6/26/16

june


Dear June,

It's good yet bittersweet that you're leaving us! It has definitely been a trying month, and it continues to be very challenging...but the summer is sweet, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

So...let's start with the most recent. I got a new car! It felt weird driving off in a brand new car, feeling like it wasn't new at all but back to what I had before.  I detest the whole negotiations bit, the haggling is absolutely exhausting! But it was a big accomplishment and step for progress, so I am pretty excited. We took it for a lovely, lazy Sunday drive up the river and found ourselves in a totally new spot - Frenchtown, NJ - where we walked around the main street, popped in the shops, and had lunch. How cute is this town!? American flags everywhere, old industrial buildings, little restaurants and cafes and shops right along the Delaware.

This month I have been working SO hard on the ever-rewarding and time consuming craft of calligraphy! I have two wedding collections that I am working on, which has been so amazing. These brides are lovely and have such great taste in wedding paper and stationery. I am so thankful that they have entrusted me with this project! Through these, I have learned so much about etiquette and all of the ins and out of format, spacing, and keeping up with tradition. I'm learning to hone my skills. The most importance is patience and deliberation. Each black canvas needs to stay blank until all the preparations are made - each item off the checklist, checked twice. Ink? Water? Viscosity? Opaque enough? Spelling? Spacing? Choice of tools? All of this is time consuming, and requires my full concentration and attention all of the time. I love the feeling of accomplishing a full set! I can't wait to see how these two projects turn out!

A few days ago by little bro rang in his 20th birthday! We sneakily threw him a big surprise party at our house, with all of his friends, family, s'mores and a bonfire, yummy BBQ food and of course some good old lawn sports - volleyball is my absolute favorite to play as a team! S loves Spikeball, but we didn't get a chance to play at the party (hello, beach!). My sister planned the whole thing and it went so well.

Next week, I am going here to ring in July 4th and spend some time in the sun and by the sea! I absolutely love the chilly early morning walks, multiple coffee stops (I miss coffee SO much - I can't drink it and work on my calligraphy usually in the same day) and coming and going to get some relief from the sun. I think my favorite aspect of the shore by far is watching all of the boats through their binoculars and watching them come and go. I normally figure out which one is which based on time of day, or color...I am such a nerd! But I love it. So next time you hear from me, it will probably be about the beach!

ciao, xo

6/13/16

summer bucket list


This summer is lining up to be a busy one, and I am incredibly shocked that June is already halfway over! Since my last entry, so much has happened. Periods of growth, frustration, thankfulness…I am glad that for now, there is a sense of calm around me that is surrounding me more and more with the onset of summer.

So naturally, as I always do, I am looking ahead with anticipation. I am so excited for the summertime and lapsing into a deep relaxation. I've been thinking about the things I want to do, but the first thing on my list is probably the most important:
  • Live EVERY day slowly, thoughtfully, and with purpose.
  • Go white water rafting!
  • Get some fun, action photography shots…I’m envisioning a rope swing??
  •  Hot air balloons
  • Wine tasting with S
  • Miniature golfing down the shore
  •  Enjoy a girl’s weekend with my gal pals
  • Get up to 4 miles running after physical therapy
  •  Go kayaking in the OBX
  • Do a spontaneous day or weekend trip with S?
  • Star gazing
  • Be good to my skin
  • Finish the current wedding projects currently queued up with @ataylorstudio
  • Expand my calligraphy practice
  • This is an ambitious one…new paint on the walls in my room?
  • Another ambitious one…get acclimated to summer eating with a more vegetarian diet
  •  Tend to my herb garden
  • Experiment with some European and Asian recipes…I subscribe to the Try to World boxes and have got some awesome themed collections from Thailand and Portugal…have to pluck up the courage to try some home cooked international flavor
  • Finish 3-5 summer reads

What's on your summer to-do list!?

ciao, xo 

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6/5/16

thankful


Starting this post is a little hard. I was debating posting about this, because I decided to keep this more or less 'private' up until now. I felt weird about sharing the fact that I was in a car accident. I didn't want to garner sympathy or attention, and I didn't want to seem like I was complaining or oversharing. Social media does that so much, and I try to share very little on there. Which is why I feel a little hypocritical having a blog and sharing it here. Not that I owe an explanation, but I want to share this for the positives, not the shock value or the scary imagery. Because in the end, the positives are what is left out of this post.

All of this happened last Thursday at 6:30 am. My morning routine is pretty standard. Wake up at 5:30 or 5:45, wash face, brush teeth, put on clothes, makeup, lunch, coffee, out the door. Last Thursday was another normal day. I wasn't late, I had a pretty meager packed lunch, and I liked my outfit. It was a warm but clear day, actually a beautiful morning. I was thinking about what I had to do that day. I clearly remember that NPR was doing a story about Donald Trump on the radio.

About 3 minutes into my morning commute, a pickup truck smashed into my car. I didn't even see it coming. My car had spun and lodged into a fence and everything around me was shaken up. I remember screaming, loudly. My seatbelt was on, but I felt like I had been thrashed around. Miraculously, my hands worked. My arms worked. My legs worked. My mind was, albeit hysterical, working. I unbuckled my seatbelt, and walked out. Thinking about it now, I truly believe that this was an honest to God miracle.

I saw the shattered glass all over the road, my car in a heaping mess of twisted metal. Cars around me stopped; I was shaken to the core. A sweet woman whose name I didn't get came over and held my hand. I fumbled for what felt like forever before I dialed the police, then my parents. It truly was an eternity of standstill horror.

But the next thing I knew, my mom and dad were hugging me, and everyone involved was okay.  I know that ride for them felt like an eternity of horror, too. I remember seeing my car, now hanging from the frame and lodged into a chainlink fence all the way up to the windshield. The back doors were bent and useless. The rear of my car, which was where most of the force hit, was literally reduced to pieces of metal hanging off a steel frame. The only comfort was that everyone in the scene seemed to be okay, and I was with those I love the most.

I clung to my mom, and she helped me realize, that this car took all of the damage and I WAS OKAY.   And this was a miracle. It definitely took me a few hours, especially after thinking about it again and again, but I realized that I was so unbelievably lucky to walk away like I did. I was inches away from so much more pain or even death. It was a serious crash, and just thinking about it is really hard for me to do. I know there are so many people out there who have lived through worse, or who know people who didn't make it out. Thinking about it is so haunting, but now I am aware of how truly lucky I am to be typing this right now; in my bed; enjoying the light rain outside; able to look forward to next weekend. I am so lucky to have all of those things I am enjoying right now. Despite the waves of shock and infuriating anger, I have so much to be thankful for. So much learning in this jarring experience.

I chose not to share this with my friends (until now, that is) and still have mixed feelings talking about it. But an entire support system came into place, here. My colleagues, my mom's friends, her colleagues, and family. S came over right away from work to be with me. Flowers have come pouring in. Family friends pitched in and bought us a take-home dinner so we didn't have to cook. I swear, even Scout knows and has been spending more time with me than usual. There have been so many offerings of help.

The world, in a way, is a little more bright and cheerful. I can't find the words to explain how amazed I am at the joy of life, the hidden explanations and "what ifs" and mysteries of luck. I am so thankful for the beauty in these people I love and this town and the world I live in. I am so lucky that this incident is now, really, only just an inconvenience, and not the loss of something more. I am just so eternally and irrevocably thankful and appreciative of this beautiful world. Letting go of the negative, and embracing the happiness and positivity in life, is so so so much better.

ciao, xo




5/8/16

spring delights

sweet gifts from my bloggy friend, kerri!

With the nonstop rain over the last week, it has felt like an eternity since I have been outside!! There are, fortunately, some lovely things keeping me sane indoors. First, I recently did a total 'spring cleaning' overhaul and redecorated my room with new DIYs, crafts, art pieces, rearranged stuff, and the best part: decluttering! I threw out about 10 pairs of shoes!

Between Michaels, TJ Maxx and Whole Foods I have been very busy indeed with beautifying my living space. I scored this exquisite pink peonies from Whole Foods (only $12.99 - which I thought was at first expensive, but compared to other places around here, it isn't!) and they opened up BEAUTIFULLY in my window sill. I also have been getting through the chilly rainy days with lots of delicious candles and scents like lavender, hibiscus, and rosemary mint.

But probably the most delightful things here were a completely surprise snail mail gift from Kerri! She sent over a gorgeous tassel necklace and bracelet (she makes them herself - Kerri, where is your Etsy shop!!?!), fun birthday-themed treats (my b-day was this past April) and of course, our common passion, TEA. It was so sweet of her to send this over, and it really came in handy this week to get past the rainy day blues.

I am working on a few DIY projects and improving some crafts I recently bought at Michaels. I got a really nice linen board (functions as a cork board, but cleaner and more crisp) that I want to doll up with some of my favorite photos and some calligraphy work. I am also trying to fix up some shelves to put on my wall so I can start building some sort of gallery wall a la pinterest.

In the mean time, I'll be on the hunt for more peonies...

ciao! happy work week, all!

xo