January 21, 2011


Thanks to my new favorite place, the Funky Buddha Yoga Hothouse, I’ve decided to adopt some mantras.


Happy like a fool.  Let it take over you.


And most importantly…


Begin again.  Always, begin again.


Now those are words I can live by.  Love it, all around.

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January 2, 2011

Cheers to the New Year!

This past year has been an amazing one.  Not only did I spend two months volunteering in Costa Rica but I also became engaged to the most loving, wonderful man while we were there.  On top of that, I’ve transitioned into a new position at work and spent time with family and friends making great memories.

Now, in the first days on 2011, I can’t help but think that it is going to be an amazing year.  I’ll be getting married, Todd and I will establish the first home that will truly be our own, many of my friends will be getting married and some will be expecting their first little ones.  So, in contemplating what this year will bring, I’ve been thinking about goals for the coming year.  Here are a few things that I hope to accomplish this year.

  • Get ready to be a wife (!)
  • Read at least 15 books
  • Eat healthier and exercise more in preparation for the wedding and then stick to it
  • Downsize and buy less
  • Reduce my credit card debt by a significant amount, at least 25%
  • Begin to learn French
  • Enjoy the beauty in the every day and remember that my glass is more than half full

I’m off to a good start.  Today I finished my first book of the year and bought materials for learning French and in a few weeks, Todd and I will being our pre-marital counseling which I am really looking forward to.  So, although I’m not one to make resolutions, I’m resolved to make the next year the best it can be.  Cheers!

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December 22, 2010

Unexpected Affirmations

Everyone knows that life has its seasons.  We goes through ups and downs and come out better for it.  Lately I’ve been feeling tired, stressed, self-conscious and unsure of where things are headed.  I have not been my best self and I know that and I wake up a few days per week telling myself that today will be different and sometimes it is – and sometimes it’s not.

In the last few days I have been so lucky to find such amazing bright spots in the midst of these feelings.

Time spent with friends in the last week has been so restorative and welcome.  It’s easy  to just come home from work and call it a day without catching up with the people who I don’t see every day but this week I spent time laughing with and enjoying the company of friends.  I felt genuinely happy while spending time with the people who I really enjoy.

On top of that, Matt’s visit home marked the first time our whole family had been together since Thanksgiving 2009 – far too long.  Time spent with my family reminds me of how lucky I am to be loved completely by them despite any (every) flaw I have.  I feel so blessed to have such a great family.  It’s really amazing to share, and continure to write and re-write, a history with such a great group of people.

You can always count and family and good friends to buoy you and lift you up.

And then came some unexpected affirmations…

A few Christmases ago I was at church and our pastor read us a letter that he had written.  I loved what he said.  I shared it with my family because I wanted them to hear those words of grace and peace and to understand how I felt when I heard them.  And then Saturday, by pure coincidence, I was reminded of that letter and found a copy in my email and read it again and those words, that beautiful message of how things could be, has taken over my thoughts in such a good way because reading things like that can remind me of a place where I was and have wandered away from and remind me that I am always welcome to go back.  Selah.

Then today, I went to a hot yoga class just to try it out.  And in the middle of my down dog I hear the instructor say “Remember, you are beautiful just the way you are.” and later, “Let it go, you can let it go.” and then, “Whatever you are able to do is exactly what you should do.” and finally, “You are shining, beautiful people.” sprinkled with “Excellent.”, “Great.”.  The whole class continued without even a single instance of correction – so commonplace in all of the classes I’ve attended at different gyms over the years.  I left feeling relaxed, sweaty, great about myself for trying and happy to have been there.  I even lingered a bit at the end.

It is with humble gratitude that I accept all of these unexpected affirmations, these unexpected reminders that when I am feeling down it won’t last.  A reminder that my ugly thoughts about others can become more positive – that I am not on an inevitable path towards discontent.  I am thankful that others are more in tune with the good life has to offer and that they are willing to share reminders with me, with strangers.



the old way

the way of condemnation

the one where we have this endless internal dialogue

a tape in our head that plays on endless repeat

telling us that we’re not good enough

that we haven’t proven ourselves

that we aren’t pretty enough

that we aren’t working hard enough

that our sins are simply too grave to be reconciled or redeemed

that we’re too heavy, too old, too slow, too stupid, too damaged

too weak to be capable of change

those are the old voices

we’ve been down that road

we’ve played that game

we’ve swam in that stream

the old way—that’s the way that we’re leaving behind

what we saw Paul doing again and again

is passionately urging a new phronesis—a new pattern of

thinking, acting and feeling

a Christ pattern

and it begins with grace and peace


grace is gift

it begins with our wide-eyed wonder and awe that all of this is a gift

the ‘this’ is of course many things

it’s the love of the father

the gift of the son

it’s the unexpected soothing reassurance of the Spirit who whispers sometimes in the most

hopeless of moments:

“you’re going to be fine”


[…] it’s the person who has always lived with this need to judge others

who has this compulsion to put everybody around them in

one of their categories

always looking for what’s wrong with that person

what they don’t get

what they don’t do

how they don’t measure up

whether they’re on the right team or not

and then all of a sudden that doesn’t work

they realize that all that energy spent condemning and measuring

and analyzing others was to avoid turning the spotlight inward

on themselves

because that would be terrifying

but recently they’ve encountered grace and peace

and they’re becoming free to embrace the other

the stranger

the one they would have kept at a distance

they’re learning to accept things

accept people

as they are

because they’re learning that








oh, grace and peace. ”                              -r. bell





October 3, 2010


I end up spending more time than I should doing online shopping – well, it’s really more like online window shopping since I’m definitely on a budget.  Even though I’m not in a position to fill my closet with every little thing I want, at least I have some inspiration for the next (first) time I have a surprise bonus in my paycheck.  Hope you like my picks!

1) j.crew: drapey bateau top.

my search for a nautical top + my search for a top with embellished shoulders = fulfilled.  love.

j.crew drapey bateau tee
j.crew drapey bateau tee
look at those sparkles!
look at those sparkles!

2) interesting bracelets from banana republic

sprinkled gems bracelet - kissing bangle - new year's bracelet

sprinkled gems bracelet - kissing bangle - new year's bracelet

3) anlo jordan dress in blue leopard

i’m not much for animal prints but i love this look that reese witherspoon recently wore while filming in vancouver.

reese witherspoon in her anlo dress

reese witherspoon in her anlo dress

September 19, 2010

The 19th Wife – On TV!

Back in March, I read The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff, a murder mystery involving the Fundamentalist Church of Latter-Day Saints – better know as polygamist sect of the Mormon church.  Read my original blog post about the book here.

While flipping through the channels tonight, I saw that Lifetime was premiering their made-for-TV version of The 19th Wife.  They seem to be focusing on the modern-day story more than the historical aspect of the book but 26 minutes in, I’m not planning on changing the channel.  The book was great and I’m sure the movie will at least be entertaining even though Lifetime movies get a bad rap.

Since it’s a Lifetime movie I’m sure there will be more airings.  For more on the TV movie visit Lifetime’s official “19th Wife” site.

July 31, 2010

Etsy Obsession

I recently decided to browse Etsy.com at the suggestion of my trusty Martha Stewart Weddings magazine.  In case you don’t know, Etsy is, as they put it, “Your place to buy and sell all things handmade, vintage and supplies”.  I had never really looked at the site before, having only been to it once or twice and feeling overwhelmed by the selection.  But, if you known what you’re looking for: “dress cookies”, “paper pom pom”, “silver necklace”, et cetera it’s the perfect place to shop.  Not only are the offerings unique, they’re often really affordable and always creative.

Anyways, it was maybe two weeks ago when I decide to browse the site again.  Shortly thereafter, I made my first Etsy purchase – “Will You Be My Bridesmaid?” cookies.  Since I’m out of the country, I’ve been so ready to ask the girls to be part of our wedding day but wanted to find a more personal way than sending an email.  These were the perfect fit.  I had found several on other websites but they were so expensive!  With shipping I would have had to pay almost $25 each, just ridiculous.  The Amy Bakes shop (check it out here) on Etsy offered the perfect cookies at a great price.  Best of all, she customized them, added a personal note and sent them individually to each of the girls.  I couldn’t have asked for better service!

Here’s a photo of the final product:

In addition to baked goods, Etsy offers a ton of other products.  I’ve also ordered a t-shirt from neena creates and a clutch from ModDiva.  The t-shirt is adorable, it’s chili red and plain except for where is reads “te amo” (“I love you” in Spanish) across the bust.  And the clutch is so sweet and the perfect size for all of my necessities when I don’t feel like carrying a purse.

"Te Amo" Tee

"Te Amo" Tee

Poppies Clutch

Poppies Clutch

I already have things picked out on Etsy for bridesmaid gifts and reception decor and I can’t wait to keep browsing, it really is addicting!

July 26, 2010

Wedding Inspiration

Even though we’re in Costa Rica and that makes it really hard to plan the wedding, I’ve been trying to do everything I can.  This means a lot of browsing through websites, thinking about things I like and don’t and browsing through my treasured copy of Martha Stewart Weddings. I’ve been able to pick things like a color scheme (yellow and grey) and possible vendors, photographers, caterers and venues.

One of the most fun things I’ve done so far was make an inspiration board.  It’s just a collection of different ideas and things that I like and that I’d like to build off of to come up with the perfect choices for my wedding day. Just fun, bright with a little bit of whimsy thrown in. I hope you like it, the bright colors just makes me so happy when I look at it!

Today's Whims

June 26, 2010

I’m engaged!

While in Costa Rica, Todd asked me to marry him and, of course, I said “Yes”!

Read all about the proposal at http://toddandkate.wordpress.com .

We’re so excited!

June 1, 2010

Costa Rica, Here We Come!

After months of planning, a week of goodbye-ing and days of packing, Todd and I are so excited to be leaving tomorrow morning for Costa Rica.  We’ll arrive to San José tomorrow evening then continue our journey to Playa Potrero in the morning.

Follow our adventure at: http://toddandkate.wordpress.com.

Pura Vida, here we come!

May 31, 2010

Southern Road Trip – Part Four (Coons for Sale)

Thank you, South Carolina.

Coons for Sale

Coons for Sale

Get 'Em Here

Get 'Em Here