Thursday, November 28, 2013

Counting Blessings

"When I started counting my blessings, 
my whole life turned around."
~ Willie Nelson

Words to live by.
 May I remember to count mine everyday. 

Wishing all the best to you and yours.
Have a wonderful holiday filled with family and friends!


Wednesday, November 27, 2013


The highways and air are filled with travelers going near and far 
to their destinations with friends and family.
I am blessed to not have to venture much to be with those most dear to me during the holidays.

In college, I had the desire to have a fresh start in a new city.
My job, however, brought me back home. It has been the biggest blessing.
And my desire to one day raise my family in my hometown grows stronger each year. The desire to roam still exists, but it is always coupled with the knowledge of the greater desire to stay.

For my roots are planted in the same soil my grandparents tilled.

Where I come from: 

Family comes first.

Laughter is a daily exercise.

It does not feel right until everyone is home.

There is no shame in saying, "sorry."

Holidays are spent with family.

Gentlemen hold doors for ladies.

The dishes sit until the dinner conversation is over.

Dinner can last a couple hours.

Please and thank you are still part of the vocabulary.

Movie quotes are used in normal conversation.

Fortune cookie fortunes are always read out loud and often saved.

Pajamas are not seen outside of home.

Shopping trips are followed by fashion shows.

Breakfast food is served for dinner.

Christmas is not about the presents, but presents are our love language.

Gag gifts may cost more than the 'real' gift.

Wrapping paper is re-used.

Meals always start with a prayer.

Kitchens are for cooking, singing, and dancing.

Musicals are re-enacted/created impromptu.

Books are read out loud.

Books are in every room of the house.

Leaving before the party is over does not feel right.

Faith is not just for Sunday.

Children are a blessing.

Doing what is right is not always easy, but applauded.

There is not a day without the words, "I love you."

There's no place like home. 

This post was partially inspired by Jenni's here.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Perfect Red Dress

'Tis the season for red attire to suddenly appear. Whether red is in or out it is sure to be found everywhere specifically for holiday parties. 
Red is my favorite color and yet, there is not much of it in my closet. You see, I love red so much that I have high expectations of anything and everything that dons my dear crimson. Each year the coming of the holiday colors is joined with my search for the perfect red (insert item of desire here).

For years I searched for the perfect red dress. 
My search often ended in complete frustration. I felt like stores took frumpy, weird, scanty, or ho-hum dresses and made them in red because someone just might buy it simply because of the color. I was not so easily convinced. I should note I did indeed find several nice dresses, but there was always something off that they were not the dress.

Then with the dawn of multiple weddings and online bridesmaid dress shopping, I found what I thought was the dress at David's Bridal. Unfortunately it seemed a bit fancier than needed for my dressier occasions and out of my price range. I pinned for it and a good friend solemnly swore that when she got married I could wear it to her wedding. A year went by and happily engaged she did not forget her promise and reminded me of my obligation to wear the red dress to her wedding (what a true friend). While her sister tried on bridesmaid dresses, 
I found my red dress.

 The right shade.
A classic timeless style. 

Fancy enough for a special occassion, but not too fancy for a special date.
Danceable and comfortable or all night.

 And most importantly, it made me feel pretty and smile.
The perfect red dress.
Displaying photo.JPG
Towering height brought to you by ridiculous heels and barefeet. I'm actually half an inch shorter.
On to the perfect red sweater!
Any suggestions?

Friday, November 22, 2013

Bold and Restless

Last week Megan posted this quote:

"In order to write we must have an awareness of who we are--and who we aren't. If you don't know either, writing can help teach it.

Know that writing is born from the ache of contraries, polarities in search of peace, of unity. But not the unity of making mush. You want to live in the country. Your husband is an urban boy. You compromise and both live in the suburbs. What a squash of desire and energy.

Can you instead hold the tension until something fresh and howling results? You must find your way to this when you write.

What bold restless extremes do you carry inside?"

This struck me. It expresses, in a different way, a view of writing about which I feel strongly.

Writing is a form of art. Through art truth is conveyed or the process of exploring and discovering truth is documented. Without the aim of sharing truth, writing can be “making mush” or a noise adding to an unintelligible din.

The most poignant of pieces are those that express a truth of human experience or thought that is timeless. A written piece does not have to encapsulate the entire truth of the world, but it holds at least a tiny aspect of truth. Sometimes it is only the simple truth that someone else out there in feels the same way as I do about a facet of the world.

It makes me wonder if this sharing and discovering of another or the greater picture may just be what puts those restless extremes to rest.

Some more of mine:

The worst environment for writing is one that is quiet enough you can hear every solitary conversation or sound clearly. The best environment is one of silence or enough noise that the sounds blend together into the background; both following several repeats of my writing songs.

Mr. Knightley is the best of Jane Austen's heroes.

Cranky typically equals hungry, tired, overwhelmed, or all of the above.

A pop of red makes everything better.

More than anything I want to be a wife and mother 
and to turn a house into a home.

Human love is a reflection of an even greater love. 
Despite how undeserving I feel, I am lovable. God loves me.

I have a burning desire to do something big and make a difference. Sometimes the big thing is to simply live and see the extraordinary in the ordinary.

What are some of yours?

Have a wonderful weekend!


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Five Favorites Volume 16

Lots of links for you today!
I have come across a good many of great posts this week that tug on my heart to be shared. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.
I will warn you, the first three of these had me on the verge or in a puddle of tears.
They longed for children—flesh of their flesh, blood of their blood—
but in this one area they were thwarted.
It was the only thorn in their otherwise perfect union.
My sister shared this piece with me. Such a beautiful story. It is almost hard to believe it isn't fiction.
I could only focus on the sorrow, the injustice, the pain...
I look back on the days surrounding his death and funeral and can finally see some of that beauty.

Bon's post on the beauty she can now see from her father's death is touching. My heart goes out to her and her family. I can only imagine what this would be like.
The real romantics are the boring ones —
they let another heart bore a hole deep into theirs.
I kind of like boring in this context, because boring isn't boring at all, but absolutely interesting.
“Your net worth to the world is usually determined by what remains
after your bad habits are subtracted from your good ones.”
-Benjamin Franklin
I'm contemplating doing this...once I narrow down my list to a couple habits instead of the whole page. Making unreasonable lists-add that to the list, oh bother.
"I felt like I was in a movie or something.  The whole thing felt so surreal."
My friend, Emily, published her birth story this week!
 It was fun to read and connect the dots of the various updates I received and of course, the baby! Little Simon is adorable.
Hallie's five favorites this week are great. So make sure you check out our hostess!
The kissing one-words cannot describe.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Monday Smiles Volume 14

It has been a good while since I have posted one of these.

I am happy to report, however, that overall Mondays have not been as much as a challenge (of course there are Mondays that are, well, Mondays). 
What has been the challenge is finding something that seemed substantial enough to post; I was creating more work than necessary, striving for perfection. This series was intended to be the exact opposite:
something simple that made me smile.

Let us get back to that idea, shall we?

Sometimes we overlook how much we have to be grateful for and how our grass is just as green as the other side. We can get so busy that we do not see what is right in front of us and when we do have a moment to pause and take a step back we can see the simple joys of every day life. 

Nature is one of those joys that I relish in, 
when I give myself the time to take it all in. 
Today, nature came to me instead.

At first it is hard to see...


Get a little closer and it is clearer...

Then you just stand in awe.

It is like a beautiful painting, made just for me.

Have a wonderful Monday, friends!
Because the ultimate cure for the Monday blues is 
something that will make you smile and grateful for what you have.  
These things make me smile and hopefully they will make you smile too.
What makes you smile today?


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Five Favorites Volume 15

This week ten bloggers (her, her and her to name a few) are giving away a basket full of a few of their favorite things. I love the idea. Not only does it send a smile to a friend, but it is something more personal that shares a part of yourself. These inspired me to ponder what I would put in such a basket. What are a few of my favorite things that I would want to share? So here are five of my favorite things for an imaginary giveaway to bring a smile to someone's day.


undefined - Lips - L'Oreal Paris

Chapsticks and lip balms are a staple in my routine, because my lips tend to be dry and chap easily. Not only does L'Oreal Colour Riche Balm moisturize, but it adds a hint of color and shine to enhance or (more often than not in my case) replace lipstick and gloss. Heavenly Berry is in my bag at the moment.


A pretty notebook begs to come home, sit on a coffee table or nightstand, and hold wonderings, daily happenings, and lists upon lists. It also mandates the purchase of a lovely little helpmate to do the writing.



There is nothing as satisfying as a piping hot cup of tea. It warms you to your soul. As the temperature outside drops, I find myself pinning for Harney & Sons Holiday Tea. It is one of my favorite sites at Barnes and Noble during the holidays.


November -- Anemone

For as long as I can remember my mother has had Ling Chang's calendars on the phone desk. Getting to change the calendar from one month to the next was a thrill and coveted honor. In fact, one of the most exciting things about going off to college and every Christmas after is receiving your very own calendar to grace your home or office. In addition to the sentimental value, the flowers add a pop of color to brighten the day.


Simple, delicate, modern, and classic: Shine On Earrings from lia sophia

 These earrings are simple and daring, classic and modern, casual and dressy all at once. I love earrings, especially dangles, and the more versatile the better. I could see getting away with just these earrings for a weekend trip and being prepared for most occassions. Not to mention they are shiny and gold.

Linking up with the lovely Hallie, of course.


Friday, November 8, 2013

7 Quick Takes or Snapshots Volume 19

Linking up with Jen for the highlights of the past few weeks.


It wasn't even Halloween when talk turned to Christmas and I received a surprise visit at my lia sophia booth during a joint home show, wine tasting, and fundraiser.


Two dance competitions within three weeks and flanking my department's biggest event of the year may be something I rethink in the future. The weekends were filled to the brim of a delightful mix of stress and fun. Fortunately there were good friends along for the ride.


One weekend included my first trip to Six Flags on which we only rode one, yes one, roller coaster. Long story short, going in October does not make the lines shorter. Superman was pretty cool...I was a little too scared to even scream.


Halloween flew by fast. I am a little disappointed that I did not get a chance to be creative and come up with a costume. The only seasonal dressy up I did was on my nails.


Halloween is not complete without pumpkin carving alongside a little Saint, Tinkerbell, Matador and Bull. The pumpkins looked fantastic! I am a little partial to my pumpk-guin.


I got the chance to visit with two dear friends of mine from college last weekend. One I had not seen in five years! It was so nice to catch up and feel like nothing really had changed.

Oh, college girls...

If you have not checked out this photo documentary of the photographer's wife and her journey with breast cancer, then do! It is stunningly beautiful. 
It really hit home having a friend battling cancer right now and watching her document her journey on facebook.

Have a wonderful weekend!


Thursday, November 7, 2013


Sometimes you need a break.
You have to step back and look at life through new eyes or at least you need a little extra care to get through life. This unplanned absence from the blog has been good for both. It feels even better to bring that break to a close, to start fresh, to make a new plan, to complete started projects, to write, and to dream.
Fittingly enough, I learned today about NaBloPoMo. BlogHer is celebrating National Blog Post Month by promoting bloggers far and wide to, 
"type your heart out!"

NaBloPoMo Prompts
While I am a little late to meet the blog post everyday challenge, I am inspired to challenge myself and to post as much as I can. The many handwritten drafts filling the pages of my various notebooks sound like a good start, don't you?
P.S. Thank you, Lindsay for sharing NaBloPoMo with me. 
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