May 28, 2009


This post on decor8 needs to be framed and hung on my wall (or around my neck so I don't forget it). Do yourself a favor and read it — you don't have to be a freelancer (like the author, Holly, is) to understand the need for work/life balance and taking time out for what's important. Let me know if you find yourself nodding along to her thoughts.

photo via Decor8

DrikaB bags

It's kind of funny how much I talk about bags on this blog considering that I rarely buy them. (I guess when it comes to bags and shoes, we girls are always dreaming.) Recently in the blogosphere I have seen the gorgeous creations of DrikaB on Etsy and after drooling over her bags, I just couldn't help myself any longer... I actually bought one!

I originally wanted this one:

But after hemming and hawing over if I really wanted it, it was already gone when I went to buy it last night :-( I also REALLY loved the larger weekender bag in the same pattern:

... but couldn't justify the pricetag. HOWEVER, today I checked the shop again and found that DrikaB is having a sale! All weekender bags and pouches are 20% off plus free shipping today (May 28). That means the $99 weekender bag was reduced to $79 with free shipping — about as much as the basic tote would have cost with shipping!

I feel like this is a small victory and a nice treat for myself after finalizing a few Etsy sales of my own this month. I can't wait to take this bag to Austin for the HOW Design Conference next month. I'll be stylin' on the plane, that's fo' sho'.

If you love DrikaB's work as much as I do, check out the Shop Live sale hosted by Heart Handmade going on tonight at 7:00 for just 30 minutes for more amazing deals.

spaghetti and meatballs (on a cupcake!)

While perusing Facebook last night, I saw some photos from a college friend's birthday party. I stopped dead in my tracks when I saw the AMAZING "spaghetti and meatball" cupcakes that his girlfriend made for him.

Photo and recipe found on

After a little Googling I found that this adorable idea comes from the book Hello, Cupcake! which I'm prettttttty sure I need to have. I mean, come on — I AM Mrs. Cupcake!

The "spaghetti" is piped icing; the "meatballs" are Ferrero Rocher candies; the "sauce" (or gravy, if that's your thing) is raspberry or strawberry jam; and the "parmesan cheese" is grated white chocolate. has it pegged as an April Fool's Day recipe, but I think these would be adorable anytime. Maybe dessert following a yummy Italian meal?

May 27, 2009

are you an unclutterer?

I love this post from Unclutterer. It's a nice reminder that not all clutter is physical "stuff" (although the physical "stuff" is definitely my biggest clutter hurdle). Go ahead... read it... I'll wait.

I always say that I am an organized person stuck inside a disorganized person's body... I am such a slob/lazy bum by nature in many ways, but I have become such an OCD nut in other ways. I ALWAYS had a messy room when I was younger, and I still acquire piles of randomness throughout our apartment pretty often; yet, I can't function at work until everything on my desk is organized and in its place, my web browser has the necessary tabs open (different Basecamp tabs for our different companies), I have read every new email in my inbox, and I have a nice to-do list set up for my day. It's almost like all of my organizational tendencies go into my work and there's none leftover for the rest of my life. (I'm weird... I know.)

These days, I'm trying to pinpoint what aspects of my life have too much clutter and I'm striving to rid the rest of my life (and our space) of clutter; I definitely feel a lot calmer and happier when there is less clutter surrounding me. It would also be great if when we're ready to move into a house, we can pack up everything in our apartment knowing that it's actually useful to us because we've already weeded out the junk. That's the goal, at least... we'll see how it goes!

What are your clutter habits?

perfect piano

I always wanted to play the piano when I was younger... but alas, we had no piano in our home so that would have made it a bit difficult to learn how to play and practice. Instead, I was stuck with the stupid clarinet that I inherited from my older brother after he gave it up (but I'm not bitter... really). Blech, I still get the heebie-jeebies when I think of sucking on that gross reed. Eww. I lasted about two years before I quit that damn instrument like a bad habit.

Anyway, when we have a house and kids, I would really love to have a piano. I want to encourage our kids to learn how to play it and I would love to hear it singing in another room while I'm working/attempting to cook/pretending to clean. This post on Design Mom totally inspired me when I came across it... I love that she took a sort of beat up piano that wasn't worth restoring but was still playable, and made it into a pretty and quirky addition to her home. It has so much charm in this bold kelly green color and I am now dying for my own kelly green piano :-)

Do you have a piano? Do you actually play it or is it more of a decoration in your home?

May 26, 2009

nice to meet you.

I write this blog because I love to write, share fun and interesting findings from the interwebs, share personal experiences as I attempt to become a "grown-up," and I enjoy the blogging community that has come to inspire me on a daily basis. I write this blog for me, but ultimately — I'm not going to lie — it's really nice to get comments, see new followers, and see some jumps in visits in my Google Analytics and Feedburner.

I'm constantly surprised by the posts that get lots of comments, and the posts that get zero comments. I know that my posts are a conglomeration of lots of topics, events, and interests, but I think that keeps things interesting. Ultimately, I'm going to write about whatever inspires me or whatever is going on in my life on any given day... but I'm still interested in getting some feedback from you to maybe help to guide me. Tell me:
  • who are you, what do you do for a living and where are you from?
  • how did you find my blog?
  • what type of my posts interest you the most?
  • what type of my posts interest you the least?
  • what would make this blog more interesting to you?

forgotten tune: "I Would Do Anything for Love"

Nearing home after a Memorial Day weekend visiting my in-laws, we were growing weary of aggressive and stupid drivers and just ready to be home already. We decided to get some fresh air and roll the windows down/open the sunroof. Moments later, we were treated to a serious forgotten tune... the guiltiest of guilty pleasures, "I Would Do Anything for Love" by Meatloaf. I'm sure Nick was thrilled that I knew every. single. word. and couldn't NOT crank up the volume and belt it out. I think I caught him singing along a few times, too.

Meatloaf - Anything for Love (But I Wont Do That) -

Go ahead. Just try not to sing along. It's impossible, I assure you.

My favorite ridiculous line? "Will you hose me down with holy water if I get too hot?"

HAA! So hysterical. Love it.

jon and kate...

Do you watch Jon and Kate Plus Eight? I do... and I was really saddened by last night's episode. It seems like they have thrown in the towel and given up already. Jon, especially, speaks as if they are already done. I don't think I was expecting it to all be so blunt.

Kate is certainly not the easiest person to deal with, I'm sure... but most of the time I give her the benefit of the doubt (although maybe that's a flaw of mine). I feel like if I had eight kids, I'd probably lose my mind fairly often and get a bit snippy, too. I don't know if the fame factor has had more to do with their problems or if it's the fact that they have eight kids and essentially no privacy or normalcy in their lives, but I don't think I blame them for doing the series. If I had eight kids and made a meager salary, lived in a fairly small house, and didn't have a ton of options for financial stability, I'd probably consider the opportunity if it meant being able to buy a more comfortable home and eventually send all eight kids to college someday. But I'm sure they never expected how things would unfold over the years, and I wonder if they regret it all now.

What say you?

May 25, 2009


My maternal grandfather was in the Navy during WWII. My mom speaks with such pride about her father and his time in the service and I am sad that I was never lucky enough to know him or my grandmother.

My grandparents on their wedding day in the 1940s

I have thought about them often over the years, wondering what they were like and what our relationship would be like if they were still around, but I think about my grandfather especially frequently on Memorial Day and Veterans Day. My uncle (my mom's brother-in-law) told me recently that my grandfather was, hands down, the nicest, most generous, most giving man he has ever known. It made him (and me) a little misty when he was talking about him. I have no doubt that he was a man who would have done anything for anyone, including his country and his fellow Americans.

Thank you to all of the fine men and women who served and continue to serve our country today. I am humbled to think that anyone could ever be so selfless and brave. Thank you.

May 23, 2009

bag love

I have a $30 DSW rewards certificate burning a hole in my pocket, and I love this bag... I wish it weren't sold out in gray with the adorable purple lining and perfect button detail. Hmph. I really don't need to spend "real" money on another bag if this beauty is for sale somewhere else, but it would be nice if my "free" money could buy me this! It would be a perfect bag come fall.

May 22, 2009

thank goodness...

The greatest reality talent competition in the history of the world is finally back. So You Think You Can Dance, oh how I have missed you!

Nothing beats the raw passion that these dancers have for their craft... it always makes me want to go back to dance class and bust a move. Auditions began airing on last night's premiere and I can't wait to find out who the top 20 dancers are. If last night is any indication, the competition is going to be fierce. And I still think Cat Deeley is the most spectacular, likable and genuine host on television.

The only complaint I've ever had about this show is that it's a summer show... meaning only 1/4 of my year is graced with it's presence and the other 9 months are spent awaiting the next season. Well, it looks like Fox has finally gotten their act together and realized that it's nearly impossible for us superfans to wait 9 months between seasons... after this summer's fifth season, a sixth season will soon follow in the fall! VICTORY!

Any other SYTYCD fans out there? If you don't watch — what's holding you back? (Rather, how can I convince you? :-)

clever clipboards

I'm loving this simple solution for displaying a hodge podge of items on your wall while still presenting it in a somewhat organized fashion...

from Rachel Denbow, found via Decor8

It would be so simple to continually adjust and reinvent a wall (without creating more holes in it!). I'm filing this one away for safekeeping...

May 21, 2009

i know i already talked about "glee"....

...but how awesome is it that two of the songs from Tuesday's pilot episode are topping the iTunes charts? "Don't Stop Believin'" is number 1 (!!) and "Rehab" is 31.

I love it. I think I'll drop $1.98 and buy both.

inspired goodness... better than ever

Have you all checked out my sister-in-law's amazing new blog design? I was impressed with her TypePad layout before, but now... well, hello Squarespace!

I love how seamlessly her website now goes hand-in-hand with the blog and the design is stunning. I don't think I've ever seen anything like it. Be sure to check it out, yo!

I'm so proud of my 'sis and am so thrilled to watch the success of Inspired Goodness continue to grow!

feeling gleeful

Did anyone catch Glee on Fox this Tuesday night? It was incredible! I am sure I enjoyed it because I'm a musical theatre nerd, but I think anyone would be a fan of the humor and heart in this show. Plus the music is nothing short of spectacular.

I have never seen Nip/Tuck or Popular, but apparently the same guy who created those shows also created Glee. So far I love every single character, particularly Matthew Morrison as teacher and glee club coach Mr. Schuester, Jayma Mays as Emma Pillsbury (I liked her as Charlie on Heroes), and Lea Michele as goody-two-shoes Rachel Berry (her character reminds me so much of Reese Witherspoon in Election, yet much more likeable.... and looks-wise she reminds me so much of Idina Menzel of Rent and Wicked fame).

The only problem is that Tuesday's pilot episode was just a teaser and the show won't be back until September! Hopefully once it's back it will have some staying power, because I am already smitten with this show.

If you haven't seen it, you should definitely check out the full pilot episode on HULU.

May 20, 2009

happy birthday, cake wrecks

One of my favorite blogs, Cake Wrecks, turned one today. Happy birthday, CW! Thanks for making me laugh out loud every single day (sometimes so much so that I'm in tears) with your witty banter about icing-y typos and poor grammar, hysterical "stories" of why the "wreckerator" used so many "extraneous" quotes, and, of course, amazing photos of some truly wrecky cake wrecks.

All photos from Cake Wrecks

If you have never visited Cake Wrecks, do it. Do it NOW. You can thank me later.

free range kids

I am definitely not ready for kids yet (aren't I still a kid myself??)... but when we DO decide to have some little mini Brookes and Nicks, I think this book is something I'd like to read: Free-Range Kids: Giving Our Children the Freedom We Had Without Going Nuts with Worry by Lenore Skenazy.

I came across this book thanks to my friend Rachel and it looks like an interesting peek into the world of "helicopter parenting" and the safety of kids today. It begs the argument that perhaps the world isn't any less safe for kids now than it was when we were kids, despite the fear that is ingrained into us all through the media. Maybe letting our kids take some chances, explore things on their own and make some mistakes is actually a positive thing.

I wasn't a particularly dare-devilish kind of kid (on the contrary, I was actually scared of doing anything "wrong" so I pretty much never got into trouble or took risks), but I think my parents gave me the freedom to figure things out on my own. I guess I just decided on my own not to be a risk-taker... so, in turn, I'm sure my future children will be constant trouble-makers ;-)

I know it will be hard not to want to watch my kids' every move when I'm a mom (I'm a major control freak, remember?), but ultimately I'll have to just keep reminding myself that giving them the freedom to make some mistakes will only foster better street smarts and decision-making skills later in life. I know too many people whose parents hovered over their every move when they were kids and I see how difficult it is for them to now make even the simplest decisions on their own. I'll admit: I'm sure I'm not going to be entirely laid back as a parent or take this free-range method to the extreme, but it will be a nice reminder to lighten up a bit when I want to follow my kids everywhere they go.

Are you/will you try to be a "free range" parent? Or do you think there are disadvantages to this style of parenting in today's world?

Check out Lenore Skenazy's blog if you're interested in learning more about "Free Range" parenting.

wallpaper makeover

I can't stop thinking about these ridiculously awesome wallpaper designs. Must find excuse to buy at least one of these. Pronto.

Honey, we're going to have to buy a house soon so I can spruce up some walls with these lovelies!

May 19, 2009

dreamy office

I dream of someday having a home office/art studio/inspiration space as organized as this one.

from capture the moment, found via Lucky Me!

What does your dream office or studio look like?

May 17, 2009

windy, indeed

Sorry for the lack of posting lately... Nick and I took a somewhat last-minute trip to Chicago last week! We found a great deal and decided to keep up with our annual May excursions (last year we went to Boston for a game at Fenway and to see the city; the year before that, we visited my relatives in New Orleans and went to JazzFest). Overall, we had a great time in the Windy City! Here are a few highlights:

Deep dish pizza (at both Gino's East, shown below, and Lou Malnati's, our favorite of the two)...
Spending time with an old friend...Gorgeous tulips all over the city...
A Cubs game at Wrigley Field...
Seeing some amazing works of art at the Art Institute of Chicago...
Fun with the bean...
A cool exhibit of works inspired by or designed for the Obama 2008 Presidential Campaign...
Yummy food and good company (with two Chicago bees) at Carnivale...
A clear day's view from the 99th floor of the Sears Tower...
And fun with the fun house mirrors at Navy Pier.
I'm glad to be able to check #93 off my list! #94 will have to wait as Oprah was finished taping her season by the time we got into town, but that will just give me another excuse to get back to the Windy City another time soon.