Tuesday, September 27, 2011

shifting gears

i love this adorable gear necklace from modcloth! it would be a perfect gift for any avid bike riders (or steampunks for that matter). i love when jewelry has silver, gold, and/ or copper because it makes the piece was more versatile.

"life is like a ten speed bicycle. most of us have gears we never use" - charles m. schulz

peaches and plums

this weekend flew by! i can't believe it's already tuesday. we had high hopes for this past weekend and although we got a few things accomplished, we still have some things to get finished.

on friday night, we looked into some potential cabins to rent this fall up in the blue ridge mountains and grabbed a late dinner. we ended the night watching "bridesmaids" and it was so good. i had already seen it but couldn't wait for j to see it and he loved it.

saturday, we took townes to the dog park, cleaned up the house, and then went to the duluth fall festival. i meant to take more pictures; however, with all of the people and having the pup with us, it became too much of a hassle.

we didn't buy anything (except food, which is typical) but i always love seeing all of the different handmade crafts and vendors. we did enjoy our veggie greek wrap and french fries! we ended the night at noche with our cousins. the friend green tomatos were incredible!

on sunday, we went for a long walk and then did a lot of yard work. i mowed the whole lawn for the first time and it is such a work out! the weather was still pretty hot so by the end of the mowing process, i was so gross! i have a newfound respect in the yard work department for my husband. we even picked some beautiful gardenias from our front yard and the kitchen still smells wonderful everytime i walk through it!

j's dad and sister came over with the trailer to help us buy trees, plants, and soil for our yard. we spent way too long at pike's nursery and then headed to home depot. at home depot, we got a flat tire, ended up having to rent a truck and then unloaded 85 bags of soil and mulch. good times! it's crazy to think that we thought we'd get everything done this weekend - obviously we were wrong. i can't wait for it to be done and share our progress!

lastly, we ended up getting a peach and plum tree for the backyard since we don't have enough room for a maple, but now j read that the peaches and plums can be dangerous for the dog. is this true?

Friday, September 23, 2011

life is too short

happy weekend guys! this week has very productive at work, but i am ready for a deep breath and a change of gears. as long as the rain stops, we've got plans to do some serious landscaping in our backyard now that we've got a new wood fence (i'll share pictures of the before and after next week)!

we've also got a double date with our cousins to the restaurant noche on saturday night (going there after one of our best friends, who worked there, is now across the country will be bittersweet)! it's also the fall festival in duluth, ga this weekend. we have been every year since we've been together except for last year so it'd be nice to go and takes townes! we may even have to splurge one some festival food!

whatever plans you have over the weekend, i hope they are sweet and filled with fun and love! ♥

happy first day of autumn!

it's official! it's the best season ever and a perfect start to the weekend! now let's just hope it lasts longer than 2 weeks this year! ♥

eno hammocks

with all of the rain in the southeast for the last few days, i am missing sunshine. everytime it's nice outside, all i want to do is lounge in our hammock with a good book or husband! now that we've started planning some camping and cabin trips for the fall, i am reminded that our eno hammock was the best purchase of 2011, by far. it can be set up basically anywhere and is so versatile. we have the double hammock in olive green and navy and it fits both j and me very well. j bought me the bug net (a necessity in georgia) too! on our beach trip over memorial day, we hung the hammock on our balcony and when we weren't at the beach, we spent a lot of time in the hammock!

eno even encourages their users to post pictures with their hammocks in various locations throughout the world which i think is so fun! this is a perfect gift for anyone in your life who loves to be outdoors.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

gift for him: beard oil

j had a beard for all of 2010 and then cut it off last spring. it got really long and 2010 will now always be sweetly remembered as "the year of the beard". the picture below was taken almost exactly a year ago from today.

now that the weather is getting colder, i think j is itching to grow the beard back (to my MIL's dismay). although this beard oil is a bit pricey, i think j would love it (if the beard joins us again). the description says it's "fresh, spicy, and woody" which sounds wonderful! j uses the grandpa pine tar soap which makes him smell like a campfire so seems like the beard oil would supplement his already manly smell.

does your man wear any fragrances? if so, please share his favorites!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

let's find some beautiful place to get lost

lately i've been trying to find inspiration in everything around me; however, spending 8+ hours a day in a small office working makes it very challenging. i found this list of "50 things to do before you die" on the matador network site; lists like this one leave me with this huge desire to just leave work, our house, and our routine. all i need is j, townes, a backpack and a bit of funds. one day we will make this happen - we have to.

here are some of my favorite from the list of 50 things to do and i hope it brightens up your day and your spirit!

1. Set foot on each of the seven continents. Antarctica might seem like a tough one, but here’s how. Once you’ve reached all seven you can truly call yourself a world traveler.
2. Cross a country on a bicycle. A bicycle tour takes some planning, but it beats being separated from a country though a passenger-side window.
3. Ride something bigger than a horse. Trekking through the jungle on the back of a two story tall elephant will surely be something you remember forever.
4. Live like a local for a month. The experience of visiting native peoples will give you way more insight into another way of life than two years hopping from one backpacker ghetto to the next.
5. Travel India by train. With its extensive rail network, this mode of transport is the best way to see one of the world’s most colorful and diverse countries.
6. Climb one of the world’s Seven Summits. Climbing mountains is not for the faint-hearted, but everyone has had a dream of standing atop one.
7. Dance Tango in Argentina.
8. SCUBA in the Great Barrier Reef. The largest coral reef in the world is a must for dive enthusiasts. It is the world’s most unique aquatic environment.
9. Volunteer abroad for a month.
10. Visit the source of one of the world’s great rivers. Great rivers, like the Nile, have humble beginnings.
11. Climb an active volcano.
12. Buy a boat and learn to sail. Before the Brothers Wright, everyone traveled by wind power. It’s still the most sustainable way to travel there is.
13. Travel around the world. Sure, you could do this without ever setting foot outside of planes and airports, but few people ever truly traverse the entire globe. Round the world tickets are great for budget-minded wanderers.
14. Teach English in a foreign country. Sure, it’s a way to fund your travels, but also the experience of a lifetime.
15. Attend a music festival in another country.
16. Be in the stands when two rival South American club teams play each other in soccer. Soccer (sorry, football) is a passion for most of the world’s population.
17. Visit the birthplace or gravesite of a cultural icon. Could be Che Guevara or Picasso or Levi Strauss or the guy who invented widgets; anyone you think is important. .
18. Bike the Pacific Coast Highway.

"there is no moment of delight in any pilgrimage like the beginning of it.” - charles dudley warner

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

we are humans

while j and i were out this weekend, we saw this street art in little 5 points. i love the art and the message so i wanted to share it. considering one of j's best friends (and now my close friend too) was brought to the us from mexico at the age of 4 and just recently (20+ years later) was made a legal citizen with a social security number (finally!), this message hits very close to home. before luck and a great love found him, we almost had to watch as he left to go back to mexico without his immediate family or the life he had always known. there couldn't be a better person in the world than our friend and our lives are much more rich and sweeter with him around. ♥

thankfully his story has a happy ending so we are thrilled, but others aren't so fortunate.

STOP THE RAIDS. thankfully the georgia anti-immigration law has been halted since late june 2011 due to the conflict with federal law. hopefully this proposed law will be abolished!

what are your thoughts on this matter? do you have any loved ones that could be affected if the anti-immigration law is passed?

"the problem with much of the debate over this issue is that we confuse two separate matters: immigration policy (how many people we admit) and immigrant policy (how we treat people who are already here). what our nation needs is a pro-immigrant policy of low immigration. A pro-immigrant policy of low immigration can reconcile America’s traditional welcome for newcomers with the troubling consequences of today’s mass immigration. It would enable us to be faithful and wise stewards of America’s interests while also showing immigrants the respect they deserve as future Americans". - tom tancredo

Monday, September 19, 2011

candle on the water

although i wouldn't use this for schnapps and wish it was more of a bedside water carafe, i am loving this lighthouse schnapps set! it would be perfect in a quaint beachside cottage. this set can be purchased here.

j's family grew up near st. george island, fl in a small town called carrabelle. we try to visit the beach there every year and they have recently restored the lighthouse on st. george so this carafe makes me wish we were at the beach! actually who am i kidding? every day i wish we were at the beach!

"if you want to be happy, be"

we had such an incredible weekend! one of my favorite moments was during the above picture (which is also my favorite from the weekend). this was taken while driving down a country dirt road to our lovely friends' wedding while listening to willie nelson's "on the road again," and as we stopped to get this picture, all the cows watched us intensely and the little calf was slowly backing up. if only he had known we're vegetarians and meant no harm at all!

friday, we stayed in and finished cleaning out every single room and now we're all set for our massive yard sale (with the exception of pricing and labeling everything - ugh). we ordered in some yummy thai food.

saturday, we went to the dog park and then to bath and body works to pick up some of their amazing 3 wick holiday candles since it was $10 per candle (half off)! we're so stoked about all of the upcoming holidays! then we headed to athens, ga for our friends' amazing wedding. it was at the tucker plantation and the setting was unbelievable. they were hitched under an incredible oak tree and the reception was in this awesome brick building. every detail was perfect and the couple radiated with love. we were so happy to witness their day. ♥

my handsome date for the wedding ♥

just because you're in a suit, doesn't mean you can't play, right?

the stunning bride! look at her incredible, handmade vintage broach bouquet!

the reception hall at tucker plantation

amazing sunset following the wedding ceremony

on sunday, we ate breakfast at park grounds so that townes could play while we ate and then we walked around freedom park in the amazingly crisp weather. then we headed to east palisades and had great conversation and wore out the pup so it was a success! j and i had an early dinner at the vortex (best fried zucchini and tater tots) followed by a trip to sevananda for some grandpa's pine tar soap and vegan "chicken" salad for work day lunches! the night ended by the fire pit in our backyard listening to music and feeling absolutely content with the world.

my boys in freedom park ♥

the best way to end any cool night in my opinion!

i'm sad the weekend is over, but at least we have some fun things planned this week! now back to work...

p.s. the title quote is from tolstoy!

Friday, September 16, 2011

knick knack

i am so happy that the weekend is here! it's been a very long week and i am looking forward to some r&r. i'm hoping for cooler weather so that i can be in the hammock 24/7 with my book. we have a wedding this weekend near athens and i am so excited - it is going to be absolutely stunning! i wish we could go to athens before the wedding and eat lunch (oh grit, how i miss you!) but with the pup, we can only be gone for so long - oh well!

sunday, we're going to go to east palisades with townes and my best friend to go hiking (well i guess it's more like walking, but at least it is in the woods) - should be lots of fun and i'm sure the weather will be beautiful.

j and i have a few more rooms to go through in preparation for a huge, neighborhood-wide yard sale on october 1st! we have gone room to room and our guest room has 5 huge garbage bags full of stuff! this may be where i got the nickname of "knick knack," because i love picking up small items everywhere and now it's time for a clutter cleanse!

hope you all have a wonderful weekend! xo

date night

things have been very hectic lately in our home. j just launched a huge project at work and with holiday around the corner, my office has been slammed in preparation. with all of the craziness (i.e., trips to the dog park, quick dinners, and getting ready for a large yard sale), j and i decided we needed some "us" time - no work, no dog, no friends, just the two of us.

we decided to go the dinner + movie route. being the girl that i am, i knew instantly that i wanted to go see "crazy, stupid, love," and being the amazingly kind and sweet husband that he is, j said yes without hesitation. we went to an earlier movie so we could go straight to dinner afterwards.

the movie was wonderful. great actors and a great story line. i laughed and cried and smiled a lot (and of course, a little ryan gosling never hurts). it was the perfect date night movie and a nice reminder of how important love is and to always fight for it! it was cute because the movie actually inspired j to buy a few "nice" clothes to feel more like ryan gosling and less like steve carrel. too cute ♥

we then went to apres diem and enjoyed some great pasta dishes (the typical vegetarian fare) and then a trader joe's stop for flowers and ice pops. i am one very lucky lady and really cherish the days with my love. next time, i owe him a guy flick!

anyways, if you haven't seen the movie yet, check out the below trailer and then take your better half out!

Thursday, September 15, 2011


today while listening to dolly parton on pandora, the judd's "grandpa" came on the radio. it is impossible for my eyes to not swell up every time i hear this song. it always makes me think about my papa. this song was played during his funeral and i remember watching my nanny and the tears wouldn't stop. i miss my papa every day more and more. although his name was george, everybody called him "buddy" which seemed so fitting. it seems so unfair that sometimes we lose our grandparents before we've fully matured enough to make sure we are taking in every word, every story, every hug, and every smile. my papa was the rock of our family and he took care of everyone. there were so many faces at his funeral because he was loved so fully. one of my favorite thoughts of my papa is that he once told my mother that every time he'd ask me how i was, i would respond and then ask him how he was doing and that every time he could tell that i really cared about how he was doing. apparently my papa thought it was rare that people asked how someone was in return and truly cared about the response. i hope my papa know how much i cared about him and loved him.

if you still have your grandfather, take some time to call or visit and ask questions, because one day you'll wish you could have soaked every story, kiss, and memory up! maybe this song will inspire you too. ♥

my nanny and papa are the cutest couple aren't they? even though she hated him at first, he was persistent and he got the girl - they were married for 50 years before he passed on. i miss you so much papa and i think of you every day. there is solace in knowing that you and nanny are together, again. ♥

"a grandfather is someone with silver in his hair and gold in his heart" - unknown

bundle up

now that fall is right around the corner, all i can think about are backyard fire pits, apple cider, camping, halloween, leaves crunching beneath my feet, open windows, and lots of veggie chili with jalapeno cornbread!

this is my favorite time of year (and j's favorite too, which he repeats often) and now that georgia is out of the 90 degree weather (well for now and hopefully the rest of the year) it really is kicking in that it'll be here so soon!

the crisp fall weather requires great blankets. they are a must! most of our blankets have gone to the dogs [literally] so it's time for us to invest in a nice new blanket. these pendleton woolen mills blankets (specifically the jacquard style) have me completely head over heels! they are a bit pricey but they look like a great investment. perfect for sitting by a campfire!

go here for the entire jacquard collection.

the textiles are so beautiful and they come in so many different colors. i love the names of the various native american blankets since i am currently reading a book (see my "currently reading" section) that j bought me about the various tribal stories and legends. i can recognize the names of the blankets as important aspects within the native american culture and history. since i have cherokee in my blood, it is nice to feel connected to the stories of the native elders. ♥

for all of the mothers-to-be, they even have adorable blankets for the little ones and native american-themed heirloom bracelets and stuffed animals (as seen here).

"treat the earth well: it was not given to you by your parents, it was loaned to you by your children. we do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children." - ancient indian proverb

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

the tire iron and tamale

right before i went on a four month hiatus from this blog, i had been in 3 car accidents in 3 days (read about it here). it was a really weird time for me and i feel like i have just gotten comfortable again changing lanes or pulling out of my own driveway. even when i wasn't driving, i thought j would leave me after how much of a skiddish passenger i had become, shrieking every other minute and scaring him unnecessarily.

the scariest part about car accidents or car trouble is how helpless and alone you feel. when the first accident happened, no one around us stopped to make sure the other driver or i was ok. the second accident (the one that totaled my car and deployed the airbags) was in my driveway so my neighbor ran out and stayed with me until my husband got home thankfully (i later put a thank you note in his mailbox because it meant so much to me). any time i have ever had any car issues and have been alone, i have been panicked - possibly because i don't know much about cars but also because i am a woman. in those times of need, i noticed how shocking it was that no one ever offered to stop or offer any assistance. the one time i remember someone helping me was when i was in high school. my pathfinder had been having carburetor issues so i was driving to my dad's dealership to get it checked out, when the car died about 45 minutes away from his dealership. while i waited on the side of the road for the tow truck, a woman pulled over. i was nervous at first to see a car approach me and stop but she just rolled down her window and asked if help was on the way. when i told her that a tow truck was coming to get me, she just said that she would wait in her car until it came to make sure that i was ok. this woman was in her minivan and had multiple young children in the car, but she wanted to make sure that a high school girl would make it home alright. i have never forgotten that woman and i hope karma has been good to her, because i am forever thankful to her.

anyways, the reason for this rant is that i read this story in the NY Times a few months ago and saved it in my favorites, because it really resonated with me. the story is about a guy who had a rough few months (oh how i can relate) with car issues. everytime that he needed help, he noticed that no one ever stopped to help and just kept driving past him; "this country is going to hell in a handbasket,” he recalls saying. he finally has an experience where this poor immigrant family stops to help him with a tire blowout, feeds him one some lunch, and refuses any payment for their help. the writer comments on how they were probably the poorest family that passed him that day but they helped him, a stranger, to be on his way and asked nothing in return. the story is great and inspiring, please take a minute to read it here.

i feel like it's been so noticeable lately how compassion and empathy have disappeared in our communities. even the simple hand gesture when someone lets you merge lanes seems hard to find these days. since reading this story, i have tried to live with more intention and awareness to others. thankfully i havent had to witness any horrible accidents or people stranded, but if i do, i will do what i can to help - even if it's just call 911 for assistance. as the immigrant man said to the man as he drove away “today you, tomorrow me," you never know when it'll be your turn on the side of the rode, stranded. if only everyone could make an effort to do their part and pay it forward, the world would shine brighter.

"if you have much, give your wealth; if you have little, give your heart" - anonymous

deep dark africa

i have always really enjoyed the deepdarkafrica site and all of their incredible products. per their website, "Deep Dark Africa brings you contemporary handmade design from Africa. Carefully selected hand designed and made pieces created by or in collaboration with a diverse range of local artisans, designers & crafters, Deep Dark Africa aims to promote this uniquely talented continent & its rich creativity, showing that African design is evolving whilst still holding firm to it's handmade roots. Wherever one is in Africa, someone is trying to sell beautiful handmade goods, truly believing in their art as a means to a better life. Deep Dark Africa is born out of a desire to showcase this creative talent to a wider contemporary market & make it accessible to all whilst at the same time bridging the gap between established African artists and those without access to a greater market. Deep Dark Africa loves handmade, believes in fair trade and aims to be as eco-friendly as possible".

pretty amazing, huh?

anyways, some of my favorites are below.

which items from dda do you love? it's a shame i don't have an endless fortune in times like this!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


hello strangers!

well i guess i am the stranger since i've been MIA. i've been checking in [daily] on the blogosphere, but my motivation to write has been missing. i think my motivation for a lot [everything] has been missing.

when i see something on fellow blogs that inspire me, i feel like i can't share because it's not original. this mentality is INSANE and not why i started this space in the first place. with that being said, i'm going to forget about that and just write for me [and my handful of followers - i love you guys]!

this weekend was very nice. we kept my niece and spent a great deal of time at the dog park and various playgrounds (the weather was amazing so it was hard to stay inside). we went to the fernbank science museum and planetarium. we also had lots of frozen yogurt!

sunday was my FIL's 53rd birthday. his birthday falls on 9/11 and since he's a retired firefighter, it is always so bittersweet. we spent the day canoeing together and then had everyone over to our house for dinner. it was a wonderful time and a great way to spend the day remembering the WTC tragedy (how has it been 10 years?!). i watched the below storycorps (♥) animation and it brought me to tears. the story is so touching and one that everyone should watch! hope you'll take a minute to hear this story!

hope you all have a great week! things have finally calmed down in our household after a head lice scare. thankfully EVERYTHING has been cleaned/ sanitized and we've been issued a clean bill of health. huge sigh of relief!

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