Tuesday, January 31, 2012

who rescued who?

happy birthday townes! although we don't know townes's actual birthday, today marks exactly 1 year since we picked him up from the pound! the vet told us he was between 1-2 years in age so we just are saying that he is now 3! he's been such an incredible addition to our little family and he is a dream come true.

we can't imagine a day without him and his sweet face. he has the cutest yawns and he is always so gentle and affectionate. even though we do a great job at celebrating him every day, i can't wait to make today extra special!


featured artist: david fleck

these prints by david fleck are incredible! it may have something to do with my love of hot air balloons (as seen here) but i love the buildings' details and the geometric shapes at the bottom of the below print (the colors are incredible)! his art is magical and colorful and makes me wish i could be floating away in one of those balloons.

this last print is so wonderful and reminds me of "the kite runner" which is one of my favorite books. i would love any of these prints to grace my home's walls.

"and that's the thing about people who mean everything they say. they think everyone else does too" - khaled hosseini, "the kite runner"

[photo 1, 2, 3, 4]

Monday, January 30, 2012

when something negative is positive

here are some pictures from this weekend. friday we got to celebrate that townes is officially heartworm negative! this is a huge victory in our household after all the pain our little buddy had to go through to get here (read more here and here). we took him to the park to chase balls and play afterwards. we always hoped this day would come and it's a huge relief! now townes can live a long and healthy life! make sure to prevent heartworms for your pups with heartguard medicine. ♥

saturday was by far my favorite day. i started the day off with zumba class and my bestie! came home and had some kashi blueberry waffles with peanut butter and banana. then i took townes on a very long walk. then i basically spent the rest of the day in awe of the amazing sunshine while in our hammock. j and i made smoothies and relaxed. i surprised me with the sweetest "just because" gift - i am truly lucky! we ended the night with the movie 50/50 - we loved it!

sunday, we made breakfast and then went to snow mountain. it was fun but due to the crowds, we only got to ride 3 times which is insane considering how pricey it is. at least we went ahead and bought our annual stone mountain pass so we can come back with townes and hike again.

the weather is supposed to be beautiful this week! i'm looking forward to being outside as much as possible. it's also a big birthday for someone special this week - i can't wait to celebrate!

"the good life, as i conceive it, is a happy life. i do not mean that if you are good you will be happy; i mean that if you are happy you will be good" - bertrand russell


Friday, January 27, 2012

"love one another"

happy soon-to-be weekend! we've got townes's first annual vet appointment today (i can't believe that on tuesday, we will have had him for a year)! this blood work today will confirm whether or not he is now officially heartworm-free so please send us some good energy and cross those fingers!

i'm excited about a workout date (zumba!) with my best friend on saturday morning followed hopefully by some hot tub and sauna time! after hiking at stone mountain a few weeks ago, i rolled my ankle pretty badly and it's still hurting so hopefully it'll not hurt too much during class. sunday we're going to snow mountain to play in the snow and tube down the hill to celebrate my SIL's birthday. should be a fun time.

by the way, this weekend i'm going to celebrate a big victory! i have lost 10 pounds! i've been working out (and loving it) and eating foods that make my body strong and i couldn't be happier. the most exciting part is that by celebrating, i actually just want to do more of what i've been doing. no desire for bad foods to celebrate so that must be a good sign, right? i may have bad days and not always feel this way, but for now i am embracing it! i still have a ways to go but i am on the right track.

i hope your weekend is adventure-filled with some quiet time in between! xo

p.s. the title quote is by george harrison. i find it so moving that those were his last words before he died. rip ♥

Thursday, January 26, 2012

the beginner's mind

"people spend a lifetime searching for happiness; looking for peace. they chase idle dreams, addictions, religions, even other people, hoping to fill the emptiness that plagues them. the irony is that the only place they ever needed to search was within" - romana anderson

lately i've been taking time for myself. time to work on my body, my mind, and reflect. i've always been very interested in trying meditation and taking more time to be quiet. a few years ago, j read this book and i think it's officially time for me to pick it up and find the beginner's mind.

do you meditate? how do you find your inner peace?

p.s. happy 7th birthday to my adorable niece! i can't wait to celebrate with you tonight. you are such a joy and bring so much fun into our lives! ♥

we love you little buddy! xo

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

ring holders

while on our honeymoon, j and i bought a wonderful elephant ring holder in mexico from a local artisan. it sits on our dresser and it is the faithful holder of our wedding rings (we take them off as soon as we get home every night which i hear makes us weirdos but to each their own, right?).

our ring holder basically looks like the one below but it's made out of silver.

although i am infinity happy with our current ring holder and the sentiment behind it, i have seen some that are so cute. so if you don't have any, maybe you will fancy one of these two!

i love the sombrero one! ♥


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

new york, new york!

back in december, j and i decided to go to NYC during the holidays. for the last two years, we'd gone to asheville, nc in the winter but since j had never been to NYC, i figured he needed to see it (especially all done up for xmas). since my dad was born in the bronx neighborhood and it's always so fun to see where he grew up, i was able to convince my mom and dad to come with us on our trip. we never had been on a trip with just the 4 of us and it was really nice (the double room was a bit cramped but we survived it)!

on the first day we arrived, we walked around times square, rockefeller plaza, and stopped by all the beautiful window displays on 5th avenue (bergdorf goodman - your windows were incredible)! we went into FAO schwartz and reminisced about the old clock tower that was torn down (we miss the ruby red slippers).

for dinner, we went to the east side to eat at katz's deli (establisted 1888). it was wonderful! i'm sure j and i would have loved it even more if we weren't vegetarian, but it was still a nice treat. we even got to have our great friend divya join us for dinner that night and then j and i went out for drinks with her afterwards. i wish we could have spent more time with her!
aren't my folks cute?

on saturday, we woke up early and headed to the natural history museum! we had the best time! after checking out all the animals and dinosaurs, we headed into central park. we went to strawberry fields so we could see the john lennon memorial (which was packed)!

saturday night, we met up with my dad's best friends, brad and jeanne, who are so much fun. we walked around bryant park and we were overrun by santas! little did we know that santa*con was happening the same weekend we were in NYC so there were over 50,000 santas in the city (all extremely intoxicated too)! we rode the subway to go to dinner at a lobster restaurant (no fun for vegetarians) and we got to see my great aunt gloria! she is an incredibly vibrant woman who was cracking more jokes than any of us. she's such an inspiration and i still think it's so cool that she used to be a rockette and was engaged to a man who was married to lucille ball!

sunday morning, we rented a car so we could drive all over NYC. we [my dad] ended up driving over 8 hours! first, we drove to battery park to see the statue of liberty (since it is currently closed to renovation). then we headed into the bronx to see where my dad grew up. we had to make our first pit stop at a local bagel shop so j could have his first NYC bagel (success - yumm)!
my dad showed us so many different amazing spots from his youth, like this building where he lived with his mom, dad, and sister on the 2nd floor corner unit. he showed us where all his friends grew up, where he went to school and college, and the assisted living facility where my great grandma lived until she was 103 (she would never leave the bronx)! we then drove to long island and saw my grandpa's old home before he moved in with us and the beach condo on franklin avenue where my dad spent his summers roaming the boardwalk and playing in the ocean. it was really awesome to be old enough to appreciate it all and have j there to experience it as well! my dad was so excited and lit up showing us all the places of his youth. it made me wonder what i'll want to show my kids when i'm older and how much will have changed by then.

we also got to see edgar allan poe's home in the middle of the bronx too!

lastly, we visited my dad's parents' gravestones*. my dad's mother passed away when he was only 23, so sadly we never got to meet her. from all the stories i've heard, i know it's really such a tragedy that we never got to have her in our lives. although my grandpa irving remarried after my grandma norma passed away and he's buried in another plot, they are still in the same graveyard in relatively close distance. here's a cool story about my grandparents, they were introduced at a dance by a mutual friend because they both had the same last name! since there was no relation, i think that counts as fate!
*for those that don't know, it is jewish tradition to place a stone on the headstones of loved ones when you visit them.

we ended our last night, by eating dinner at umberto's on albert avenue in the bronx. it's in the italian area of the bronx and the food was so good!

it was sad to see our trip come to an end, but it was such a nice treat to be able to see the big apple at xmas time and to share it with my parents. it's a trip that i will cherish for the rest of my life.

there really is nothing like NYC at xmas time!

Monday, January 23, 2012

rivers and roads

happy monday! mondays are always hard so i wanted to share this incredible video that is making my morning. man! at time 3:42 the energy is incredible. i was stomping my feet in my cubicle (oops) and wishing i could sing out loud!

pretty incredible setting, eh? i want to go to there!

this weekend was wonderful. we spent time with family on friday night. saturday i woke up early and went to zumba (so fun!) and then we spent some family time in bed while it down poured. i got to be there when some of my very dear friends found out they were having a little baby boy (eek so excited for them)! the rest of saturday, we looked into planning some trips for this year and just laid low. sunday, i went to nia dance class and then we went on a long walk with our lovely friends despite the misty weather. we ended the night at raging burrito for some yummy mexican food!

it should be a long, but great week and hopefully the rain will start to subside!

how was your weekend? you take advantage of staying inside and out of the rain?

watch more video from this incredible musical session here!

Friday, January 20, 2012

all there is

i am a huge storycorps fan (read proof here and here) so the fact that they are publishing a book compiled with love stories makes me so happy!

"In All There Is, StoryCorps founder Dave Isay shares "stories of love and marriage, revealing the many and remarkable paths that relationships can take.

From the excitement and anticipation of courtship to the deep connection of lifelong commitment, we discover that love is found in the most unexpected of places—a New York toll booth, a military base in Iraq, an airport lounge. These stories are a testament to love’s remarkable endurance."

sounds beautiful, doesn't it? being as lucky as we are to have a storycorps location in atlanta, i still hope to record a story with someone special in my life one of these days. i would love to work for storycorps because i love their cause of preserving the human voice!

the "in all there is" book is available for pre-order now and will be released on february 2, 2012! this would make a wonderful valentine's day gift for those you love! ♥

hope y'all have a wonderful weekend. we'll be spending time with family and hoping to get in some hiking between the rain showers.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

queen of country music

considering my undying love for dolly parton, i wanted to take a minute and say happy birthday to the smoky mountain songbird! she is now 66 and couldn't be any more fabulous! she is one of my idols (see here ) and her humor and laugh are so endearing! i quote her line in "steel magnolias" on a weekly basis: "no one cries alone in my presence." true story! i think we would be great friends (fingers crossed)!

p.s. if i had a nickel for every time i listened to dolly parton, i'd be richer than the backwoods barbie herself! ♥

"if you want to see the rainbow you gotta put up with the rain" - dolly parton

reflections on the past for the future

is it just me or are your 20's a really bizarre period of your life? i turned 27 last year and i feel like i'm just now starting to embrace myself; however, i feel so far from having anything figured out. growing up, you know what is expected - graduate high school, move away, go to college, graduate, and then find a job. this "find a job" time is when everything just gets real fuzzy.

i went to college and studied psychology; however, i never went back to school for it so instead i've been at the same company since i graduated. is it my dream job or what i feel compelled to do? not at all. does it pay the bills, allow me to enjoy my life outside of work, and not feel trapped in a horrible job? yes, well most days at least. do i see myself doing this forever? lord, i hope not.

i've been married to a wonderful man for 2 years and with him for almost 7 years. we're not ready for kids yet. we own a house, but we aren't wanting to stay in georgia forever. we want an adventure, but don't want to lose everything. we are happy (so happy with each other and townes) but we live with fears.

it seems like everyone i know in their 20's is doing something different: traveling the world, working in a bar, freelancing, having tons of kids, moving all over the country, playing in a band, getting divorced, finishing school, living with their parents, or toeing the line. there is no standard - which i love - but i feel like it leaves this constant unsettling feeling. to help cope with this feeling, i always remember the advice given to me by almost all of the wonderful older women in my life: never wait for the right time to do something, because there will never be a right time. this gives me comfort in knowing that there's no need to rush and worry, because things that will be, will be.

lately i've read 2 wonderful "things i'd tell my 20-year old self" articles and i found them wildly fascinating and inspiring. i know most people do whatever they can to stop the aging process, but these words allow me to embrace growing older. now i just have to remember to slow down and reflect on these items now, while i am still young.

this advice made my week. it also made me want to be a better person every day, remember to laugh and that "useless days will add up to something." this article is a MUST read, i promise.

this letter from a mother to her daughter is very simple, but wise. i love the mother's advice on taking care of your body and to stop worrying (we could all use more of this at any age).


what is some of the best advice you've received?

here's to growing older, but always being young at heart! xo

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

currently seeking: vacation tips for costa rica

we just booked a trip to costa rica last night! we haven't really had a chance to take a vacation for longer than a weekend in the past year so on a whim we decided to book a trip to costa rica for some r&r and adventure! we'll be going in march and we absolutely can't wait! one of my best friends just recently went to costa rica so she gave me some great tips (thanks sasha! xo), but we're still solidifying our plans so we can book the hotels. as of right now, we know we want to see the arenal volcano and the monteverde cloud forest, but we're trying to figure out our next plan. we're thinking of montezuma on the nicoya peninsula but with a car rental, we're trying to figure out logistics.

have you ever been to costa rica? do you have any "must do's" that you would urge us towards? we would appreciate all of the help we can get! i'm so excited that we now have this to look forward to - we needed something to be excited about! ♥

do you have any upcoming adventures planned? i'd love to hear!

[photos 1,2,3]

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

DIY: arrow bracelet

i am loving this bracelet DIY over at freckled nest! it's such a quick and easy bracelet to make and it's such a nice break from the standard friendship bracelets. these colors are also pretty perfect! hopefully i'll have time to make one this week.

what are some DIY items on your short list? please share! xo

Monday, January 16, 2012

bits of my weekend

this weekend was wonderful! the weather was really nice and i enjoyed every second of it. on friday night, we had some close friends over for dinner - i made eggplant parmigiana, capellini pasta, and salad (yum)! townes got to hang with his best friend mac too so he was thrilled! we hung out by the fire pit in the backyard for a bit and then decided to go bowling. we ended up playing 2 frames but by the second frame, you could see everyone slowing down (we must be getting old)!

saturday, j and i woke up, made breakfast, and then cleaned the house. we took townes on a really nice long walk through decatur and we drooled over so many of the homes. when we got back, we ate lunch and then i went to zumba! i absolutely love zumba and need to make this class a habit on saturdays, because it leaves me feeling so great, exhausted, and feminine! we took townes to the dog park and then just relaxed and spent alone time outside cuddled up by the fire. we ordered in sushi and i read my new D*S book. we ended our fabulously peaceful day with the movie "primal fear" (it had been ages since we'd last seen it but man - edward norton is so good/ creepy in it)!
yesterday, we went to stone mountain park and hiked the full cherokee trail (5-6 miles) with townes. we live only about 10 minutes from stone mountain yet it never is top of mind when we go hiking; however, that has now changed. we LOVED the hike - so many different views and settings and there are very versatile landscapes to walk on. we brought some snacks for us and townes and it was a really refreshing day!

despite my better judgement, i wore my asics instead of my hiking boots and a few times while walking at stone mountain, i kept rolling my right foot (2 of the times it was really bad and painful) on stumps and roots. on our way home i noticed it was hurting but figured it would pass. we ended the night at provino's italian restaurant with all of j's family on his dad's side and by the time dinner was over, i was in so much pain that j had to basically carry me out of the restaurant (crowded restaurant at that). i had to end the weekend with my foot on ice and elevated but it gave me a good excuse to watch the golden globes!

my foot is still in pain but hopefully it'll be better by tomorrow so i can make it to the gym.

hope you had a wonderful weekend! xo
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