Friday, October 29, 2010

The Middle Daughter

via theSteward

If you threw her in the water
she would float upstream.
What if baby Moses had floated upstream,
bobbing toward Lake Victoria in his bullrush boat,
passing the transfixed laundry women,
leaving them behind in a wake of amazement?
What would have become of the children of Israel?
The middle daughter forgets,
there is always history.

Show her white, she sees black.
The problem is her vision.
From infancy she has thrown off
every color we wrapped her in:
first the pink, contemptuous,
and later even the blue, for reasons
we hadn’t the nerve to be thankful for.
She wants to wear red, or nothing.
And you should see her with her red shirt
flapping on her spindle body
like some solo flag,
marching up the river,
leading the salmon to slaughter.
She says they aren’t really dying.
She says something is born of swimming upstream
that finds its way back to the sea
and spreads like a grassfire through the seaweed
across the floor of underwater continents
and finally comes back to the very same river,
not one, but a thousand fish,
a generation of fish.
This middle daughter believes
she will make history.

--Barbara Kingsolver

P.S. Read up on other Friday poems here.
P.P.S. I am a middle daughter :)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Blues + natural texture

(Click to enlarge!)

You've all seen the many (many, many, many) different directions I've decided to go in with my humble home's decor, but I think this might be the winner. Blue shades from royal to navy plus lots of texture? I think I can handle that. I particularly like that it's a little bit beachy without being over the top, and that it's adaptable to all seasons.

Some more inspiration:

Southern Living

via Simply Seleta


Jack and Lulu's house via Design*Sponge

via Simply Seleta

House Beautiful

via The Inspired Room

from Cannelle et Vanille

from Canelle et Vanille

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Cherry wedding

Oh my, this wedding is divine.

See more on Design*Sponge! All photographs by the very (very very very) talented Jose Villa, with styling and planning by my favorite, Rebecca of Duet Weddings.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Minted Holiday Cards

Is anyone else thinking about Christmas cards yet? I've been collecting supplies here and there for mine, but in the meantime I've been looking for inspiration. Minted has it in spades, and I think if I was sending out a photo card I would choose one of their designs. So lovely, and I love that they're all made by independent designers! Here are a few of my favorites:

by frooted design, from $1.58 each

by sydney newsom, from $1.58 each

by stacey day, from $1.58 each

by cococello, from $1.63 each

Which design is your favorite?

Friday, October 22, 2010

Tree trunk side tables

I have recently become transfixed by tree trunk side tables. Modern but still rustic, warm but clean. Love them.

via Simply Seleta

West Elm

Real Simple

They're certainly expensive enough online, though: the best I've seen is $169.

West Elm Natural Tree-Stump Side Table ($199, 19" tall)

VivaTerra teak trunks ($169 (18" tall) or $189 (22" tall))

However, I've got an ace in my pocket, and her name is Emily! My best friend is a senior furniture maker at RISD and thinks she can make me one of these. Yesssss. Christmas present? Yes, please!

P.S. Anyone seen any other lovely examples of rooms featuring tree trunk side tables? I want to add a few more to my happy collection.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Frye Boots

Remember back when I wanted a pair of cowboy boots? Well, I still do. Though I've almost given up hope of finding the perfect pair at a vintage shop, I think I've found a brand-new pair that will do nicely:

The Carson from Frye has quickly scooted its way to the top of my Christmas list... or, rather, because of its price tag, pretty much bumped everything else off my Christmas list :)

Anyone else have a happy cowboy boot story to share?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Applique wedding dress

What do y'all think of this wedding dress? The applique on the hem and neckline is beautiful, I think, and so different. I'm also loving the one strap -- as much as I love the strapless look, it's always nice to see something different.

Photos by the ever talented Jonathan Canlas. See more from this wedding here!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Someone please have a baby so I can buy you one of these

I die. Is this not the most adorable thing you've ever seen?

And look at Socks' cute (foxy?!) little girlfriend, Suzette:

I repeat: someone please have a baby so I can buy you one of these. Blabla desperately wants some of my money.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Toast & Laurel

LOVE this sweet + simple design from Toast & Laurel. As if I needed another reason to add washi tape to my shopping list...

Friday, October 15, 2010

101 in 1001: Favorites!

You've got the full recap, now it's time to share a few of my favorites!

3. Read the entire Bible. Though I didn't get through the whole thing, I've really enjoyed what I've read so far. I feel like I have a more complete understanding of my faith -- and, as a bonus, I'm able to answer more questions on Jeopardy!

8. Pay the toll/bill/tip for someone behind me. J and I did this this past April, and it was so awesome! I was really nervous ahead of time, because I thought the Dunkin' Donuts clerk was going to think I was crazy, but she was just almost as excited about it as we were, and didn't bat an eyelash when we made the request! This is one you can (and should!) try at home, folks.

10. Send one handwritten letter a month for 6 months. What can I say? Now I have a new penpal, and a use for all my accumulated pretty paper things. Hi, Molly!

27. Read 12 classics I've never read before. I will admit, sometimes this one felt a bit like drudgery, but I'm so glad I persevered. Here are the books I read (and yes, I'm aware not all of them are "classics" as some would definite it!):

32. Read all of Emily Post's Etiquette. Yes, I am a nerd. Yes, I am thrilled I can now say I've literally read the book on etiquette.

35. Take a cooking or cake decorating course. I learned to frost and decorate a cake at Sugarland for a photo shoot, and it was so fun! Here I am in action:

Nancy Ray Photography

72. Graduate in May 2009. Scary at the time, but I was definitely ready.

74. Eat ten dishes/foods I've never tried before. J likes to yap about how I have a very narrow palette (I beg to disagree), but it's always good to, as my Dad would say, "broaden your horizons."

82. Go riding at the farm with family. We used to ride all the time when I was younger, and I loved taking a trail ride again with my Dad, sister, and aunt. My legs did hurt the next day, though...

88. See the Martha Stewart Show live. Ahhhh!!! Martha geek freak-out! Anyone who knows me knows this is about the most exciting think that could have happened to me. A-list movie stars? No, thank you, I'll take Martha any day. Here I am outside the studio (do I look excited?!):

89. Be a bridesmaid or maid of honor. Lucky me -- I was a bridesmaid not once but twice! I have to say, this might have been my happiest goal to complete. I was thrilled to help both Katharine and Kate plan their weddings, and to stand beside each of them on their big day. Couldn't have been more different; couldn't have been more awesome. Here are my two lovely ladies and their studly men:

Jenna Cole

A Bryan Photo

92. Go to a hot air balloon festival or on a hot air balloon ride. Another photo shoot lead to an up close and personal encounter with a hot air balloon! It was amazing to watch it inflate and then float off the ground. Just beautiful.

Jose Villa

93. Adopt either a cat or dog. We were lucky enough to adopt two tuxedo kitties last November. They are adorable and we love love love them. Jack and Oliver, meet the blog:

Oops, looks like they're sleeping! (Per usual.)

Which leads me to goal no. 101: begin another 101 in 1001 list. I couldn't have been more happy with this experience, and I'm so excited to take what I've learned from this first go-round and apply it to my next adventures! I'll be starting another 101 list on January 1, 2011. Here are a few of the goals I've dreamt up so far:

--Learn how to French braid my hair
--Reupholster a piece of furniture
--Read biographies of 5 people I admire
--Go tree house camping or glamping
--Buy a sewing machine
--Cheer at a Southern football game (I hear it's big down here...)
--Wear a large hat to the Kentucky Derby

My older sister Kate has already decided she'll be joining me on the first with her own list. Is anyone else interested in starting with us? If there are a few of you out there who are, I'd love to organize some way to encourage each other -- for example, I'd be happy to post a link to everyone's lists in my sidebar!

Let me know what you think in the comment section, and thank you so much for all of your encouragement throughout the last 1001 days! :)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

101 in 1001: Recap, Part III

For our final day of recaps, we have the Experience and Miscellaneous categories! That covers all manner of evils, and some of the most fun goals, I think.

(14/21 -- 67%)

What I completed:
--Cook an Indian dinner for friends and family (September 13, 2009)
--Eat ten dishes/foods I've never tried before (as of June 2009: chickpeas, fish tacos, okra (fried), cauliflower, chocolate pasta, seaweed salad, smoked salmon, fried calamari, dandelion wine, and sauerkraut balls)
--Eat vegetarian for a week (October 19-26, 2009)
--Make a loaf of bread from scratch (January 23, 2010 - thanks, Kate!)
--Pick fruit at a pick-your-own farm and do something with it (May 2010)
--Visit two more states I've never been to (June 2009 - Amish Country, Ohio and Northern Michigan)
--Get a manicure or pedicure (pedicure September 2010)
--Go riding at the farm with family (June 2009)
--Spend a weekend away with J (March 9 - 13, 2009)
--Plant a vegetable garden, even if very small (spring/summer 2010. We planted strawberries, Brandywine tomatoes, bushy cucumbers, red leaf lettuce, dill, parsley, cilantro, and basil -- and all on an apartment balcony! Post coming about our results soon!)
--See the Martha Stewart Show live (January 16, 2008 -- AMAZING.)
--Be a bridesmaid or maid of honor (August 2010 and September 2010)
--Go to a hot air balloon festival or on a hot air balloon ride (May 2010, at a photo shoot!)
--Adopt either a cat or dog (two cats November 2009 - YIPPEE!)

What I did not complete:
--Take a train while going on a trip
--Get a massage
--Take a trip to Martha's Vineyard or Nantucket
--Travel to Europe for at least a week
--See Arcade Fire in concert (again)
--See David Beckham play soccer
--Do at least on Gimme Your Stuff exchange

Miscellaneous (8/8 -- 100%)

What I completed:
--Comment on wedding blogs three times a week for three months (summer 2009)
--Comment on favorite blogs three times a week for three months (summer 2009)
--Subscribe to favorite magazines after graduation
--Frame and hang J's and my photographs as art (August 2009)
--Design business cards and have them printed (designed and printed them myself April 2009)
--Buy a new laptop (received new laptop November 2009)
--Donate $1 to charity for every item on my list not completed (September 2010 -- sponsored a cat at the animal shelter where we volunteer!)
--Create a new 101 in 1001 list (ongoing -- more about this tomorrow!)

I can't wait to show you photos from my some of my favorites tomorrow!! If you're nice, I might even give you a little preview of my next 101...

See the original list here!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

101 in 1001: Recap, Part II

Today's categories are Financial, Health & Recreation, Personal Challenges, and Self-Improvement. Let's see how I did!

Financial (4/6 completed -- 67%)

What I completed:
--Buy something that increases in value (a Victorian, mahogany dining room table)
--Don't eat out for a month
--Keep up with Microsoft Money or a similar system
--Read two financial literacy books a year

What I partially completed:
--Find out my credit score once a year (I only did this once)
--Contribute to IRA annually (I did this two out of three years)

Health & Recreation (7/11 -- 64% completed)

What I completed:
--Compile a list of 25 snack ideas and post on refrigerator
--Don't eat a single fried chicken sandwich in dining hall for a year
--Go to the OB/Gyn
--Take a multivitamin every day for a month. Develop a system.
--Make a list of exercise activities I enjoy and post.
--Take five new people letterboxing
--Place a letterbox

What I partially completed:
--Buy a type of exercise video I've never tried and do it three times a week for three months (I did buy the video, and we did try it a few times...)

What I did not complete:
--Conclusively find out my blood type
--Train for and compete in a 5K road race
--Stretch every morning for two weeks

Personal Challenges (5/6 -- 83% completed)

What I completed:
--Write down and store end-of-life wishes
--Go camping
--Get up at the same time every day for thirty days in a row
--Make a list of things I don't like about myself, and try to fix them
--Make a list of things I wish I was, and try to be them

What I did not complete:

Self Improvement (8/10 -- 80% completed)

What I completed:
--Attempt to white teeth
--Find a excellent foundation, even if expensive
--Buy or receive a tailored suit
--Maintain no less than a 3.9 GPA through graduation
--Be inducted into Phi Beta Kappa
--Graduate summa cum laude
--Graduate in May 2009

What I did not complete:
--Receive a fellowship for summer 2008
--Arrange three informational interviews for senior year

I'll be back with the last batch tomorrow, and then favorites, but, as always, you can view the whole list here!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

101 in 1001: Recap, Part I

I would be rather astonished if any of you noticed, but two weeks ago my first 101 in 1001 project came to an end. I started it on January 1, 2008, and now, almost three years later, it has drawn to a close. It's cliche, but time really does fly! Though I didn't complete all 101 goals, I am proud of what I've done -- and that I had a great time doing it. Since I didn't get to share a lot of my escapades along the way, I thought I'd do a little recap for the next few days. First, I'll share my results, and then I'll do a post about my favorite completed goals and some insight for anyone who's thinking of doing something similar. Let's begin!

(4/6 completed -- 67%)

What I completed:
--Buy a version of the Bible that I actually enjoy reading
--Start and keep a Bible verse journal
--Read two faith-related books a year
--Pledge to home church once a year

What I partially completed:
--Read the entire Bible (I got through 19 of 65 books, but I'm still plugging away and will finish!)

What I did not complete:
--Lead another service at the Island

Kindness (4/5 completed -- 80%)

What I completed:
--Pay the toll/bill/tip for someone behind me
--Stay in good contact with A, W, & C (my bestest friends)
--Send one handwritten letter a month for six months
--Offer my expertise in some substantial way and receive nothing (monetary) in return

What I did not complete:
--Go a whole day without complaining, on five different occasions

Good Stewardship (7/12 completed -- 58%)

What I completed:
--Switch to using only reusable bags at the grocery store
--Ride a bike or scooter as a means of transportation five times
--Buy a Brita water purifier and use it instead of plastic water bottles
--Choose a project on Donors Choose or Kiva and fund it
--Write three letters complimenting excellent service
--Buy handmade or make at least 50% of all gifts for Christmases 2008 and 2009 (For 2008, I did 8/19. For 2009, I did 16/31.)

--Encourage someone to vote in the Presidential Election

What I partially completed:
--Vote in all elections for which I am eligible (moving complicated this, though is not a legitimate excuse).
--Write three letters pointing out poor service

What I did not complete:
--Plant tulips on campus sometime before I graduate
--Work on a Habitat build
--Volunteer at a farm event (my dad's family owns a 300-year-old working farm)

Edification (5/15 completed -- 33%)

What I completed:
--Improve grammar
--Read twelve classics I haven't read before

--Attend every poetry reading on campus in the spring 2008 semester
--Read all of Emily Post's Etiquette (17th Edition)

--Take a cooking or cake decorating course

What I partially completed:
--Do a New York Times crossword once a week for six months (I did 20.)
--Memorize twelve poems (I only memorized one... but it was in Middle English, so perhaps I should get bonus points?!)

What I did not complete:
--Learn a skill that was useful 100 years ago and is useful today
--Learn to play, and memorize, a song on the piano
--Take ballroom dancing lessons
--Learn (or re-learn) basic conversational phrases in French, Spanish, and Italian
--Take a book-making course
--Take a flower arranging course
--Learn calligraphy
--Learn to cross-stitch or quilt and complete a project

Any questions? Feel free to leave them in the comment section! If you'd like to see the list in its original form, you can click right here. I'll be back tomorrow with some more results!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Board No. 77: Rich Fall

{Click to enlarge!}

We had a little hint of fall going there for awhile, but now (at least in NC!) it's back to the mid-80's for the rest of the week. Oh well... true apple cider and pumpkin picking weather will come soon enough, I suppose. Until then, a fall inspiration board to tide you over!

The Details
First row, left to right: photos by Duston Todd via Style Me Pretty

Second row: pie bar via The Knot, apples photo by Sylvie Gil via Style Me Pretty, hay wagon photo by Martha Stewart Weddings

Third row:
dahlia cake by Martha Stewart Weddings, candy apples photo from Martha Stewart Weddings, heart drink stirrers photo by Jill Thomas via Style Me Pretty

Weekend Project: Closet Cleanup

For no apparent reason, I woke up on Saturday morning with an intense urge to clean out our linen closet. Well actually, here's the "before" -- you decide if I had no reason, apparent or otherwise, to have an urge to clean:

Yeah. It was bad. And pretty uncharacteristic for me, but it was definitely one of those spots I just kept shoving things, you know? But on Saturday morning, I had had enough. I started by pulling everything out and piling it on the bathroom floor. This was about the time that J woke up -- poor timing on his part, as I think he thought I had turned cuckoo overnight. No matter -- I forged ahead.

It's really a decent-sized closet with nice built-in shelving, so all I had to do was find a spot for everything. I'm proud to say I didn't buy anything new for this project -- it was simply a matter of organizing, sorting, and repurposing supplies from other parts of the apartment.

Want to see what I came up with? Okay! Ta-da!

Muuuuuch better, wouldn't you say? Let's go shelf by shelf.

Before on the top, we had a nasty snarl of ribbons, jumbled extra boxes, wads of tissue paper, and random do-dads I was saving to decorate a someday present.

Now? A nice, neat bin o' ribbon, and neatly stacked boxes (the smaller ones are inside the larger ones).

Before one step down we had some more boxes, a few beach towels, and a tangle of sheets.

And after, neatly folded beach towels and pillowcases!

Before, towels, placemats, and napkins, oh my!

And after, neatly folded sheets on the left and table accessories on the right.

Next we had a mess of toiletries.

And after, neatly folded towels and toiletries in cute berry baskets.

On the second to last (seriously underutilized) shelf, we had a few random cleaning supplies.

In the after, the toiletries, now neatly organized, took their place.

And finally, on the floor, we had bulk storage.

And now? Well, it looks pretty much the same. :)

Did you tackle any projects this weekend?