Friday, May 30, 2014


 Why don't they sell books on the street anymore? :)

The hot news around here is that I got a twitter account Wednesday. Would you like to be my followers? (That just sounds so weird.) To check it out, click here or on the cute little bird to the right under "keep in touch."

I hope you're about to embark on a life altering weekend! Here are some fun things to peruse:

-Great quote:

-Only 1 out of 10 people can pronounce this entire poem, or so they say. It's Chaos by Dutchman Gerard Nolst Trenite and you should read it out loud. I used to teach English, and this poem speaks to me. (it's funny)

-Ideas for staying active and getting exercise when you're on the road.

-I love this t-shirt designed by MadeByGirl! It's French for "She is Strong." You can get one here.

-10 inspiring (hole-in-the-wall) bookshops around the world. I want to visit them all!!!

-My new favorite chocolate. It's amazing! I love any combo of chocolate and mint.

-Blue Cheese Mac & Cheese by How Sweet It Is...dang.

-I love this anthropologie jacket worn by Sally from A Piece of Toast. Alas, it's out of stock. Here are a few other options: Loft; Piperlime; French Connection

-I long to go back to Napa Valley! Someday...


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The Help :: My Review

"You is kind. You is smart. You is important."

I'm writing about reading today! One of my most favorite things. I'm crazy about it. Expect to read about more of it here. Today, it's about a book that's a new favorite. Without further ado...

On the way down to Alabama a few weeks ago, I began reading The Help. I never saw the movie when it came out because I was wanting to read the book first. But then, I accidentally watched the last 10 mins on tv without realizing they were the last 10 mins (darnit), so I had to hurry and read it. Before hitting the road, I finally grabbed a copy from the library and couldn't put it down!

If you don't know the story, it's about a young white woman in the mid-60s in Jackson, Mississippi who decides to write a book of testimonies given by the black maids that work for her friends. In the process of doing this, all of her friends turn against her and she becomes very close to the women she's writing about. The author, Kathryn Stockett did an amazing job of telling the story from the perspectives of three different women. Each one has their own unique voice, style and sense of humor.The main characters really draw you in because, even though they are often in life-threatening situations given the racial tension of the time, they're also women taking care of homes, children, dying parents and each other, which makes them very relatable.

There are a few elements I found uncomfortable/gross to read about as well as some colorful words, but if that doesn't bother you, you'll really enjoy this one. The strength of the women in The Help is inspiring and the fact that the world they lived in was real is devastating. Overall, it's centered on doing the right thing even when no one else will and protecting other human beings. It's a book that makes us ponder something good, which is what all the best books do. :)

Have you read it? What'd you think?


Monday, May 26, 2014

Happy Memorial Day

Wishing everyone a wonderful, relaxing Memorial Day! I'm working in the yard and eating ribs. Even if you do nothing else to actively "remember" or thank someone in uniform today, watch this video. You may have heard the speech before, but it's worth listening to again. President Reagan makes me tear up...

Thursday, May 22, 2014

My Niche

It's amazing how just clicking on my blog and staring at the page makes me feel like I'm in my happy place. I enjoy writing it a lot. For a while now, though, I have struggled to figure out what exactly I should be writing. Even though, I've been blogging for a year, I still don't think I've found my niche. While trying to find it:

-I have tried to be like other blogs, studying them and making tons of comparisons. I've drawn inspiration from the more successful ones and viewed them as competition, attempting to speak in a voice that makes it sound like I actually have tens of thousands of readers a week. I don't have hundreds of readers a week...

-In order to write what I think people want to read, I have done things I'm just not interested in or good at... like cooking and photographing at the same time. I don't know how food bloggers do it! How is that even safe? The truth is people only want to read things like that when the blogger knows what they're doing...

-I have not wanted to share things that I'm learning professionally. I'm fairly new to business and I'm fairly new to design. I'm learning a lot. And while it might be beneficial for others to hear about the things I've gone through, I've been concerned that it would lower my credibility with my customers for them to know how "new" I am. But of course, everyone knows how new I am just by looking carefully at my Etsy shop and blog archive...

The fact is, I'm at the point where the only thing left to do is what I should have done to begin with: focus on being real. No blog post should feel contrived, and while I may not connect with everybody, what will connect with most people is someone being genuine and original. For me, that means writing about what I'm learning in my business (the reason I started the blog in the first place) and what I'm learning spiritually; my interests, inspirations and the things I know. The people who have similar interests and focuses will stick around. Everyone else will find a different blog to read.

Hopefully, with this mindset, future content will be more fun to read and more fun for me to put out! Sorry it took a year for me to realize it. :)


Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Green Olive Designs

I'm writing about a special local artist this afternoon. :) I've mentioned my friend Abby before, but I don't think I've ever blogged about her amazing talent! She's always excelled at most art mediums, including painting and sculpting, but she just recently opened an Etsy shop to sell handmade gifts. Green Olive Designs is stocked with woodburned gourd ornaments and earring trees. Yes, handmade earring trees. Very well-made, metal earring holders that are shaped like actual trees. For Christmas a couple of years ago, she made the banana tree in the picture above for me. Many of the earrings I sell are hanging on it.

Here are a couple of her ornaments, as well...

These make beautiful gifts and the detail will blow you away. If you don't see the design you're looking for, she does custom work, as well. :)

Oh, and today just happens to be her birthday! Happy Birthday, Ab!


Friday, May 9, 2014


The weekend's here! Yippee! Honestly, sometimes I feel like my weekends just get absorbed by the weekdays' leftovers. Do you know what I mean? This weekend, I'm working to get ahead of schedule with blog posts and doing some work on jewelry pieces for friends. I'll probably be outside some of the time, too. From when I got home Saturday to today, the leaves outside my window have completely unfurled. It's so green and lush out there! Aaaahhh! I love it!

-This blog post conjured up a memory for me...sitting in Joe Muggs with my family at our local Books-A-Million when I was between the ages of 6 & 10, drinking something tasty, and reading (I can still picture it very vividly). We would go on a fairly regular basis and each time, my sister and I would try a different flavor of their Italian sodas, and they were SO good!

-Having just finished Wuthering Heights, I get where these period reviews are coming from. I still haven't figured out how I feel about that book, but these people made me nod and laugh.

-What I love about this living room is that most of the color is in the things that are alive. Without them it wouldn't look nearly as vibrant and pretty. I believe in lots of indoor plants. Plus, you can constantly play with color by getting new plants and flowers!


-I've been telling myself about sleep deprivation for years now! Maybe after reading this article by Dr. Czeisler, my self will finally listen!

-This post about New York City etiquette tips from Cup of Jo made me chuckle. :)

-A sweet message from Casey Leigh Weigand about being a mommy. Happy Mother's Day, by the way!

-I stumbled across this artist who has a series of paintings called "Sing That Movie!" This is just a small sampling, the rest are here. I thought they were cute!

-I know y'all are probably tired of Frozen by now, but friends of mine showed me this a couple of weeks ago, and I laughed more than I have in a while, so I'm sharing...very cute!


Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Spring Photos

The day after I got home from Alabama, I got out in my yard and took a few pictures of the beautiful blossoms on the trees. I AM working on this photography thing, y'all. It's not one of my passions, but I'm excited to learn more about it. Who knows, maybe it will become my new favorite thing once I know what I'm doing. :) What do you think of these?

I love spring...


Monday, May 5, 2014

I'm Back!

It's so nice to be home! I always feel brand new when I walk into my house after being gone for a while. It feels like a lot has changed and I am a totally different person. Does anyone else sense that after a trip?

Alabama was really lovely and warm. Spring is almost a thing of the past down there of course. My parents and sister and I arrived just in time to see the last of the azaleas. We spent most of our time with my grandmother and cousins out in the country. The rest of the visit was spent with my father's siblings and then a short trip to Tampa to visit another aunt. It was a great visit and I'm very thankful for the time with so many family members. I forgot to bring a camera, though! That's the one thing about blogging that I feel really insufficient about, y'all...I constantly neglect taking photos. There are a few phone pics, though. I'll have to see if I can find any decent ones to share with you.

Love to my family down south. I miss you lots! And a big thank you to the dear friends who watched the house and diabetic cat while we were gone. :)

Oh, and yesterday was Audrey Hepburn's birthday. :) Would you like to celebrate with a piece of jewelry from my Audrey collection?

Have a great night!