Monday, April 30, 2012

A Dog Party

We spent a good few hours on Sunday taking Lilah with us to the Maryland SPCA March for the Animals. A friend of our had invited us to be part of their group and so of course we couldn't say no. As we pulled up to the park where the event was taking place, Lilah could see the hundreds of dogs and was so excited. She could not wait to get out of the car to meet some new friends. It truly was a dog party. We enjoyed a mile and a half walk around the old reservoir and said hi to many, many other canine friends. Meanwhile, I took advantage of the beautiful day to capture a few new photos of our pretty pup.

And after a fun-filled afternoon, Lilah spent the evening napping. A tired pup is most definitely a happy pup.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Just a Few Things I'm Loving Lately

If there was a way that I could have everything that I love from Etsy lately, I'd be a happy girl.

Some fun spring earrings would be nice!

via Laonato
Hand painted sake cups-- I think these would also work perfectly for soy sauce dipping for sushi!
via sew Zinski
I wouldn't mind having these fun prints to hang in my studio space.
via Amanda Catherine Designs
These post cards are pretty fabulous!
via Mademoiselle Yo
This would work perfectly to store colored pencils.
via Mama Bleu Designs
What are some of your current Etsy favorites?

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Frustration

I had a few things happen this past week that left me feeling at a bit of a stand still. As I began reflecting on all of it, I thought about the beginning of this indie business venture of mine. Starting out it seemed easy. There were no overly complicated things to think about. As my business continued to grow, each level became much more difficult until I reached the point where I am now.



The amount of work that I put into my shop has increased immensely, yet there are times when I feel as though there is little progress forward, or sometimes even days when I feel as though I am taking several steps back. The worst part about this frustration is that it is draining me of creative energy. I sit down with the intention of creating, only to sit and stare at an empty Illustrator artboard or a blank card and stacks of paper. I'm stuck in a negative cycle.

In one of my most recent fits of frustration, a blog friend Patti shared a great article that got my mind back on track. It reminded me of what my priorities need to be. So I decided to consciously think about the positives. I decided to get back into my yoga routine that I lost a few months ago. I decided to take time off from the things that were adding to my frustration. I decided to stop comparing myself to others and to not be so hard on myself. And mostly, I decided to step away from things if it becomes too frustrating, and come back to it a different day or a different time.

Day one into my new positive cycle and I'm feeling a lot better. I'm realizing that I control how I feel rather than letting it up to circumstances. Some of the circumstances are not up to my control in any way, but it is up to me how I react. Aside from these changes I'm trying to make, I decided to let it all out realizing that I'm not always alone in this department. Do you ever feel stuck in a rut of frustration? What are the methods you have used to cope with your own frustrations?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Whatever's On Your Mind

This week I can't get the newest album by Gomez out of my head. The album called Whatever's On Your Mind has been playing non-stop on my stereo, and there is a lot about it to love. Acoustic pop, elaborate orchestrations, glitchy electronics looped over dance beats, some brass band sounds, and a handful of anything else that I failed to mention.

The album's title track has been hard for me to shake.

And Song in My Heart takes on a totally different vibe that I love as well.


It is truly hard to go wrong with these guys. What album or song can't you shake these days?

Monday, April 23, 2012

Printed Sunglasses

One new fun summer style trend I've noticed lately is printed sunglasses. Sick of the boring black or brown shades? Have no worries because these finds will surely do the trick. These sunglasses are definitely thinking outside of the box and will definitely make a statement on a sunny day.
via
via
via
via
via
And being the sunglasses kind of gal that I am, I may just have to add one of these to my collection of shades. :)

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Bright Corals

I've definitely jumped on the coral obsession bandwagon. No doubt about it. It started with this nail color and a shirt that I picked up at Old Navy the other day, and ended with about five other things in coral that I bought in the same day of spring/summer clothes shopping. Here are just a few more things I've found that are just as fabulous!

via Essie


via Old Navy
via Gap
How about coral painted walls? We already accomplished this look in our kitchen a few summers ago.
via Country Living
via Handbag Heaven
Of course shoes are a must!
via Nordstrom
via The White Ribbon
via Voz Clothing
Have you jumped on the coral loving bandwagon yet?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Urban Gardening

It's kind of hard to have a garden in Baltimore, but every year I still do my best to make it feel as though we have one. I've found that the best option is to use pots and containers of various sizes and arrange them in a way to create a lush space.

After spending an afternoon at our favorite greenhouse, I was finally able to finish planting everything that we brought home with us. We have an array of herbs-- basil, cilantro, mint, chives, and dill. I addition, we planted a lettuce mix, and tomato and pepper plants that we picked up at the farmer's market. In addition to our herbs and veggies, we planted all sorts of flowers and started growing a flowering vine which we hope will begin growing on our pergola.

The best part about planting is seeing how lush everything is by the peak of summer. While the pots currently look much to big for many of our plants, the reward comes when the plants have filled each pot out fully and we have lots of green life! I am also especially excited about our plants this year because this summer our patio is finished instead of looking like this. And that is definitely something to be happy about! :)

P.S. The winner of the Ephemeral Pillages ring giveaway is commenter #4-- Beth! Congratulations Beth! I'll be in touch with you shortly! :)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Punch Brothers

I grew up with a lot of bluegrass. My dad played a lot of it, and still does, in band that he plays with these days. Bluegrass isn't the only thing that he plays, but that is how I was exposed to it. Needless to say, I love it. And one thing that I love about it is it's versatility. It can be percussive, jazz-like, or carry a bit of a twang.

I've been a bit obsessed with the Punch Brothers lately, a bluegrass quintet fronted by mandolinist extraordinaire Chris Thile. I first heard Chris Thile when he played for Nickel Creek. Myself and a bunch of college roommates had gone to see John Mayer, and Nickel Creek was opening for him. John Mayer is an amazing guitarist, but I was definitely impressed with Thile (consider Thile the rock star of all rock stars of mandolinists).

Most recently, Andrew and I were lucky to see the Punch Brothers open for Bruce Hornsby this past August. And they are absolutely fantastic. After buying their latest album, Who's Feeling Young Now?, I've quickly found that their music is some of the most original and experimental in their genre. It's hard not to like it.

No Concern of Yours has quickly become my favorite song on their album.



Movement and Location shows influence from greats like David Grisman and Stephane Grappelli.



Hope you enjoy the Punch Brothers just as much as I do! What have you been listening to lately?

Monday, April 16, 2012

Busy Bee

How was your weekend? Mine was pretty busy. But lazy too, if you know what I mean. In other words, I didn't do anything super strenuous or feel rushed around here and there. Sunday was perhaps one of the most productive days I've had in quite a while, so I just had to share with you all of my hard work from the weekend.


And this is only half of what I worked on. I also have a fabulous new line of recipe cards (but I thought I'd save that for a different day) and a hilarious graduation card that I didn't share. Turns out that I made a typo. Yup, even English teachers make mistakes.

Anyone as productive as I was this weekend? Have a fabulous week, and don't forget-- only two more days to enter this giveaway, so be sure to do so if you haven't yet!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

In Macro

The most exciting part of my week so far was Tuesday when a package arrived for me at school. When our secretary called into my classroom letting me know that I had a package, I literally squealed. My macro lens! Woohoo! I had ordered it during spring break and it had just arrived!

After I wrapped things up at school, I headed home to mess around with my new toy. Here are a few shots that I took just for fun.


I am loving this lens! It takes absolutely beautiful close-ups! Next on my wish list is a wide angle lens. I know exactly which one I would like, but need to save just a bit more before I can order it. We're planning a road trip out West to Yellowstone, The Badlands, and Grand Teton National Parks. Each of these parks have amazing photo opportunities and I'm hoping to get a wide angle to maximize some of my shots this time around.

Any new toys for you lately? Are you saving up for something for one of your hobbies?

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Empty House

One of the bands that Andrew and I listen to a lot as of late is Delta Spirit. We loved this San Diego band's album History From Below and were excited to hear a new album was on the way. Their music is raw, sometimes with hints of blues and Americana. Their songs on each album range from calm and mellow to poppy and raucous. Last week during my Spring Break, I headed down to Fells Point to stop into The Sound Garden to pick up some new music. Delta Spirit's latest album, just released on March 13, was on my mental list of what to pick up. The opening song, Empty House, on their new self-titled album is my favorite so far after three listens.



What have you been listening to lately?

Monday, April 9, 2012

Weekend Wrap Up

Hope you all had a fabulous weekend! I'm glad to say that despite it being Monday, I'm still on Spring Break! I know, some of you probably would rather be in the same boat as me seeing how Mondays can be rough. However, it was a rough week last week. Without going out of town for break, and with a deadline looming over Andrew's head at work, I didn't get to do too many spring break like things. Most nights he got home around 9pm leaving us with only a few short hours to spend together.

I tried to make the most of it anyway, knowing that this weekend would probably be more fun than the week. We spent the afternoon at the greenhouse on Saturday.

I made these delicious marble squares. You can head over to Yellow Bird, Yellow Beard, where Janee has been so kind to let me share this very recipe! :)



Saturday night, we enjoyed a fire pit on our back patio.


Sunday, we decorated Easter eggs, something that both of us hadn't done in ages!


And Lilah was happy to have both of us around.


While Finn remained his weird self, being content taking a nap in the dish drainer.


How was your weekend? How did you spend your Easter Sunday?

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Spring in Bloom

Each April, we spend a weekend afternoon driving from the city out to the Maryland countryside to get flowers for our small urban outdoor space. We fell in love with Snell's Greenhouses several years ago after happening upon it by chance during a trip out to Mt. Airy, Maryland. We had driven out to Mt. Airy to visit our little Lilah Bean at the breeder's farm when she was only six weeks old. While there, we had hoped to find the perfect greenhouse with a large selection and a smaller price tag than that of our few choices in Baltimore. Snell's has now become our place to go. It has about ten different greenhouses filled with flowers of all sorts.


We always get our typical favorites-- petunias, impatiens, and pansies. But the fun comes in searching for some new and exciting flowers that we have yet to plant. This year we chose dahlias and black-eyes Susans for something new. I'll be sure to share photos of our urban oasis once flowers are in full bloom!

Do you plant flowers each year? What do you do to help spruce up your outdoor space?
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