Friday, December 30, 2011

A Glimpse

Well, unfortunately Christmas is over and I hope you all had a wonderful time spent giving with family and friends. This Christmas was a little different for me, but one of the best ones I've had.  I got to see my closest friends, and my family time was wonderful. I think what made this Christmas more special than others was the fact that I truly embraced my time home.  Time goes by so quickly, and not to have the long two month break I used to have while I was in college makes my time spent at home that much more valuable.

The holiday went by in the blink of an eye, and here I am back in the city getting ready for New Years.  I can honestly say I am a little ready to slip back into my routine.  Here are a few snap shots I took in New York before I left and some that I took at home :)

This was the little decorative area in the cute home of my friend who lives in Brooklyn. So adorable!
I did some gift wrapping with recycled shopping bags.  

This is one of the little paper trees I told you about that I was going to make. I made mine with some sparkly paper. I couldn't get a big tree, so the paper ones did just fine, and they are super cute!  Thank you Martha Stewart Holiday Craft book!
Our tree at home in Alabama
 I got festive and did my nails on Christmas day (it was a stocking stuffer!) If you guys haven't tried the stick-ons they work really well, last for 10 days and comes off with nail polish removal. Cool stuff. Mine are done gold right now for New Years! Speaking of which I hope you all have a fun New Year's Eve night and and wonderful New Year's Day!

Cheers to 2012! Wishing you a great start to a healthy new year!


Friday, December 16, 2011

Crafty Christmas Gifts

Hi everyone! I can't believe Christmas is right around the corner! I'm going to have to start packing up soon. I fly home in less than an week. It's crazy how time flies. How is all the Christmas shopping going? I know it get can get a little crazy..  Do you have everything written down on your wish list? Have you made anything special lately? I made some little paper Christmas trees (more are still in the works and will post photos soon!)

Anyway, Last weekend I was able to go to an amazing craft sale on the east side of the city. I had a friend selling some of her jewelry and so I of course, went to check everything out. I scored huge on getting majority of my Christmas shopping done there. I love going to little sales like these because the gifts are so unique and handmade by brilliant crafters. Not to give away any hints as to what I may have gotten, but here are a few of the companies and designers that stuck with me. Enjoy!  


An amazing husband and wife team Margaux and Walter began by repurposing lost and neglected things for themselves, and now they make and share it for everyone to enjoy. Margaux and Walter were so cool Even their wardrobe spoke volumes about what they do. To give you a mental visual, Walter was wearing a worn little newsboy cap with a white T-shirt, but had a full repurposed apron atop it that had leather pockets attached at the bottom...very vintage. Their booth had an amazing display of bags, desk caddies, mini bound notebooks, and other beauties they like to call "inscribable keepsakes, useable treasures, and curiosities. All of their products are made by hand and are of impeccable quality. Visit their website here, and own some of their treasures via Etsy! Peg and Awl was a true gem to discover.

Erin Jang is an illustrator and graphic designer from Seattle living in New York. I have to privilege to say that I was able to meet her at her booth with her new little addition :) A lot of the work I saw at Erin's booth were adorable, graphic paper products. The most recent of these are her accordion calendars for 2012. Erin also has some really cute Holiday cards and prints as well. To see more of her work (prints, cards, and more calendars!) visit her portfolio site, and visit her online shop for purchasing! You can also keep up to date with her new projects through the Indigo Bunting blog.

This small company has very beautiful stationery, notecards, and invitations. They also do business cards, notecards, and gift certificates. Their inspiration is driven by the beauty in nature, and the design that comes from it is very fresh, and beautifully simple. Moon Tree Letterpress can also proudly say that they have been involved with many corporate projects such as Martha Stewart Living, Jonathan Adler, and Better Homes and Gardens. I stopped by the booth and bought a letter press calendar and some holiday NYC themed notecards to send! Also visit their Etsy shop and blog!

I loved the coasters and the notebooks as well. The coasters below are Nashville neighborhood coasters. So cute and clever, and something I would definitely own!

Run by Angela Spencer from England, all of A.S.I.S. products are eco-firendly and serve an international audience. All yarns are natural, hand-spun and hand-dyed. Angela's jewelry was what I personally fell in love with. Her re-purposed sterling neck pieces came from cast needles and hooks found in her mother's sewing basket

Aren't these lovely?  I hope you all have a wonderful and restful weekend!! I'm ready for the Holidays to begin! I can't wait t to see my family and I especially can't wait to give them their gifts this year :)




Wednesday, December 7, 2011

You can take the girl away from the small town...

Hi everyone!  I hope you are all doing well.  It has been raining for the past couple days so the walks to get from point A to point B haven't been the greatest. Even trying to hail a cab in rain is dreadful.  Anyway, despite the dreariness of it all, it is a wonderful backdrop for writing in a quiet place, which is what I'm about to do.  I apologize for no photos, but I just want to give a little insight on what the city has taught me the past couple months.

Lately, things have been beyond crazy. I feel like my mind is constantly swimming in clutter. Too many things to think about and I feel like I'm getting way ahead of myself.  I've literally had to stop and make time to lay low, which has been really brief.  I don't know if it's the hype the city gives off, but I need a breather. Sometimes it just takes one simple moment of pondering about things that bring my mind to an ease.

So many people have the impression of a luxurious life when it comes to living in New York. Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news to anyone who hasn't experienced it, but it's a hard life.  There is nothing easy about living in a big city.  Maybe your thinking, "well this girl is from a small town and she just can't handle it". I wouldn't be here if I thought I couldn't handle it.  Over 80% of people who live here are pursuing an opportunity, a dream.  I have so much respect for those who can move up here on a whim without even having a job. I moved here because of a job. I'm not making this post to complain, because I knew exactly what I was getting myself into as soon as I said "yes" to the job I moved up here for. These are simply facts to be stated about life in the Big Apple.

So,"What makes it so difficult?", you may ask.  Well it's a no brainer that living in New York isn't cheap. I'm working so hard to spend it all on rent.  Also, it takes twice as long to get things done.  I don't have the luxury of hopping into a vehicle to run to the grocery store so I can get food for the next 2 weeks.  I walk one avenue and five blocks to go to the  grocery store (and I am pretty lucky at that. Some people have to commute via subway with their groceries) I also have to watch how much I'm getting because I can only carry two bagfuls back with me. The cool part about the whole experience/ process is that every store fits the needs of the customers.  They give out huge bags so you can fit more because they know you are going to be walking around with it. People make do.  I am making do with the city life. You gotta suck it up, blend in, and just do it. That's what everyone does here, and I respect that.

Experiencing life here has made me appreciate the things I took for granted before I came. Something that stands out the most is time spent with people.  I live alone here, and I thought I would be great at it. Turns out, it's been a little hard for me to come home and sit in silence.  I used to think that I would love my alone time, but that was during a time when I never had any.  Now that I have it, I value the time spent with friends in the city. Speaking of which, this is another thing that takes time to do.  The commutes can be long for others when you want to meet up with someone, so you really have to plan in advance. It's not like before where I could just call up a friend to meet me in 10 at the nearest coffee shop. I have friends in Brooklyn and Queens so we really have to make sure the travel distance isn't longer than the time spent in the city, but again like I said before we make do, and it's always great when I get to see my friends.

Now despite everything I just told you, the experience has been great so far and something that will always impact me in more ways than one. Being in different places has helped me adapt easier in any situation, definitely makes me more cultured, and has taught me to think differently in how I do things and how I plan my time.  Even though there are negatives that make it a little bit more difficult to do the simple things, the positives are definitely all there with living, learning, and life.

I always say "It's the little things". I actually quoted it on Facebook weeks ago now that I think of it.... anyway, I'm in a big city, but it really is the little things that make me smile.  A sunny day, a letter from home, people walking dogs that look like them, a kid being silly on the sidewalk, an elderly couple holding hands crossing the street, FIT students talking about classes and crazy professors (remember those days), etc. Things like this are what get me through a crazy day of cars, taxis, meetings, solicitors, protestors, and seas of people trying to get somewhere just like me. Things that I saw as everyday things at home are the things I relish the most here.

I may be in a big city of dreams, but I will always have my small-town southern roots.  There will always be a special place in my heart for anything that relates to home as it would anyone else.  For some, it may be easy to forget, or forgetting may be wanted in fact, but I could never forget where I came from and how it has shaped who I am today.

That's it for now! I hope this is relative or impactful to you in some way, shape, or form and I hope you have a wonderful, restful, night!


Friday, December 2, 2011

You Inspire Me

Hi Readers!

I hope you are all doing well preparing for the holidays! SO much to prepare...our minds, our budgets, our sanity, and most important of all... our stomachs!! How was your Thanksgivings!? I completely skipped out on following up with that! My apologies.  I really enjoyed Philly. I was able to see everywhere around city hall and performed a pretty epic reenactment of Rocky and his victory up the museum steps with my friends (I think that was one of my favorite parts of the trip aside from the amazing meal we had!) Anyway, it was very precious time spent with some wonderful people.

I really wanted to take the time right now and thank all of you so much for all your support and interest in reading my blog.  I saw today that I already have over 1000 views!! It literally almost knocked my slippers off! I was actually on the phone when I found out and gasped so loud that I choked on my own air, and there was definitely a minor heart attack on the other end..(woops! I was just so super excited!).

{click image for source}

 It makes me feel so joyful and happy to know that I am keeping you all inspired through this blog.  It is pure bliss that I can come here and get excited about sharing something creative with you or just share a small venture I went on during the week or weekend. All of your support is what really inspires me to keep going, and it means so much knowing that you all care. I love reading all of your sweet comments and emails. My day is always made when I receive your feedback and experiences, so keep them coming!

You are all so wonderful, and I hope that we can continue to inspire each other in our journeys together.
Keep creating, sharing, and inspiring.  Passion is found when and where passion is shared.

Again, thank you thank you!! Have an exciting, fabulous weekend!


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Warby Parker

If you are in love with TOMS and their "One for One" concept and you are blind like me and want a pair of amazing vintage frames for a really great price, you will fall in love with Warby Parker.  My mom and sister told me about this company because my sister was ordering a pair of their frames for her birthday. They had me at "affordable" and "vintage".

Warby Parker's vintage-inspired frames are classically crafted and sold under $100 for both the frames and prescription AND when you buy a pair they give a pair away to renowned non-profits such as Vision Spring. I love the idea of sharing the "gift of vision" with someone else.  You can check out more about how they are crafted here.  Their lenses are the really nice non-reflective kind; another plus.  I still can't believe how great of a deal it is.  I have terrible eye sight and have spent so much money on frames alone not including my prescription.  I wish I had known about Warby Parker before I got my last pair. I might go ahead and get another pair anyway. It's so wonderful knowing that I would be giving the gift of seeing the world more clearly to someone.

I personally like the Begley pair. I think they are the perfect combination of square and circular. These are the navy ones but they also have a "greystone" and "whiskey tortoise shell"

Oh yes, I almost forgot another really great perk.  They have a home try-on program where you have 5 pairs of glasses sent to you for five days to try the frames you like for free... I know, right?  AMazing.

Have a lovely rest of the day, and if you just so happen to need a new pair of frames. I hope this post gets you excited.


Monday, November 28, 2011

Counting Down!

Happy Monday!  I saw this commercial this morning, and had to share.  This is totally me every single year. Yes, I am 23 years old and still get this excited about Christmas.  I don't ever want that feeling to die.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

I Am Grateful : Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy (Early) Thanksgiving! What are you most grateful for? I can be nothing but humbled in realizing how much I have been blessed with. Especially when I take the time to think about it and write it all down.  I could make a thousand lists, but here are a couple I would like to share this year.

I am grateful...


1  To be able.
2. To have a supportive, awesome family
3. For the truest friends anyone could ask for (you know who you are)
4.  For a great job that I enjoy and get excited about
5. To be in such a great place of opportunity
6. To have accessibility to new adventures and places
7. For life's little moments
8. For those placed in my life that have given me something to grow and learn from (situations,
   relationships, experiences, etc)
9. For YOU and your support :)

Day to Day (Things that keep me going)

1. My friends (again) who have continued to stay connected near and far
2. Argo Tea for  keeping me energized
3. Trader Joes for keeping me fed
4. My coats and boots for keeping me warm
5. Google Maps and HopStop for getting me where I need to go
6. My music for keeping me upbeat and quick to work
7. This blog, so I can keep myself and others inspired

Again, I hope you all have a wonderful, plentiful Thanksgiving. Don't forget to remember and cherish what your grateful for!

Don't worry, I wouldn't leave you without a little bit of inspiration.  (Click images for details)

This Cranberry Almond Cinnamon Tart (Martha Stewart Living recipe)  makes my mouth water. It looks and sounds so delicious and is one that is going in my personal recipe box. YUM.

Lastly I couldn't resist on leaving out a Martha Stewart craft.  I think these Flaming Foliage candle holders are so pretty. I have several little candles in my apartment (gotta keep it smelling fresh!) And this would be such a cute idea to use to spruce them up for the holiday don't you think?

Well, I'm off to Philly! I will be back soon.  I am celebrating my Thanksgiving with some dear friends of mine.  I'm excited to get out of the city and be in a new surrounding for a little while.  I've never been to Philadelphia, so CHECK! One off my list and many many more to go!

Eat lots, and again Happy Happy (Early) Turkey Day!



Friday, November 18, 2011

Cardboard Safari

Hello friends!  I hope you all had a lovely Friday.  Here's a bit of fun, crafty, inspiration for you.

Many of you may have already known the source to these amazing 3-D cardboard decorative pieces, but I just discovered Cardboard Safari! (found via Snow&Graham blog- one of my favorite paper companies) I had seen many of the deer heads before at Anthropologie and thought they were really interesting.  I love the elephant (Roll Tide!)  and the moose. The wreaths are really great too! 

I want to make a mini cute one like this! This moose one was done by Snow & Graham. They covered it with their NEW daisy wrap. So cute! They are going to post a tutorial on it soon, so keep your eyes peeled!  I would love to try this with some paper doilies. You could paint the base any color you want to show through the cut outs. I would prefer something like a light neutral gray, a blue-gray or any color with the tone of the wall the daisy moose is setting against. Or just the brown of the card board could be lovely also don't you think!? Ahh! Definitely going to do this, and you should too!

p.s  have a fabulous weekend!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Rewind : Pumpkins, Bento, and Wax Figures

Hi everyone!

Just wanted to catch you up on what I've been up to for the past few days. I promise I've been doing a whole lot more than just putting random mood boards together! Haha Anyway, how was your weekend?

I felt like I was on vacation this weekend, and it was so great. Definitely one of the best weekends I've had so far. I celebrated my first birthday in New York this Saturday and I was lucky enough to have one of my best friends from home here with me. We were packed with things to do, but they were all really relaxing and fun at the same time :) Here's a bit of a camera roll recap.

Started off at The Grey Dog for brunch. One of my favorite little eateries in Chelsea so far!

Next was the Chelsea Market and the High Line. The weather was perfect!

Made a stop at the Rockefeller Center and saw THE tree being put up. Lots of scaffolding, but it will be decorated soon! (Lighting is November 30th and I can't wait!) Also, some shopping occurred while there and an Anthropologie stop was a must! Look at how great these lamps are! Made out of randomly dipped wooden paint mixers. Such a cute, clever and cheap idea! I'm definitely keeping this one stored in my brain for future projects.

Had an awesome dinner at Elmo, and fabulous dessert at Sweet Revenge, which was packed so we ate quickly and then went to an adorable bakery called Molly's cupcakes. There are swings for chairs and they have an entire wall full of board and card games. (We played a really slow mindless game of UNO while chit chatting). Much later was the Empire State Building. It was very very windy, but needless to say the view was amazing.

Sunday I had my first bento box lunch! It was very delicious. Compliments to Ajisen Ramen for the tasty food and for being located conveniently across the street from where I live. Yes, the definitely know my face there and I am guilty of being a regular there, never to have ordered a bento box lunch. There will be more in the future for sure!

Afterwards we went to Madame Tussaud's wax museum. I'll own up to it and say that I was a little freaked out at first, but then it was all good fun. Many photos were taken and I'm so glad that we went. I'm sure you know who all of the famous oldies I'm sharing with you are right? Well in case you don't for some reason: The Beatles, Frank Sinatra, and of course, Marilyn Monroe. Now I can say I've been to one of those crazy wax museums!

I had the best time, and I want to thank all of my friends here from far and wide that made it possible :) Now, back to work. Another update will hopefully be sooner than later!


Tuesday, November 15, 2011


Here are some images I pulled from a lovely Tumblr called Ignite Light. Many of them are very warm and gave me the comforting feeling I get during fall time, so I decided to make an inspirational mood board from them. Enjoy!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Keep Your Eyes Open

Happy Monday! Today I thought I'd share a song with you to start off the week.  I recently got a few new albums and Needtobreathe's The Reckoning was one of them! They are one of my favorite bands because I always learn something from them and their lyrics are always so inspiring.  This song really spoke to me because it's about expanding your mind and opening your eyes to new things. I wanted to share this song for anyone out there who has yet to do this or is afraid to.  Open your eyes, experience the new, live life to it's fullest, and love others in the ways you want to be loved.


Cause if you never leave home, never let go
You'll never make it to the great unknown till you
Keep your eyes open, my love
So tell me you're strong, tell me you see
I need to hear it, can you promise me to
Keep your eyes open, my love
So show me your fire, show me your heart
You know i'll neve let you fall apart if you 
Keep your eyes open, my love

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Travel Plans

Wow, another crazy week has flown by, and I can't believe that just yesterday felt like last weekend when it snowed! This weekend however, is beautiful and a bit warmer. The sun is shining and the temperature is supposed to creep back up to the 60s by the middle of next week!.  I should really be out and about right now, but I have some of the classic household duties to tend to (dishes, cleaning, laundry, etc.) Fun stuff.

{I'm going to pause for a second and have a little bit of a sentimental moment to just say that I really love the fact I can wind down and come here to share what's on my mind and what has been getting me excited lately. Thank you all so much for reading!}.  Carrying on, I thought I'd take a little break to catch you up and share a few things with you!

I can't wait to travel.  New York is the prefect gateway to so many other great cities, so while I'm here I definitely want to take advantage of it.  I've never been to Philly (going for Thanksgiving!), and I really want to visit Baltimore, Boston, somewhere in Maine, and Vermont.  Especially Vermont.

I found a blog a couple weeks ago called Cannelle et Vanille (in French this name translates to Cinnamon and Vanilla) It has become a daily read, and I couldn't wait any longer to share with you.
The blog belongs to Aran, a very talented photographer, food writer and stylist.  I must say I am envious of all her amazing ventures. Aran was in France last month styling and shooting food and cooking up some amazing recipes. What a life! All of the food and scenery she captures is absolutely breath taking.  Speaking of food, she is actually working on a naturally gluten-free cookbook full of yummy "small plates and sweet treats" that will be released in Fall 2012. Can't wait Aran! I know it's going to be beautiful, insightful, and certainly inspiring!

Very recently, Aran revisited Vermont and shot some gorgeous photos there. They were so gorgeous, it made me want to visit. As I said earlier, I have put it down on my list places to go while I'm in New York and close by.  Here's a little taste of Vermont though the scope of Aran's adventure. Aran, thank you again for inspiring me with travel through the beauty you've captured along the way. I can't wait to share when I go there!

Look how beautiful and saturated the leaves are! I don't think I've ever seen so many beautiful fall colors altogether in one place like this.  Fall time is my favorite time of year, so when I saw these photos, I was sold. Not only do I have the simple plan of visiting Vermont, I also know exactly what time of year I'm going to go!   I was curious as to what part of Vermont these photos were taken. After reading the entire post I did a little research after seeing that Aran visited the Middlebury Farmer's Market. And there you have it, Middlebury, VT!

Apple picking. I remember when I was little my brother and I would pick green apples (the ones within reach) off the trees in my grandparent's back yard and munch on them all day long.  My grandparents didn't care, but my mom and dad would freak out because when they would see us with one, they didn't know if it was straight from the tree, or if it was already on the ground...I do remember getting a lot off the ground too. I can hear them right now saying "You need to come inside and wash that apple before you eat it!" or "Don't be eating any of those apples right now, we are about to have dinner and it'll ruin your appetite!!" I especially remember the "appetite" quote because I was so young I didn't even know what an appetite was... I remember the first time I heard my mother say it, I took it very very seriously.  I looked at my younger brother and I said, "Did you hear that!? It'll ruin our appetites.. " and I threw the apple in my hand down.

There was something about the word "ruin", and the fact that she said we were about to eat dinner. Putting it all together in the way I could best comprehend it was that the apples would ruin and hurt my stomach, and that I would get sick, but it would only happen if  I ate one before dinner, and I would never want to have an issue before dinner; especially at my grandparents house because the food was amazing. All home cooked vegetables that came straight from their garden out back. Why would anyone want to ruin that, right? I think I was pretty close with understanding the term, but in my mind it was a lot more dramatic than knowing that I would just be too full do eat dinner if I kept eating all those apples! 

That was my experience, with apple picking, but I know it wasn't the official kind of apple picking.  Aran did some apple picking herself at a friend of a friend's orchard while in Vermont. Oh, I would love to do this! I have several friends who have gone upstate to pick apples, and next time I want to come with.

Of course, Aran was able to whip up some delicious snacks and sweets from the apples she picked. I particularly would love to try the gluten and dairy free vanilla and cardamon flavored natillas with sautéed apples, which is a custard her grandmother used to make for her. Yum. I look forward to seeing it in her upcoming cookbook, which she noted would be in there! 

I hope all of you have a wonderful wonderful weekend.  Do you have any travel plans soon? Are you going anywhere special for Thanksgiving? Christmas? New Years?  What places do you want to visit at some point in your life? Where have you been that you loved most?

I can say for sure my favorite so far has been southern France.  I'll have to dig up some old photos and share with you some of my favorite areas when I studied abroad there.  I'm also going to see if one or two of my photo friends can do some guest posts to shed their perspective of our spectacular and surreal adventures in France, so stay tuned!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

My First Snow in New York

Two days ago, the heat kicked on in my apartment for the first time. It was one of the coldest days since I've been here, and it was raining. I came in and I could hear the steam heater sizzling and bubbling. I'm used to gas heat, but I kind of like the sound the steam heaters give off. It's like the heater is saying "hey, it's time for me to make you warm after a long walk in the cold." Haha, anyway, I thought to myself, this is a sign. The cold is coming.

I heard the sound of my heater popping really loudly early this morning and couldn't figure out why it was so loud.  When it stopped I could hear the faint sound of what  I thought was rain.  I didn't raise the blinds because I've seen rain plenty of times and didn't feel like looking out at it once more after my walk in it this past week.  I was pondering about the holidays and wondering what my work schedule would be so I could book a flight home.  I called my friend Tracy who also works at Martha to ask her about details.  The first thing she said when she picked up the phone was "It's snowing".  I said, "What!" I spastically pulled the blinds up on the nearest window to me and couldn't believe it. It was really snowing. Snow in October. I couldn't believe it.  It was coming down so fast, but not sticking.  If you looked at the ground it looked like it was just raining, but when you looked up, it was snow.

It is still snowing right now. The heaviness comes and goes in waves. When  the bigger flakes come down is when it's of course the prettiest, and it looks like it falls a little bit slower. Then there are short lulls of what looks like rain. Maybe it's a mixture? Anyway, it's still really pretty to watch.  I tried to take several pictures and videos, but my camera couldn't capture it! I'll just leave it to your imagination and let my description speak for itself.  Woah, I just heard thunder. Thunder and snow at the same time? Definitely a first.

Cheers, to my first snow in New York! (with a little thunder)  Time for some tea. Yum.

**click images for their source**

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Getting Ready to Bundle Up!

This past weekend I went on a hunt for my first down coat.  Everyone that I've talked to here has told me it is a must-have for winter and that I would never regret getting one!  My walk to work could be brutal when it starts getting really cold, so hopefully now I'll be ready. This is the coat I got! It's by Tahari, and I found it at a reasonably low price at Marshall's.  I was quite proud of this purchase.
My favorite thing about this coat is how feminine it is for a down coat because of the detailing at the waist and around the edges at the bottom. I also love the hood. It's super puffy and it looks really neat tied down like in the photos.  It also look great worn as well. I felt like a cute little Eskimo! It is so warm and fluffy, I could probably fall asleep in it or on it.  Which ever way I use it, I think I'll be ready to take on the cold!
You can purchase this coat at Macy's as well, but be sure to compare your prices at places like Marshall's or even T.J. Maxx if you are on a budget and want to save money!
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