31 January 2012

Travel Story /// Las Vegas

I have been thinking a lot about travel lately. Inconsistent, cold, wet weather here in Ohio has had me dreaming of far off places. ...And the fact that my parents decided to take a family trip {without Nick & I!} to Vegas hasn't helped in the matters.

In 2009 I took one of the most memorable vacations of a lifetime. A high school acquaintance and I decided to plan a road trip across the country. I flew out and met him in Chicago, and from there we drove to Denver, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Salt Lake City, Rapid City, & back to Chicago.

We stayed with hosts through CouchSurfing and had some of the most amazing adventures, conversations, and meals that I will never forget.

This trip was so much fun, it has Nick and I discussing the possibilities for an East Coast or a Pacific Northwest road trip. 

And, I've even started a 'Travel Lust' board on Pinterest! How much money and how long would it take to get to all of those places?

Have you ever been on a road trip before? What was the best part about it?

30 January 2012

Photographs From The Weekend /// Nick's Birthday

I'm a little sad that the weekend is over. I needed those two days off {& could have used a few more!}

On Friday, I was relaxing with my best friend while Nick went out and celebrated his birthday with the boys. Laura and I ate Chinese food, watched Winnie the Pooh, & laughed over YouTube videos.

Saturday, Nick and I spent the day together eating good food, shopping, & seeing family. I gave him his somewhat nerdy {okay, a lot nerdy} birthday present, a Millennium Falcon print from Society6 and a Serenity t-shirt from ThinkGeek. We also picked up a googly eyed frog treat for Noelle at Moochie & Co.

I was also taking care of my parents' and my aunt's cats while they were vacationing in Las Vegas {so unfair!}

Sunday was laid-back. Started out with a cup of coffee and the Championship match of the Australian Open {Go Djokovic!} Then I was able to catch up on a lot of blog reading, artwork, & household chores!

How about you? How was your weekend?

27 January 2012

Have A Lovely Weekend!


My Friday was off to a rough start when I knocked myself silly getting into my car. I was rushing and didn't clear the door, so my forehead met the frame really really hard. I saw stars for a little awhile and now I have a really attractive knot on my forehead.

I am hoping that the swelling & bruising goes away before tomorrow! Like I had mentioned yesterday, this weekend is Nick's birthday and we are going out and celebrating.

Although I love to write, I often times have a difficult time eloquently expressing my feelings. Especially on the topic love. I think this is why I find myself being drawn to the lyrics of love songs. {I tell Nick that he and I have a new "song" just about every month.}

Anyways, I have always been a huge fan of Jason Mraz and this new song is so beautiful. It might have to be the new song for Nick & I!

Hope you have a lovely weekend! Enjoy!

26 January 2012

Things I Love Thursday - January 26, 2012

It is Thursday again! I am thankful that this week is going by so quickly!

Nick and I have plans for the weekend to celebrate his birthday, so I've been anxious for Friday to get here!

I love Portlandia. Fred Armisen's technology spiral sketch so accurately depicts my relationship with my devices. So when I saw this illustration for Portlandia's Season 2 release, I couldn't help but fall in love!

Art & Culture
I love photography {Nick & I were married in a photography gallery!} so I love these images of famous photographers and their most iconic images.

◦ These illustrations, titled "The 27 Club", depict the musicians who died at the age of 27. Who doesn't love a little Jim Morrison and Janis Joplin?

The new blog design over at moxee. Breanna has done a very beautiful, simple thing and it works perfectly! {Not to mention I'm digging the "YOU ARE A GEM" card in her paper shop!}

◦ The fantastic Abby Kerr tweeted about productivity & planning and shared an incredibly useful link to WorkFlowy. It maps out a To-Do list and helps you keep tasks organized. Typically, I carry around a little notepad and write things down, but I might go totally digital with this.

{...More Little Things}
Celebrating birthdays  Feeling productive  The adorable photo shoot from 2008 with Maggie Gyllenhaal and Peter Sarsgaard  Another successful weigh-in for The Biggest Loser challenge at work {I'm down another 1.6lbs!}  Stumbling across some more really lovely bloggers  Reading so many blogs about Alt Summit and deciding that I want to be there in the future  A close match between Federer & Nadal at the Australian Open    Knowing tennis season is less than 2 months away

{Photos from MaggieGyllenhaal.net}

25 January 2012

The Little Things {Smith's Minted Rose}

Today's Little Thing is one of my all-time favorite cosmetic products. I never leave home without my Smith's Minted Rose Lip Balm. I love the tin & design, I love the smell, and I love how soft it makes my lips. 

I actually love this little illustration so much I am considering framing it and hanging it above my vanity!

20 January 2012

How I Am Coping With My Pinterest Obsession

It seems that every so often I become downright obsessed with some sort of social media. I think it probably started back in the days of dial-up modems and America Online. My friends and I could spend hours chatting with complete strangers. A/S/L?

I have owned everything from an AOL screen name to a Xanga account. Chatting, blogging, vlogging, liking and poking. I have been there. Done that.

I just can’t get enough of connecting with people across the globe.

 My newest obsession? Pinterest. 

Pinterest is a virtual pinboard site that organizes and shares all of the things that you, and the rest of the world, find interesting and inspiring.

How does Pinterest work? It is incredibly easy to use. For example, while I’m on my usual blogroll and I see something I like ... a tasty recipe, an inspiring work of art, a do-it-yourself project I’d like to try, or various other things ranging from health and fitness to hunky actors ... instead of saving it to my bookmarks or various folders on my desktop, I can pin it to my boards and access it later.

You can install an app that will put a little ‘Pin It’ tab on your bookmarks bar of your browser. At the click of a button you can save the inspiring image, select how you want to categorize it, and continue surfing without having to leave the page.

Best of all, those images are linked on your Pinterest boards to the original website where you found it. Perfect for going back and finding a specific recipe or how-to instructions on DIY projects.

I can justify this obsession because, unlike with Facebook where I just unhealthy creep on people, with Pinterest I am actually using it to better my life. I have made two wreaths and other home decor objects, pieces of jewelry, and used it to inspire my hair, fashion and makeup. I think it is safe to accredit some of my recent weight loss and healthy decision making to my fitness board. And, I have made a dozen of the delicious recipes I have found there (they are so easy to pull up on my iPad and work from on the kitchen counter).

So go ahead, request an invite, start pinning, and become obsessed (but just make sure you do something with all of your fabulous finds).

19 January 2012

Things I Love Thursday - January 19, 2012

  • Two weeks ago I purchased a new, wide-angle camera lens. I love it! Look at one of the awesome photos I captured with it already!

  • Being inspired to create art. I’ve been spending a lot of time with my pencils and watercolors. It makes me feel motivated and complete.
  • Being inspired to blog! This is not something I get done a lot {obviously} and in the past week I have not only posted here, but to the North Canton Patch, and also my art education blog.
  • I am on week two of the Biggest Loser competition at work. In my first two weeks I’m already down 6.44% of my body weight! I feel good, healthy, and energized!

{...More Little Things}

Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis ∙ Vegan pizza - lots of veggies & Daiya cheese ∙ Wearing this bracelet that I received for Christmas ∙ ...and also, this necklace ∙ Watching new episodes of New Girl ∙ …and Jersey Shore ∙ MyFitnessPal {like I had mentioned earlier, I'm trying to reach my goal weight, and this app has been incredibly helpful in tracking my nutrition and exercise} ∙ Generous & sincere compliments about my writing & teaching ∙ Critiquing Golden Globes fashion and nominees with my husband {he'd probably be a little mortified if I let you know about this} ∙ Claire Danes, Sofia Vergara, and Rooney Mara's Golden Globes 2012 dresses  ∙ Keeping really busy & pretty organized in 2012 ∙ Taking Noelle to be groomed & getting her back with a big, sparkley blue bow on her hot pink collar

18 January 2012

The Little Things {Avocado}

A new Wednesday feature will be a small illustration called "The Little Things." A way of showing my love and appreciation for things I may overlook otherwise.

This week: Avocado. Yum.

16 January 2012

Color Board - Winter Whites

{Top Row - Ghost Necklace; Winter Rain Original Watercolor. Middle Row - Claire White Modern Art Print; fieldguided blog. Bottom Row - element ceramic wall tile; Fleet Foxes.}

Today's color board has everything to do with the snow that has finally started to fall here in Northeast Ohio. I'm trying very hard to enjoy it as I'm more of an Autumn sort of person. But the snow really is beautiful, even if it makes getting out of bed & getting to work difficult.

Most of the board are random finds on etsy, while two of them are just inspirational wintery day pleasures. First, Anabela at fieldguided has fantastic posts, a gorgeous etsy site, and is just an all around beautiful person. Second, Fleet Foxes, a band that was introduced to me years ago on my cross-country road trip, is the perfect kind of music to get lost in over a hot cup of coffee and a cozy blanket.

And while your checking out the other items, make sure you take a longer look at Catherina's etsy site. She has stunning watercolor illustrations. I love her fawns & dogs.

15 January 2012

Here's To A Healthy New Year /// 2012

Can you believe we are already fifteen days into the New Year? How was 2011 for everyone? My 2011 was amazing, sad, and bittersweet. But isn't that life?

Nick and I had such an amazing wedding that it's hard to think about 2011 as anything but. However, with the loss of my grandfather, and other life threatening family emergencies, it really was a rough year.

I can honestly say, though, that 2011 made me a much better & stronger person. I'm grateful for my experiences and look to 2012 with a lot hope, dreams & new goals.

With out getting too carried away {mostly because I hope to save these topics for future posts} my goals for the year are more cooking, blogging, reading and painting. So far I've kept up with them all. Nick and I have even decided to take part in the Meatless Monday campaign. 

This past week we dined on fresh, homemade Italian bread and yellow squash & zucchini chili. It was delicious!