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June 2012
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August 2012

project life : week whaatttt?

Or, in Austin's words - "Dude. You should really get this thing on track." 

Yes, dude, I should. And I am - sort of. The state of the union for me & Project Life looks something like this - 

  1. I'm taking lots of photos. Many with my iphone. Many on instagram. 
  2. I'm saving stuff, although I'm trying to take Barb's advice on organizing it. 
  3. I'm still completely in love with the project, and just giving myself some needed space to get things done. 
  4. I'm more mindful about my days. This is, by far, the biggest benefit of Project Life. I notice, record, and reflect on daily stuff. 
  5. I am contributing to the financial health of the scrapbooking industry. In other words? I'm buying washi tapes & paper & STUFF. 
  6. And, of course, I'm having a BLAST with Project Life Planned.

Speaking of (seque into "sponsored post" here...) Project Life Planned, we're up to something fun! We've partnered with a brand new kit club, Gossamer Blue! 

Gossamer Blue ( is a new monthly kit club dedicated to inspiring and motivating memory keepers and crafters alike. Each main kit is well coordinated with a mix of products from multiple manufacturers, and also includes Lori Whitlock ( die cutting and digital elements. 

Pladdon3Gossamer Blue, August 2012, Bits & Pieces Add On

Several add-ons will be available each month including a Bits & Pieces add-on that is perfect for Project Lifers and card makers. This first Bits & Pieces add-on includes 8x8 papers, die cuts, journaling cards, tags and stickers. The colors in the August Bits & Pieces Add-on are warm oranges, pinks, blues and yellows and can be used with a variety of themes from birthdays to vacations to every day.
Here's what you can do:
1. Visit Gossamer Blue's blog for a chance to win a one month subscription to Project Life Planned (along with a bunch of other great prizes!).
2. Subscribe to Project Life Planned and visit our blog for a chance to win Gossamer Blue's August Bits & Pieces Add-on.
I decided to use the add-on for a fun, summery insert page - 
How are you doing with Project Life? 

Color Run New England : July 2012


Super Fun Race

Hilarious pre-race antics - including our GPS taking us to this totally random little dirt patch instead of our parking lot - and comments like "oh, right, this is the way - there's another car full of white people!" (meaning people wearing white. we're all politically correct like that.)

Watching the Olympic Opening Ceremonies in a pub with such awesome friends. 


Epic fail on post-race organization. No easily accessible water. Two hour shuttle line. Dehydration. Watching people collapse from heat stroke. So not good. 

Trying to navigate to Back Bay to get to race packet pick up. Me = quick temper. 

In pics: 

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i want.


Yep, greedy title today. Ha! In no particular order, things that I'm thinking about, craving, wanting...

Sleep. Got in super late from an Ingrid Michaelson concert last night. Sooo awesome, but I'd really like to be curled up under the covers for a few more hours. 

Time to read. In addition to a new stack of library books & new Nook books, I got a huge box of books from Chloe yesterday. She's moving to Tokyo (!!!!) for a few months, so I'm book-sitting. How cool is that?

A trip to SF. Missing Cali these days. 

A new comforter. Possibly making a trip to Ikea on Sunday to handle this one.

White, sorta rustic pasta bowls.

A landscaper & a housekeeper.

A chocolate chip cookie - warm from the oven. 

A slight chill in the air - only at night. High 70s during the day. Year round. 

Two solid, uninterrupted days to work on Project Life. 

A soy latte. 

What's on your wish list today? 


well read : july 2012

When I'm committed to something...I'm all in. I've been reading. A lot. Disclaimers: I read really fast, so I can knock off an average length book in day or two. I buy Nook books...but I also joined our local (well, neighboring) library, AND I recieve e-books to review through NetGalley. There is no shortage of words in my life. I'm also chronically behind on laundry. In the past 2 weeks, I've read...

Gone Girl: A Novel: dark, twisty, & good. 

A Reliable Wife: dark, twisty...and okay.

Magic Hour: A Novel: Intriguing (Hope is reading this now)

The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life : Still working on this one - liking it so far! 

The Lean: A Revolutionary (and Simple!) 30-Day Plan for Healthy, Lasting Weight Loss & Crazy Sexy Kitchen: 150 Plant-Empowered Recipes to Ignite a Mouthwatering Revolution : both for reviews, so more to come!

(the above are aff links, meaning that if about a thousand people clicked on those links & bought the books, I'd be paid enough in affliate earnings to buy...a postage stamp. Which I'd use to send one of the thousand a thank you card.)

Gone-girl-book-cover A_reliable_wife Magic hour Thecreativehabit The lean Crazysexykitchen



life well lived : dealing with disappointments

This week's Life Well Lived question...

How do you deal with disappointment, and what lessons do you have to share from those experiences?

Here's the part where I dazzle you with all of the tools that I've learned through reading 248, 356, 983 self-help books (and spending almost that amt of $ in therapy)...

Uhm. Well. Let's see. 

Right. I actually don't have any tried & true methods for turning lemons into lemonade, or grey clouds into rainbows. I don't always look for the open window after the closed door. 

I do the same thing that y'all do. I cry. I vent to friends. I eat chocolate. I drink wine. I cry some more. I watch vintage Grey's Anatomy. And then...

I try to find one thing to be grateful for. Just one thing. It can be small. 

As for lessons? Well, I working on that. :)

How 'bout you? What's your secret for dealing with disappointments? Share your thoughts on BlogHer and don't forget to enter the Sweepstakes!


a little luxury in the everyday...

Ever since the day that I walked into a lotions & potions-type store in 1994-ish, I’ve been hooked on personal care products. If it smells lovely, and feels lovely, I’m sold. So, when the folks at Dove® offered to let me try their new Dove® VisibleCare™ Body Wash, I quickly typed “yes please!”

Here’s what Dove® has to say about the VisibleCare™ Softening Crème Body Wash that I’m using…

 “Visible skin improvement in just one week. Nutrium moisture. More beautiful skin from a body wash? Absolutely. Designed to soften skin and dry spots, this unique formula - with our highest concentration of NutriumMoisture - contains skin natural building blocks to help improve skin's look over time. Use daily for softer, smoother skin in one week. And with continued use, skin is visibly more beautiful within 3 weeks.”

 I’ve used this body wash for a few days now. Luxurious lather? Check. Clean rinse? Check. Lovely fragrance? Check, check. I have horribly dry skin (thank you, 6 months of winter!), so I’m always interested in after-feel. This one rates pretty high with me – it rinses clean, but leaves my skin soft. I like that it’s creamy enough to use for shaving my legs, too. I’m pretty sensitive to fragrances, and I found this one to be just right. It’s super rich, so it feels rather indulgent to be using it for every day.

You might be wondering why I’m “cheating” on my green-minded brands, and taking such a mainstream brand into the shower with me. Here’s the thing – I don’t stress about rinse off products that much. I’m happy that this product is SLS-free (don’t get confused by Sodium Laureth Sulfate on the ingredient listing…it’s Sodium Lauryl Sulfate that you want to avoid). I’m not 100% thrilled with the IL on this body wash, but I’m not totally freaked out by it either.

 I can’t always afford to spend $9+ on fancy shower gel (I’d rather spend that on fancy coffee). I want luxury at an affordable price - totally the middle-class demographic. The suggested retail of $6.99 for an 18oz bottle (trivia – this is actually a tottle – a cross between a bottle & a tube) is much more in my price range. Plus, I can avoid going to the mall – bonus! 

What little luxuries are you indulging in these days? (oh, and for a shot at a BIG sure to enter to win a $500 Spafinder gift certificate!)

Visit Dove® VisibleCare® to get a coupon for $1 off!

Enter to win one of two $500 Spafinder gift certificates!



You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

a) Follow this link, and provide your email address and your response to the Promotion prompt

b) Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: "#SweepstakesEntry"; and then visit this link to provide your email address and the URL to that Tweet.

c) Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and then visit this link to provide your email address and the URL to that post.

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. Winners will have 72 hours to claim the prize, or an alternative winner will be selected.

The Official Rules are available here.

This sweepstakes runs from 7/18/2012 - 8/22/2012

Be sure to visit the Dove® VisibleCare™ Crème Body Wash brand page on where you can read other bloggers’ reviews and find more chances to win!

today i.

am grateful that Hope is home. For a bit last night, it looked like a delayed flight was going to result in Em needing to put Operation Rescue Hope into effect. 

(related) am grateful for friends who are willing to get in the car at 10pm, drive to the airport, and pick up my daughter...who they've never met.

am amused by the fact that Hope hates bananas (so does my Dad) and loves elephants (so does my Mom). When I mentioned this to Hope, she said "What can I say? They shaped me in my formative years." Ha! 

am remembering my yoga instructor's wise thoughts about resistance...that we can't move around it or past it...we have to move through it.

am on my 2nd book in 2 days...I am nothing if not extreme about some things. 

am listening to music more & more at work...finding that it helps to block out distractions & calm frustrations. 

am loving KP's photo tour of our Costa Rica trip. 

am wishing that I could do more for friends who are struggling. 

am not going to apologize for silly emails that are sent at the end of a long day, with iphone in one hand, and chardonnay in the other.  sometimes i need something to giggle about. 

yes, chef : marcus samuelsson

YeschefbookcoverI've talked (recently even!) about my love of memoir. Safe to say that it's a favorite genre. Combine that with a twinge of a foodie streak...and I was SURE that I'd love this book. 

Unfortunately, I was wrong.

Yes, Chef is supposed to be an "orphan-done-good" story. Anyone who follows the New York foodie scene, or the celeb chef foodie scene probably knows who Marcus Samuelsson is. Born in Ethiopia, orphaned when his mother died of TB, adopted by a Swedish family....goes on to become an award winning chef. Yes, I skipped a lot in between.

Yes, Chef follows a peculiar cadence that left me feeling a bit disoriented. Marcus traveled alot in his training, and you'll bounce around while reading about those journeys. I found that the nostalgic bits - meeting his 14 year old daughter, meeting his Ethiopian father - were written in merely as an attempt to take the edge off of his ego. I felt particularly lost when the book veered into a history of Harlem while explaining why Marcus chose to open a restaurant there. Uhm, didn't he grow up in Sweden? Pretty sure that's not Harlem.

Oh, did you catch that? Meeting his 14 year old daughter.  He was well aware of her birth, and chose to let his mother be his "representative" in facilitating child support. I get that he was young. I get that the pregnancy was unplanned (and clearly not prevented), but his decision to simply carry on as if his daughter didn't exist triggered every abandonment issue that I have (and trust me, I've got a LOT). He talks of finally meeting her & wanting to apologize & blah, blah, blah...then conveniently leaves her (& her mother) out of the acknowlegments. A small detail? Maybe, but it really bugged me. Oh, and her birth (or their meeting) doesn't even rate a mention on his life timeline on his blog. He lost major respect points for those omissions.

I found the tone of the book to be rather insincere. To be fair, the book is ghost-written - so who knows what the tone would have been if Marcus did the writing (we know he can cook, but who knows if he can write). There's quite a bit of name dropping in the middle of the book, so if you're like me & don't know all the celeb chefs by heart, you'll be a little dazed (and possibly bored). Marcus (& his writer) tell the tale of rising through the ranks, breaking down racial barriers, and bringing culture into the kitchen. Bravo, but...let's not ignore the fact that Marcus was raised by a Swedish family who provided the support for him to travel & train across Europe.  This is NOT a  projects-to-prosperity story, as much as Marcus tries to paint it that way.

Clearly, Marcus Samuelsson is a talented chef.  I'd suggest that he continue to focus on the kitchen. Yes, Chef  left me saying no, thanks. (sorry, couldn't resist)

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

OLW : halfway.

We're halfway through twenty.twelve, and my OLW album is complete through....March. Ugh. I am SUCH the online class dropout. 

Still staying true to the spirit of my OLW - shift. Most recently...

Shifted my living room furniture after 7 years of it being in the same configuration. The new set- up is cozier/warmer. 

Shifting my morning routine. No longer starting the day wandering through Google Reader. Instead, waking up with a cup of coffee & a book.

Shifting my vitamin intake (supplements & food). More magnesium. More potassium. Adding tumeric. 

Shifting my reading habits. Adding fiction. Loving all of your suggestions.

Shifting my tendency to over-commit. Learning to ask for more time when needed. 

Shifting my expectations of our new family dynamic. (this is a tough one) Trying to shift from frustration to radical acceptance. 

How are you doing with your OLW? Please, please link me up to your albums if you're taking Ali's class - I need a dose of inspiration! 

hello monday : 07.09.12


hello to SO MANY great book recommendations. thank you, thank you, thank you!  I've compiled everything into one pdf. If you'd like a copy, you can print from here. I am currently finishing up Yes, Chef! (a review copy), starting The Creative Habit, and have Magic Hour (the library was out of Winter Garden), and A Reliable Wife waiting in the wings. (aff links)

hello to a very exciting venture for Kelly Purkey. I don't even stamp, and I still want to buy these.

hello to a week w/o Hope. She's off to Calgary for Stampede. Despite the fact that she attends university in another country, I still get nervous when she travels.

hello to a Meditation Revolution. 28 days. Daily reminders in your inbox. Wanna take a seat with me?

hello to a very busy week ahead - freelance work keeping pace with real life work, and fitting in time for the gym + healthy cooking along the way. 

hello to LOVING this song. And this one. Both will be on repeat this week.