainer Wardrobe ebook: It's fabulous.

4. (living well) Favorite magazines: Yoga Journal, Sunset, and Whole Living

How 'bout you? Head over to BlogHer to join in on the conversation (and maybe find some new sources for inspiration!) Be sure to enter the Life Well Lived Moments Sweepstakes for a chance to win an Ipod Touch! 

happy birthday priscilla!

I'm so happy to wish my inspiring friend, Priscilla Warner, a very Happy Birthday today! Priscilla & I met through the magic of Pinterest...I had pinned her fabulous book, Learning to Breathe, and she emailed to say thanks. We chatted a bit, and ended up meeting in NYC for tea & more chatting. Love when fate steps in like that! 

To celebrate Priscilla's birthday, we're throwing a blog party! Priscilla has gathered up some of her favorite things - buddha bracelets, a tibetan singing bowl, her favorite candle, nirvana Belgian chocolate, and a CD by Bellruth Naparstek (her guided imagery guru) - and she'll be giving them away! Want a chance to win? Just pop over to her blog & comment to enter. 

But wait, before you go! I'd love to share a copy of Priscilla's book, leave a comment below & I'll draw a winner via

Happy Birthday Priscilla!




sometimes i spend the majority of a saturday at friends' houses.  and sometimes i feel a wee bit guilty for enjoying the solitude.

sometimes i wish that i had more friends nearby to call for an impromptu movie or coffee date.

sometimes i am grateful that i have older, independent kids who can tend to themselves.

sometimes i miss having little ones underfoot.

sometimes i make the effort to cook a really interesting meal.

sometimes i broil blue cheese toasts drizzled with honey...and call it dinner.

sometimes i am terrified of what the future holds.

sometimes i am exhilarated by possiblities. 

sometimes i download books onto my Nook for instant gratification.

sometimes i wander around the bookstore, wanting to feel the weight of pages in my hands.

(and sometimes i really wish that i enjoyed fiction)

sometimes i am disgusted by the weight that i've gained.

sometimes i offer up loving-kindness...perhaps i needed a bit more weight to be able to shoulder the burdens.

sometimes i dread the end of the weekend.

sometimes i count the sleeps until vacation.

sometimes i sit in meditation with ease.

sometimes i jump off the cushion after only a few minutes,  with promises to self to do better tomorrow.

the firestarter sessions : danielle laporte

A confession (that isn't much of a surprise to anyone who knows me) - I am a self-help book junkie. Especially motivational self-help books. Yep. I loooove a good pep talk. Those motivation posters with a photo of a tree, and some quip about growth? LOVE. So, when this book popped up on NetGalley, it was a no-brainer to request it. 

FirestartersessionsI sat down with The Firestarter Sessions one day...and almost immediately closed it. NOT b/c it was bad...rather b/c I wasn't ready for how MUCH it was. It's real. It's honest. It's a bit in your face. It rips every single well-practiced excuse right out from under you. 

And for that? 

Well, I now have a girl-crush on Danielle LaPorte. 

The promos for the book tout is as "the permission slip you've been waiting for." I'd say it's not just a permission slip - it's practically a command that says "get off your *ss and do what you've been saying to yourself that you should do."

Buy it. Read it. Do something with your life. 

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

an extra special hello monday : 06.18.12

Y'all may have noticed a bit of an absence over the last 5-6 days. Just go ahead & call me the B word. No, not that one...I mean busy. (note: I actually prefer the other B word...I hate the word 'busy''s crazy overused.) Work, kids, end-o-school year, more work, physical therapy, Costa Rica planning...and oh, did I mention work? Amidst all of that nonsense, Barb & I have been cooking up something very fun & we're really excited about it. Here's what we're up to...

You can read all about it here: Project Life Planned.

In a nutshell? It's almost half-way through the year. Many of us are marking time by counting how many weeks we're behind on Project Life. The excitement has died down a bit, and it's been replaced by stacks of photos & envelopes of ephemera. It might seem a bit overwhelming. Some people have even given up. Barb & I are pretty stubborn, so we're not going down w/o a fight! We thought that if we could rally ourselves, then maybe we could also rally others! 

I know what you're thinking...isn't there already tons of inspiration around the web? Can't you just go to Pinterest or Google Reader or Facebook? Uhm, yeah, you can...and then you can come back & tell me when you've lost 5 hours of your life (& scrapbooking time) getting absolutely lost in that sea of inspiration. can check your email every week for newsletters from Project Life Planned that will be chock full of journaling prompts, photo ideas, layout sketches, insert inspiration, and more. I can almost guarantee that each newsletter & PLP blog post will include humor & sarcasm at no additional charge! (they'll also likely include typos...those are my fault, not Barb's)

Uhm, clearly you should pick door #2. Go ahead. I'll wait :).

(Disclaimer: Project Life Planned is in no way affiliated with Becky's Higgins' Project Life. We simply think that we can all use a little help staying motivated & inspired to complete this awesome project.)

project life : week twenty-one

My goal for these catch-up weeks? Keep it simple. This week doesn't have inserts, and doesn't have fancy-schmancy stuff going on (okay, really? none of my weeks are fancy-schmancy).  W21fullW21 - full (oh, and ignore my green yoga mat in all of these photos...I was in a hurry & didn't bother to pick it up!) W21leftW21 - left. Work dinner, homework, ice cream, and Sammy's arrival. Oh, and swirled cupcakes (mad skills people, mad skills)... W21cupcake(and thank you, Pinterest, for making me look skilled!) W21rightW21 - right. W21BeckyI am terrible at birthdays. TERRIBLE. I knew it was Becky's birthday (she's "my person" ala Cristina & Meredith)...but had totally missed the fact that it was the big 4-0.  W21shiftI recently ordered these custom buttons from A Flair for Buttons. I loooove them. This card is symbolic, but not something that I'm ready (or willing) to journal about. I might tuck some journaling behind this card - or it might just stay as-is.  W21jokeAnd finally - a joke that Hope texted. Hahahaha! 

hello monday : 06.11.12


hello warm, humid weather

hello lots of planning & list-making for Costa Rica

hello arugula from the garden - love! 

hello working on positive energy - way too much of an emotional rollercoaster lately

hello to saying goodbye to negative people - I no longer have room for you in my life

hello go learning to let go of guilt about having a bit of free time now that the kids are older...I've earned this. I've paid my little-kid dues

hello to waterfront walks with Hope. We laugh that we drive 6 miles in order to walk 2-3 miles, but agree that it is so worth it

hello to homemade ricotta - so easy, and so good! 

what are you saying hello to today?

(hello monday is a lisa leonard inspired practice)

project life : week twenty

I am catching up. For reals. Austin looked at this spread a few minutes ago and said "Seriously? Mother's Day? It's JUNE already." What a task master! Here we go...

W20_fullweek 20, sans insert (I actually didn't photograph the insert - it's a 2-pocket Martha Stewart protector that holds a mother's day card & a little thank you card from a restaurant) W20_leftweek 20, left side. Uhm, I know I'm a bit biased, but...I have ridiculously good-looking kids. Just sayin. W20_jump

W20_rightweek 20, right side. W20_greysah, the grey's anatomy season finale....b/c why wouldn't the plane crash? (note, I watched this episode, and then got on a plane at 6am the next morning. great timing!) W20_unexpecteda new mantra, courtesy of Angie. be unexpected.

So, I've been saying that I'm totally committed to catching up on PL. Pretty sure that I say it going into every weekend. Hasn't happened. I'm going to try a little reverse psychology on myself...I'm not even going to THINK about PL this weekend! So there! 

(project life is a becky higgins project)

06/06 : wednesday on the web

I haven't written a Wednesday on the Web post in a while, so I thought I'd take a minute to share some of the places that loving on line right now...

Are you a feaster? I am. I sooo am. 

beautiful writing & such a peaceful blog.

I made sweet potato tacos & fell in love. And then I fell in love with the witty writing (and fab recipes) offered up by Bev Cooks.

I wonder if they'd do a "shift" temp tattoo? Oh wait! There's one here.

I am such a sucker for a chick flick. Can't wait to see this when I get back from CR.

May need to feed my cookbook addiction with this.

What have you been finding online?

this i know : susannah conway

Thisiknow(photo via my instagram feed)

There exists a small circle of women that I claim as my best friends. I have to say that with a plural ending b/c it is impossible to choose just one who towers above the rest. They are my people, my tribe, my safety net, my history, my sounding board...they are an integral part of my story. Some I have known since kindergarten (an astounding honor, given how many times I've moved). Some may as well be family. Some I met online, just a few years ago, but I've lost track of when I didn't know them. And then, there are the imaginary friends. Imaginary only in the sense that I don't know them "for real"...and they don't know me at all. They are women who I can imagine sitting down with a bottle (or three) of wine and sharing stories and trading tears for laughter. They represent who I want to be when I grow up...even though most are younger than me. They are wise and creative and brave. 

One of them is Susannah Conway

I ordered this i know (aff) last week, not willing to be patient & find out if it would be available for nook. As I pulled into the driveway after a morning with Colleen @ the farmer's market, I remembered that it was due to arrive. I planned to unwrap it, read a few pages, and then set about completing the to-do list that has been demanding my attention. 

I spent most of the day on the couch. 

I started reading, and audibly gasped on the second page of the intro...y'know, the pages BEFORE the pages that are actually numbered? I read this...

"It's entirely possible to squash your pain down and carry on with your life, but one day it will catch up with you. One day a little tear will appear in the blanket and then, with an almighty rip, all your crap comes tumbling out. This is a good thing in the long run."

At that point, I put the book down. I picked up my car keys, drove to the corner store, and bought another bottle of wine. And I cancelled any plans of productivity that I might have had.

Susannah's book is the story of unraveling & recovery in the years following the death of her partner. She tells her very personal story with a raw honesty that brought me to tears, and also found me shaking my head in agreement & empathy. The loss that I am dealing with is not of the physical sort, but it represents a death nonetheless. Susannah's description of her journey through grief felt so familiar. I haven't yet allowed myself to really mourn the death of a seventeen-year relationship. Are you allowed to mourn when the death is your own choosing? I've only just begun to talk about it, to say the words out loud. With an almighty rip.

"Our lives are not lived in a straight line; the choices and decisions we make take us in many directions, the crashes and collisions shunting us off our paths until we pick up the breadcrumb trail and get back on our way."

If I'm being brutally honest, I felt like sh*t when I finished this book (early on Sunday morning, less than 24 hrs after its arrival). I was angry with myself for not coming out of this darkness with the insight & reflection that Susannah achieved. I catalogued, for the millionth time, my failures & shortcomings. I was exhausted & emotionally drained. And then I looked back at one of the many passages that I highlighted on a dog-eared page...

"I believe that by being the best and most healed version of ourselves, we can truly make a difference in the world."

That particular page (pg 217) ends with the question & declaration..."Are you ready to try? Let's do this." 

I said in instagram/twitter that it was safe to say that this book was life-changing. I honestly feel that way. It's the universe reminding me that I'm not entirely alone - that others are dealing with the painful reality that what doesn't kill you makes you stronger

I'll be signing up for Susannah's Unraveling class in the fall. And I'll be re-reading this book while I wait.