Thursday, April 17, 2014

do what you love

song pair: It's a Beautiful Day by Michael Buble

sundays are valuable to me. some sundays i prefer quiet, restful days. other sundays i am inclined to catch up with those i have missed in previous weeks. the best sundays contain a little bit of both.

last sunday began with these smiling faces, lunch al fresco

and continued with a visit to see my Gram. we happened upon the back terrace to find some friends creating bubbles. we gazed in wonderment, watching bubbles big and small tumble through the air. 

i volunteered to give it a try and had beginners luck. i am now in the works of finding a bubble kit for myself.
at any age, bubbles are a marvel. 

the day rounded off with an ice cream cone and a scenic drive. be sure to spend your time wisely. 
make the most of every moment. 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Nellie the Nikon

song pair: Photograph by Nickelback

this week i had some one-on-one camera instruction. it gave me a new appreciation for photography.
it is a whole new language. fascinating. 
the pictures below are a la natural. no editing. the detail and background blur fascinate me. 
i have a long way to go. now it's time for some practice. lucky you. 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

celebrate the path taken

song pair: God Bless the Broken Road by Rascal Flatts

i believe it's important to celebrate. celebrations should not require a reflection of victory. i believe it's equally important to celebrate a traveled journey. struggles and sacrifices are made to complete a path. life does not always give us the outcomes we desire. sometimes life gives us the opposite of what we have asked for. this does not mean we should marinate in the unpleasant or grumble at the misfortune. i choose instead to gather the troops and bond together in reflection of time well spent. i work hard to value the people around me, even during the tough times. we may not have achieved a desired outcome, but we were together. the relationships matter. win or lose, pay attention to who is next to you.  

a few of my hockey girlfriends gathered together last weekend to commemorate the final home game of the 2013-2014 season. the sun was shining all afternoon. the food was plenty. being together was the most important feeling that day. 

and of course these moms are some of my very favorite gal pals.  

i have been promising myself all season to host a 'gamewatch.'. so before the season wrapped, I kept my word and executed that promise.  
it was a casual Spring Fling. lots of light fare and laughter. my house comes alive when friends arrive. laughter fuels my space. there were bunches of tulips in every corner. bright colors and smiling faces. 

each girl took home my ode to our favorite hockey team. 
every season we make a similar commitment to support our guys through thick or thin. 
that pledge is worth recognition and celebration. i wouldn't trade it for the world.    

Sunday, April 13, 2014

dream big!

song pair: Video Kill the Radio Star by Buggles 

a couple weeks ago, i received a call from a local radio station.
a few days later, i was parking and walking through the station's double doors.

it was an enticing hour of my day/month/year/life. it was 60 minutes of dreaming big. 
thinking outside of my normal day. envisioning something great. imagining a new challenge. daydreaming a risk. brainstorming a way to make it come to life. 
i am open to opportunities. i want to live a full life. i welcome new adventures and endeavors. even if this concept does not come to fruition, there will be another one. there will be another spark. another idea to happily amuse my active mind. 

on this day, it was the wish of a therapists radio show.  

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

rock & his friends

song pair: Who Let the Dogs Out by Baha Men

whenever southern gent and i bump into a bulldog, we stop in our tracks. their body types, mannerisms, smooshed-in faces & severe under bites could charm us all day long. they are amazingly lovable creatures. Rock is southern gent's second bulldog, Riggs was his first. his relationship with his dog is the epitome of mans best friend. i believe an english bulldog will always be a staple in our household. as you know, my little side kick is my pug Marty. in my world, pugs and bulldogs are tied as top breed. i have never met a pug i didn't adore. when marty and i arrived in Raleigh, we were both a little lost. we felt a need to carve out our own niche. so i joined a pug meet-up group. other people who love pugs? yes please! i wanted to help Marty meet some little ancestors. for those of you who haven't participated in a meet-up, it's simple...someone develops a group and like-minded people join. the organizer decides on a place to meet, and people show up. they have meet-ups for any interest you can imagine. one day i will tell you about the vegetarian meet-up i joined.

here we were in 2010 @ a pug meet-up.

we have only been to a few, but these meet-ups always make for a nice afternoon. i have not walked away with any lasting connections myself, but i would like to think Marty enjoyed playing with friends his size.

recently i decided to try and locate a bulldog meet-up for Rock. i was unable to find one, so i created my own. if you see a need, fill it! i named it "Rock & His Friends." i have orchestrated three meet-ups. it's not catching on yet, only two actual bulldogs have shown up. but we don't discriminate, we welcome all dogs. Frenchies are some of my favorites. we won't give up on a quest to provide a happy life + cool friends for Rock. here are some recent attendees:

provide a full life for your furry friend.
who knows, you may come back as a dog one day. wouldn't you want to have fun? 

Thursday, April 3, 2014


song pair: Let the Sunshine In by Aquarius 

my hair has not been a top priority for me, until now. i was quite blonde growing up, but my color has deepened and darkened over the years. when i was a 20-something, i sporadically had it highlighted and often there were several inches of darker growth halfway down my scalp. back then it was a tacky, unkept look. in recent years i have gone lighter and lighter, with recurrent trips to a salon chair. when you frequent a salon and have your roots bleached time and time again, the treatment begins to take a toll. after my last visit, a few strands broke off and my hair began to appear damaged and unnatural. i was inspired by one of my favorite bloggers who recently tried the ombre look. darker at the root and increasingly lighter towards the ends. i want to take more risks in my life and be open to creating change. so i did it. my stylist applied the darker roots which also toned down the ends & forged a more natural overall look.

the other facet to my hair was the style. i have stick straight hair that i style the same, day in and day out. i have been noticing lots of beach waves around town...and decided "why not me?" we should give ourselves as much effort as we give the rest of the world. 

so here i was feeling fresh, revived & curled last weekend: 

for at-home styling: i started with sea salt spray while my hair was still damp. blew it dry as usual. when my hair was completely dry, i plugged in the Revlon 3-barrel Jumbo Waver and began to 'crimp' in the curls. i finished with the Bed Head After Party for silky shine. i am offically a fan of my own hair. wow. the girl who sold me the apparatus at Ulta said it so well, "when it comes to beach curls, imperfect is perfect." let's all apply that to our lives. imperfect is perfect. a brilliant philosophy. 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

i cooked a snack

song pair: Faster by Matt Nathanson

i am going to reveal a little bit about myself for a moment. i like products. i am a hungry consumer. i am also the kind of buyer the media knows how to captivate. i am especially prone to a favorite hollywood star promoting a product. if Gwyneth curates a collection of recipes, I am probably interested in it. If SJP were to develop a shoe line, I will definitely fund a pair. if Cameron Diaz writes a book, I am likely intrigued. if Julianne Hough mentions a smoothie recipe she loves, you may find me googling the book.
so when i was reading a recent subscription of Self Magazine and Jennifer Aniston dished about her health and beauty secrets, I tuned right in. The first question was about a favorite food. She briefly mentions frying strips of tortillas in coconut oil to make tortilla chips.
so guess how i spent my evening:

it was a solo night for me. so the only reviews come from me and the dogs. They each sampled a chip a.k.a. they inhaled it. (they inhale anything and everything, so we can't trust them completely). the good news is, i was very impressed and inhaled my chips too. i give this recommendation a huge thumbs up. light, crispy and unprocessed. 

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