and away i go...again.

so, i'm leaving for california for a week and a half.  i'll be there for work (i work for a company that produces conferences) and will have limited access to my computer.  i won't have the time, or (to be completely honest) the energy to blog as often as i am now...although, that' not saying a lot.

that being said, my plan is to try and sum up each day of my workation with a photo.  just one- maybe two, of the days activities.  just don't be surprised if all you get is a picture of a pillow.  after a long, long day, that pillow will be the image of pure bliss.  i am bringing the camera obviously, and maybe i'll surprise you with some pics of what i do for a living.  even a. doesn't understand exactly what i do.

at the end of the conference i opted to tag on a few days for a much needed family visit in san diego.  i'll have some of my friends with me and while hanging with the fam, will show them around my old stomping grounds.  i always get a kick out of showing friends my roots.  after all, these are my people and this is my town.

enjoy the pics and enjoy your week.  i'll be sure to check in as often as possible.


twelve things.

1. lovin' boden's outfit maker.  and pretending i own everything.
2. really looking to get into the world of juicing.  but i think i need this first.
3. it's time to get back into the swim routine.  think a new cap would help.
4. tea towels. so cute.
5. mumford & sons. love them.
6. toms.  i would love a pair- this pair to be exact.
7. diggin' this song:

8. looking forward to a loaf of honey white bread by the barefoot contessa.  her recipes are spectacular and they always turn out delish.  that being said, i'm going to start my bread baking streak with her help.
9. a great book on costa rica.  given to me by my friends as part of my birthday week extravaganza.
10. i would love to lay in a field of ranunculus and soak up the sun.  they are one of my favorite flowers. i just wish i knew how to pronounce "ranunculus."
11. only a little over 2 months until a. and i get to meet up in costa rica (the countdown has officially begun).
12. leaving for california in the morning.  still need to pack!  i guess if there's one thing i'm good at it's procrastinating!


packages for a.

i love sending him packages.  and i love making it a process.  throughout the month, i'll pick up and collect things for a. while i'm shopping or happen to find during my day.  the sole criteria being- it must remind me of a.  i want each package to be special- not just stuff.

i always try to send him the things he asks for and i love to throw in unexpected surprises to brighten his day.  since i can't do it for him at home these days, at least i can try to surprise him in a few unexpected ways.  just recently, he received a box from me- and lucky for all you peeps in blogland (wink, wink)- i just happened to take a few pictures.
i have so much fun sending these- and i can never wait to send the next one.  right now i have a huge pile of stuff ready to go.  i know these boxes make his day, and for the next 7 months, i hope i can continue to surprise him with gifts, goodies and love.


home makeover- foyer edition.

one of the best reasons to have a place of your own is so you can mix it up whenever and however you want.  i could spend hours and hours looking through home decor magazines and on-site design spaces (can't you?) for ideas and inspiration.  it's one of my favorite past times.  when i find something i love, i either pin it on pintrest or pull it out of a magazine and put it in my handy-dandy "idea book."  

i'll admit it- i love a good project.  but more than anything, i love doing them on the cheap (money cheap- not quality cheap) & that's why, when our entry way drove me crazy on more days then one, i threw in the towel and decided we needed a change.  something fresh, but nothing that would break the bank.

since we moved in, we've had a rug- or maybe a fine carpet?- hanging in our entryway.  at first, it was a great piece for the space, but over the years, as we continued to evolve our style and decorate our home, it just didn't fit in anymore.  i love the texture of the rug and the size of it- but the colors are all off- and it just had to go.
 so, i ceremoniously removed the rug and the curtain rod from the wall.  i patched the holes and repainted the wall.
then, using pieces i've had lying around the house, purchased artwork and of course, our newest addition- robbie, i slowly began the hanging process.  i have to be honest, i always get so nervous to hang things.  i know that probably sounds silly, but it kinda intimidates me.  i hate the idea of hammering a nail in the wall only to realize i hung everything too high or too low.  needless to say, it takes me forever to hang anything.

but i busted out the hammer and nails and went to work.  and i happen to love the way it turned out.  
for now, i absolutely love this wall & i love the way it looks when we walk into the house- but after reading this article from young house love, i think i want to fill the entire wall with pictures and memories.  then, i think it would be very best welcome statement- ever.


a thursday diy.

hopefully, if you're anything like me, you might be interested in a quick diy project for the weekend.  i know i might be jumping the gun, but i am so ready for the weekend.  & i just can't help myself.  i figured this way you would have enough time to plan, pick-up the materials, and get busy as soon as the weekend hits...isn't that sweet of me?

anyway, look how amazingly cute this project is.  
right?!?  and the fact that you can make it only makes this bracelet that much more adorable.  so gather up your supplies and head on over to honestly wtf* for the full tutorial.  i'm sure you'll be making a ton and giving them out as gifts for any and all occasions.  

happy diy-ing!

*you're going to love this site.  they have a lot of great diy fashion projects, awesome fashion finds, trends and some of the latest happenings.  i've never been much of a fashionista, but this year i'm determined to bring a little style into my life & wardrobe.  i've almost taken solid classics to a whole new, boring level.  


celebrating the big 4-0.

not me- thank god.  i'm not ready for the big 3-0, let alone 4-0.  so no worries.  i'm talking about starbucks.  they're celebrating their 40th anniversary.  i'm not much of a starbucks fan- though i love some of the music they promote and you will often find me drinking a bucket load of their signature hot cocoa and buying their christmas albums in the winter.  oh, and the unsweeted passion iced tea is pretty awesome too.

okay, i guess i'm more of a fan than i like to admit.

last night i was catching up on castle (a huge shout out to hulu for making this possible in a no-cable household) when this starbucks commercial* came on...

i kinda love it.  i love the fonts and simplicity and colors and the message:
we've been thinking about you.  and you are a lot more important than you know.  without you, there's no i love you or wish you were here.  without you, there is no us.  

isn't that sweet?  and wouldn't that make a great typography print?  must get on that.  must keep learning powerpoint...

i guess the promotion is over now...but heck, a great commercial is always worth sharing.

*i'm sure you've seen this already so forgive me.  in a world without cable i always seem to be a bit behind the 8 ball....


weekend roundup.

as i mentioned, i spent the weekend in washington dc.  it was a brief trip, but as always, it blew my mind.  i love this city.  i flew in on friday and spent the day walking the streets with my eyes to the sky.  each building is more fascinating than the next and the monuments, budding trees, and modern structures blend so perfectly amongst one another.

the remainder of the oh-so-short weekend was spent dining in georgetown, pleasant walks outside, lots of great conversations- and of course, plenty of shopping. we also went to the regan convention center and saw capitol steps.  their tag line is: we put the mock in democracy- and boy do they ever.  it was more of a musical than i thought (no complaints here- i love musicals), & they covered everything from health care to charlie sheen.

if you've never had the pleasure of visiting dc- i'm telling you now, put it on your bucket list.  there is so much to do, never enough time, & i guarantee you'll be granting me permission to say, i told you so.


spicy tomato oil obsession.

there's a little italian place in downtown syracuse.  i wouldn't say it's the best italian, although it has damn good bread, but it does hit the spot when i'm craving some decent pasta.  and it has some of the very, very best spicy hot tomato oil i've ever had.  ever.

i just can't get enough.  the other night i ate hot tomato oil and stretch bread for dinner.  and it was perfect.  as of now, i'm trying to find a copy-cat recipe online.  i'm forever thankful to the dedicated chefs who have the patience and take the time (both of which i have neither) to mimic these culinary marvels.  as of now i think this recipe sounds the best, but i'm still searching.  and i also know what i'm going to do with all my tomatoes this summer!


and i'm off.

to spend the weekend in dc with my aunt and uncle.  this couldn't come at a better time and i'm looking forward to warm weather, sight seeing and a change of pace. 
enjoy your weekend!


diy st. patty's coaters.

happy wednesday friends!  jump on over to twig & thistle- she is offering the most adorable diy coaster tutorial (and free download to boot!) for st. patrick's day.  nothing is more perfect than a festive place to rest your irish ale!

aren't these just amazing?!?
{image via}


fat tuesday.

"let pleasure be the rule day & night!" -rex the king
happy fat tuesday!  i think rex said it best.  but i will say- enjoy today!  tomorrow lent begins & i love using lent as a personal challenge to give something up for a month and a half.  over the years i've done soda (which i no longer drink), sweets & treats (i have to do this one a lot since i am addicted!) and this year, i'm giving up all fried food.  yep.  no chips or fries or fried fish or fried green tomatoes.  nada. 

if you'd like to join me, let me know- after all, misery loves company!

weekend wrap-up.

this past weekend was amazing.  lately, i feel like i'm saying this every monday (tuesday in this case), so i guess i'm pretty lucky that my weekends are frequently awesome! this weekend however, was especially wonderful- guests were coming to stay!

earlier in the week i received an email from a childhood friend who was going to be in the area on sunday. this is a big deal!  first- no one from home- other than our immediate family has made the trek to see us (no hard feelings- i promise) and two- this was such a surprise (and boy do i love surprises).  we have known one another since kindergarten!
saturday started off pretty crazy since i was racing in a shamrock run.  luckily the race didn't start until 11am- so i was able to sleep in- but since i always get anxious before a race, sleeping in really wasn't an option.  it was a gray and rainy day in cny and almost all the snow had melted.  for the race, the rain let up (as did the wind) and we had some very comfortable weather.  it was a hilly route- and i'm happy to say, there was no walking on my end...not once for 4 whole miles! 

after the race, i had some friends over for lunch and to give our homemade beer a try.  talk about nerve racking!  beer-making is a process and it takes quite a bit of patience.  if this didn't work out, there was going to be hell to pay.  we popped the tops of the beer and gave it a go.  lo and behold- it was good!  really good.  happily we declared, our beer making a success!

later that night, my good friend & her boyfriend arrived & we stayed up until the wee hours chatting and catching up- followed by a lazy, snowy morning of more chatting and catching up!  i tried my hand at a breakfast cobbler that was a huge hit (and may i please say- i am now obsessed with slow cooker breakfast recipes) and we spent the afternoon exploring syracuse. 

it was a short visit- but it was perfect.  it's so easy to get wrapped up in the everyday- and every once in a while it's a nice reminder to take a step back, reminisce with old friends and remind yourself where you came from.


letters from a.

letter, a.
make my day week.  and i love everything about them.  thanks to him, this week just ended on a high note.  love you babe!


flower arrangements.

we celebrated green beer sunday this past weekend.  this is an annual townie event that celebrates the arrival of green beer to the local bars (any reason is a good reason to celebrate).  around noon there is a parade that follows a tanker of beer down the street.
told ya.  an entire semi of green beer!  i think the mayor even walks behind the beer- it's kinda a big deal.    

my friend sara, a huge fan of green beer and all the festivities, hosted brunch before the parade.  we had a huge spread of eggs and french toast and yogurt and fruit.  we even had a chocolate & baileys cake.  i opted to help with the decorations and decided to try my hand at a flower arrangement.  

growing up, my mom often had my sisters and i make any and all floral arrangements for the holidays.  i loved taking the flowers and making something pretty for everyone to enjoy.  i don't play with flowers as much as i would like, so i think this little experiment, while it turned out okay, helped convince me that a floral arranging class would be very beneficial.

i went to a wholesale market in the morning and spent at least an hour rummaging through their entire selection of flowers.  i was on a quest for anything green & white and stumbled upon some awesome choices.  then, using some floral frogs, a glass pie pan and some green tissue paper, i went to work.
green centerpiece
flowers, frogs
i modified this method by martha stewart and with a bit of trial and error, ended up with a shamrock centerpiece.  it's not as defined as i had hoped- but i'm sure in a larger bowl or on a grander scale- the shamrock shape would be more obvious.
shamrock centerpiece
regardless of how it turned out, i had a lot of fun making it- and i have visions of floral arrangements dancing in my head.  the possibilities are endless.


green with envy.

well, at my other plants are.

this little plant stole the spotlight- and has one of the best views in the house.  over the long weekend, i went on a hanging frenzy.  i purchaced this wall-mounted vase* in rochester last year and have been deciding where to put it ever since.  at first, i thought the bathroom would be a great place for it- but with zero light, it didn't make the cut.

so i hemmed and hawed and finally, decided the kitchen needed a plant.  so, i busted out our handy hammer and went to work.
doesn't it look so much better?  i was amazed by the character this little guy brought to the space.  it's a show-stopper, seriously.  and i'm completely obsessed.

one of the best parts?  this plant was free.  true 'dat.  it started as a couple stems/leaves from a larger plant and has taken on a life of it's own.  i'm so proud of this little fellow.
*i can't remember exactly where i got this- so i apologize for not referencing.