Monday, December 31, 2012


I've always been very leery of making new year's resolutions (see here). I feel like, as soon as you voice your goal, you're setting yourself up to fail. As soon as you put it out there, the world has a way of making sure it doesn't happen. Or at least, that's been my experience. I usually just keep these secret wishes close to my heart so if (and inevitably, when) they don't work out, no one knows but me. It's a self-preservation thing. But this year, I was brave. I made some statements. Some of them happened and some of them didn't. Let's see how I did, shall we?

Status: Done. I actually read 58 books this year. And I'm pretty proud of myself.

Status: Didn't happen. This is probably my biggest disappointment of the year. But there's really nothing I can do about it, so I'm trying not to dwell. All I can do is look to next year and work towards making it happen. But the good news? I feel like we're closer than we've ever been so maybe 2013 will be the year.

Status: Done. I've run 5 races this year (some of them are here, here, and here). And I'm training for a half marathon (!). 

Status: long story short, it didn't happen. But 2013 is the year. I can feel it.

Status: Done. You can read more about that here.

Status: Done, I think. I might have spent more on things this year, but what I did buy was good quality so in the end, it was smarter. And I did a good job this year of getting rid of a lot of things that were just sitting around cluttering the place up.

Status: Not yet. But I have taken steps towards taking it. I've been studying and gathering information. I plan on taking it the beginning of next year.

Status: Done, kind of. We spent quite a lot in 2012 but we also made more this year than in previous years. So, by comparison, yes, we saved more too.

Status: Done. This summer we rented a beach house with a bunch of college friends and spent an entire week hanging out in the sand and surf. Read more about that here.

There are a few things that I didn't include in these resolutions and for good reason. They are private. My most private longings are locked up inside me like a little girl's diary. With one of those heart shaped locks. Maybe when (and if) they happen, I'll share them. But for now, they're staying right where they belong.

I learned a lot this year. I opened myself up a bit and great things happened. And I'm happy. So, I think for next year, I will try my hand at this resolution thing again. But this time, I think, I'll be a lot more general. I think I will enjoy it more if I don't feel pressured by these standards I've set for myself.

So, farewell 2012. You were a good year. You did us right (mostly). But I'm not sad to see you go. On to bigger and better things!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas:

Merry Christmas, everyone! I'm taking the week off to relax, spend time with family, and stuff my face. I'll be back next week with some end of the year wrap up.

Have a great holiday. XO.

Monday, December 24, 2012


This weekend was cookie madness weekend. I managed to make one or two kinds earlier this month and froze them but this weekend I made at least 5 dozen. And I helped Tyler make his famous sugar cookies (always the favorite at our get togethers). We're almost ready on the cookie front. Our freezer is stuffed full of cookies. I've got a few other things still to make. Because in our family, it isn't Christmas unless we are literally knee deep in cookies.

P.S. Santa Claus comes tonight! Have you been good this year? Better make sure you leave some cookies and milk out, just in case!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Happy Weekend:


Happy Friday, everyone! I thought today would never get here. The last week before a long holiday off from work always drags out.

What are your plans for the weekend? Today is my dad's birthday so we're doing family stuff tonight to celebrate. I made him a yummy cake and we're going to pig out and play games. Tomorrow I've got a long run (only 4 miles) in the morning and then we're going to watch The Hobbit with my family. Unless of course the Mayans were right and the world ends today. In that case, happy birthday, Dad! I give you the gift of the apocalypse.

A few highlights from this week:
  1. Yesterday was my last day of work for 2012. Yay!
  2. Kristin (of the Order fame) gets into town this morning! I get to pick her up from the airport!
  3. I stuffed my face at a potluck Christmas party. Delicious.
  4. We may have some exciting travel plans for 2013. 
  5. I reached my reading goal for the year. 56 books!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas:

Can you believe Christmas is almost here? It really snuck (or is it sneaked?) up on me this year. I've got presents to wrap and cookies to bake. Our stockings still haven't been hung. There's a lot left to do but my, our tree sure is pretty. Looking at it helps me to relax, slow down, and enjoy it. Kind of like a fish tank. Fish tanks are supposed to be calming, right?

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Painting party:

Last week, I went to a Christmas party with some of the girls I run with. We've gotten to be really close this year so we celebrated by hanging out, eating food, and painting at Painting with a Twist! It was fun.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

New Reads:

This week, I'm reading Forever Young: The Science of Nutrigenomics for Glowing, Wrinkle-Free Skin and Radiant Health at Every Age by Dr. Nicholas Perricone. It's a nice change of pace from all the fiction I've been reading lately. And it's interesting too. I'm learning a lot about the metabolic diet, cell mitochondria, and free radicals.

Here's what it's about:

"From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Perricone Prescription and The Wrinkle Cure comes nutrigenomics, a powerful new strategy for maintaining beautiful skin and a healthy, youthful body regardless of age. Named one of the four top dermatologists in the United States by Vogue, Dr. Perricone is a bestselling author and revered practitioner whose huge audience includes many of the world's most beautiful faces. Scientists working on the human genome project talk of a bright future for genetic manipulation, one that will someday reverse many of the signs of aging, including aging skin.

That future is now. By following Dr. Perricone's remarkable yet simple program in Forever Young, you will learn how to turn off the genes that cause aging, and turn on the genes that will

  • rejuvenate wrinkled, sagging skin
  • burn body fat
  • increase lean muscle mass
  • improve brain and memory
  • increase energy
  • enhance mental and physical well-being
At the core of his new book is an exciting new science on skin: nutrigenomics and gene expression. With his innovative vision, Dr. Perricone has applied the new science to ease wrinkles and make skin supple, smooth, and glowing. His prescriptive program will shave years off your appearance, increase health and vitality, and enhance mental clarity."

I know I'm young and don't really have any of these problems yet but I operate under the mindset that it is never too early to start taking care of my skin and my body. And the more I know now, the better prepared I am down the road. Preventative measures all the way, you know?

Monday, December 17, 2012

Christmas 2012:

I'm just going to be super honest... getting presents is one of my favorite things about Christmas. I know that's something a kid would say and maybe I still think like a kid, but whatever. It's true.

So here is what I'm wishing for this Christmas:
  1. Joy the Baker cookbook $13 -- kind of obsessed with her
  2. Classic Cambridge Satchel $101 -- perfect for carrying to work
  3. J.Crew Heartbreak sweater $80 -- so cute (and on sale!)
  4. Little Helper container $56 -- one of those things I've loved but never thought to buy for myself
  5. Dorado riding boot $498 -- the boots of my dreams
  6. Puffin Classics books $11.50 each -- love these editions of classics from my childhood
  7. book light $15 -- for reading in dark corners
  8. Young House Love book $17 -- love reading this blog and am looking forward to reading the book
  9. Gold pig bookends $30 -- these would be adorable on our bookshelf (very Charlotte's Web)

Friday, December 14, 2012

Happy Weekend:


Happy Friday! This week has been long and cold. I can't say I'm sorry to see it go. What about you? Got any fun plans to send this week off in style? We've got a long run planned for early Saturday morning (ugh) and then I've got a Christmas party with my running group. And we have some photos to take. We're in the process of getting our Christmas cards ready to send out.

Some highlights of our week include:

  1. Some recent developments at work have me very excited about the future of my career
  2. I got new running shoes and am in the process of breaking them in
  3. I've been knitting like crazy to get all of these done
  4. Andrew caught my nasty virus but is finally feeling better this week!
  5. Spent a lovely evening painting with some dear friends
Have a great weekend, everyone. Stay warm!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

I love:

For a few weeks now, I've been using Josie Maran's Argan Illuminizer. I use the smallest amount known to man on my cheekbones, brow bones, cupid's bow, and down the bridge of my nose. And I kid you not, it is amazing. It makes me look all dewy and glowy in the best way possible. It's not sparkly or glittery at all (so I don't end up looking like a 13-year-old covered in glitter), and it blends fabulously with my fair skin. It actually makes me look more rested than I really am and brings some color into my face (bronzer + pale skin = a bad idea). 

A one ounce bottle will last me a year, easily. I'm thinking about mixing a little with my foundation during the week and my moisturizer on the weekends (I don't wear makeup on my days off) for a little winter pick me up. Sometimes, during the winter months, my pale skin looks almost gray, ya know? If you suffer from the same problem, I think this would really help you as well. Give it a try.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

I love:

I realized I had yet to share my loot from the last library book sale. 25 books for $13.50. I am in love.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Food, Glorious Food:


I've had tarts on my mind lately. My good friend Joy the Baker suggested I try her Honey Almond Butter Chocolate Tart recipe. And since I've been looking for something new to debut at the Christmas potluck, I figured I'd test drive it.

Monday, December 10, 2012

I love:

I'm kind of in love with novelty sweaters at the moment. Case in point:

Friday, December 7, 2012

Happy Weekend:

Happy Friday, everyone! Got anything fun planned? We've got an 8-mile run (!) planned for Saturday morning and some Christmas decorating and shopping to do. I always get stressed out thinking about how many weekends are left before Christmas that I try to squeeze everything in as early as possible so I can relax.

The weather has been unseasonably warm here lately (I think that's why I've been -- majorly-- under the weather) so get out there and enjoy it while it lasts.

Have a great one. XO.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

If I were a cartoon:

We've been using our iPad as a drawing tablet lately and we're kind of obsessed. Last night, Andrew drew my likeness. It's cute, right? Here's my best attempt at him:

Not so great. But I'm still having fun with it and I'm getting better.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

New Reads:

This week, I'm reading The Diviners by Libba Bray. I really liked the Gemma Doyle trilogy that she wrote a few years ago so I snatched up her newest offering.  I'm only a few pages in so far, but I really like it.

It goes like this:

"Do you believe there are ghosts and demons and Diviners among us?

Evie O'Neil has been exiled from her boring old hometown and shipped off to the bustling streets of New York City -- and she is pos-i-tute-ly ecstatic.  It's 1926, and New York is filled with speakeasies, Ziegfeld girls, and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is that she has to live with her Uncle Will and his unhealthy obsession with the occult.

Evie worries he'll discover her darkest secret: a supernatural power that has only brought her trouble so far. But when the police find a murdered girl branded with a cryptic symbol and Will is called to the scene,  Evie realizes her gift could help catch a serial killer.

As Evie jumps headlong into a dance with a murderer, other stories unfold in the city that never sleeps. A young man named Memphis is caught between two worlds. A chorus girl named Theta is running from her past. A student named Jericho hides a shocking secret. And unknown to all, something dark and evil has awakened...

Printz Award-winning and New York Times Bestselling author Libba Bray opens a brand-new historical series with the Diviners, where the glittering surface of the Roaring Twenties hides a mystical horror creeping across the country."

Doesn't it sound deliciously creepy? So excited to read it. And so excited to hear that it's a series! I love stumbling upon a new series. It's one of my very favorite things. Finding a great new book is great but discovering that the story doesn't end there, that there is more to come is even better. It's one of the very best surprises.

If you're interested in how I'm progressing in my reading goal for the year, check it out after the jump.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

I love:

Let's talk about hair products for a minute. Now, I'm not that much of an expert when it comes to hair. I use a few products, yes, but I'm kind of hopelessly confused when it comes to doing anything with my hair Seriously, I struggle. So, I really like to wash and go. And sometimes not wash. Just go. But here are the things that I have used and had success with (all cruelty-free, of course):

  1. Avalon Organics Lavender Shampoo -- I use this almost every time I wash my hair. It is really gentle and smells good. Plus, we buy the large bottle with a pump and it last forever. Seriously, forever.
  2. Avalon Organics Lavender Conditioner -- see above.
  3. Organix Leave-In Nourishing Coconut Milk -- I really like trying all the different Organix products and this one is really great. It's all-natural, has a great smell, and especially during the winter keeps my hair from getting too dry and full of static.
  4. Say Yes to Carrots Anti-Frizz Serum -- my hair doesn't get really frizzy but I like to use this and know that it's one less thing I have to worry about. Plus it smells nice and gives my hair a little more texture.
  5. Organix Awapuhi Ginger Instant Recovery Mask -- I use this hair mask once a week to keep my hair soft and moisturized. It smells ah-maz-ing!
  6. Nexxus Maxximum Hair Spray -- the love of my hairspray life used to be L'Oreal Elnett but they test on animals so we no longer use them. And I haven't found a spray that I love as much. Right now we're trying this one. It's okay. Not my fave though. I miss my Elnett.
  7. Conair WideTooth Comb -- I run this through my hair after washing and applying product to detangle and evenly distribute things through my hair. Sometimes I will run it through dry hair. It's the closest thing I own to a brush.
  8. Chi ceramic flat iron -- I don't usually use heat tools but occasionally if my hair is especially out of control, I will run this through it to kind of calm things down. I use it more during cold weather months.
  9. Revlon RV544 hair dryer -- I did some research a while ago while shopping for hair dryers and came across this one. A lot of people were really into it so I tried it. And I really like it too. I don't use it that much, I prefer to let my hair air dry. But when I have drying needs, this is what I reach for. And apparently, I'm not alone. It's a thing. If you're in the market for a hair dryer, I highly recommend this one. I like to use the diffuser with it because I feel like it just dries my hair more naturally, you know?
  10. Organix Moroccan Argan Oil Blow Out Cream -- this is really great. I run it through my hair before I dry it and it keeps things looking awesome. It protects from heat and UV damage and I love it for that.
  11. Say Yes to Carrots Scalp Relief Shampoo -- My hair and scalp gets really dry in the winter and using this shampoo a few times a week keeps things under control. And it doesn't smell all medicated like so many scalp treatment shampoos do. It smells nice. Like citrus.

Monday, December 3, 2012

New Clothes:

Last week, J.Crew was having a super sale. And I had a 30% off coupon on top of that. So we got some new clothes. I got two shirts and a pencil skirt and Andrew got a pair of jeans, two shirts, and a sweater for under $175. It was awesome. I must say, I love this time of year. You can score some pretty outrageous deals.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Happy Weekend:


Happy Friday everyone! Can you believe tomorrow is December? I need to get on the Christmas shopping. And decorating. But I've just been so tired this week. Maybe I can get myself up off the couch long enough to put up our tree on Saturday. And then bask in it's glow the rest of the weekend.

What are your plans? Holiday prep? Shopping? Eating delicious food with friends? We've got a long run Saturday morning and then I think I'll start baking Christmas cookies. My plan is to start early, make a different kind each weekend, and freeze them until Christmas Eve. As stress-free as possible, right?

Here's a little of what we've been up to this week:
  1. We took the train home from St. Louis and got back in at 3:00 Monday morning.
  2. I slept until noon on Monday and have gone to bed early every night trying to play catch up.
  3. I made some super delicious treats with a recipe from my new friends JTB and Shutts.
  4. Running in the rain (in the cold) is absolutely no fun. Especially if you get sort of sick afterwards. But having friends run with you makes it easier.

Thursday, November 29, 2012


I am kind of obsessed with Joy the Baker. Maybe more than kind of, if I'm being completely honest. I spend all day with her, listening to her podcasts while I work. She's great, she's hilarious, she makes the day go by quickly. And she's a pretty great baker. I found her recipe for Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Brownies and was dying to make them. I couldn't stop thinking about them. But I didn't have any pretzels and I'm too lazy to get myself over to the grocery store to buy any. So, I improvised. Hence, I present you with Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies (omission of one ingredient isn't really an improvisation, I know -- apparently I'm not that great of an improviser):

continue reading after the jump

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Best news ever:

Were you a fan of Boy Meets World when you were a kid? Did you tune into TGIF every Friday night? Did you bawl your eyes out at the finale? Well, get excited cause Corey and Topanga are back for a sequel! And it's going to be amazing.

Read more here and here.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

I love:

Bear with us today, guys. We're having a rough time of it. Internal clock getting messed up + jumping head first into a packed week = no fun. None at all. But please enjoy this photo. It makes me smile. And today, I need all the smiles I can get.

Monday, November 26, 2012


I'm having a little trouble getting started today. Do I say that every Monday morning? Well, this time I especially mean it. We got back into Little Rock at 3:00 this morning. Luckily, I took the day off so I can catch up on my sleep and prepare myself mentally for the week ahead. The first full week after a holiday is always the hardest. Ugh. Monday.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Happy Friday:

Happy Friday, everyone! We're off to St. Louis by train today to celebrate Thanksgiving 2.0 with Andrew's family. I'm pretty excited because I love trains. They're so romantic. It borders a little on obsessive, I think. This may have something to do with the Darjeeling Limited and Wes Anderson. Isn't that movie great? If you haven't seen it, you must.  Immediately. Go now.

Have a great long weekend (you got today off too, right?) Eat lots of leftovers, get out those Christmas decorations, and snuggle up with some good movies (see above).

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving:


Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Hope you all have a wonderful time spending time with family, watching/playing football, and stuffing your faces. May you become so blissfully full that you have to unbutton your pants. Or maybe, wear stretchy pants to dinner. Either way, enjoy it!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Wes Anderson + Star Wars:

Do you love Wes Anderson as much as Andrew and I do? Then you'll love this: Wes Anderson's adaptation of Star Wars.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

I love:

You guys, check out this purse. Beautiful, isn't it? I own it. That's right. I finally bought it. I've been keeping an eye on it for months now but never wanted to plunk down almost $300 for it. And then it went on sale. And then it went even more on sale. And then I pounced. I got it down from $298 to $139. Some of you may think that's a lot for a bag. But you probably don't know about this one (my dream bag). And I plan on keeping this one around for a long time. I can totally see the 80-year-old version of myself carrying this around. Because it looks a little granny-ish, don't you think? And I love that about it.

I am in love. Seriously. Well, as in love as you can be with a purse. Which is a lot, apparently.

Monday, November 19, 2012

New Reads:

Good morning, Monday. I'm having a little trouble getting started today so let me stay in my Nora Ephron-created world just a little bit longer by reminiscing about her book I Remember Nothing, which I have just (regrettably) finished reading. 

I loved it. Absolutely. But then again, in my eyes, she can do no wrong. I love her. And while I loved reading this book and laughed out loud continuously, it also broke my heart to finish it. I dreaded reaching the end. I tried to read it slowly; to chew off little bits at a time to savor and enjoy. I knew this would be the end. There is no more after this. But knowing that didn't make it any easier. And I am pretty much crushed.

I miss Nora. I miss her unique voice. I miss her fabulous spirit and drive. I miss how she always made me feel inspired and brave. But I'm thankful to have these pieces of her, forever immortalized in the books and movies that she created. Like this one. It's beautiful. A little dark, because I think she was sick when she wrote it, but still so strong and full of life. Have you read it yet? You really should. You really need to read all of her books. And then watch all of her movies. Spend an entire day doing nothing but just that. And you will get the feeling (like I do when I spend time wrapped up in the genius that is Nora) that she's still out there somewhere, eating some incredibly delicious but yet-to-be-discovered food and laughing. Because whenever I think of Nora, she's laughing.

In case you were wondering what this, her last book, is about:

"Nora Ephron returns with her first book since the asounding success of I Feel Bad About My Neck, taking a cool, hard, hilarious look at the past, the present, and the future, bemoaning the vicissitudes of modern life, and recalling with her signature clarity and wisdom everything she hasn't (yet) forgotten.

Ephron writes about falling hard for a way of life ("Journalism: A Love Story") and about breaking up even harder with the men in her life ("The D Word"); lists"Twenty-five Things People Have a Shocking Capacity to Be Surprised by Over and Over Again" ("There is no explaining the stock market but people try"; "You can never know the truth of anyone's marriage, including your own"; "Cary Grant was Jewish"; "Men Cheat"); reveals the alarming evolution, a decade after she wrote and directed You've Got Mail, of her relationship with her in-box ("The Six Stages of E-mail"); and asks the age-old question, which came first, the chicken soup or the cold? All the while, she gives candid, edgy voice to everything women who have reached a certain age have been thinking... but rarely acknowledging.

Filled with insights and observations that instantly ring true -- and could have come only from Nora Ephron --  I Remember Nothing is pure joy."

Friday, November 16, 2012

Happy Weekend:


Happy weekend, everyone! Can you believe it's almost Thanksgiving? Is it just me or has this month just flown by? What are your plans for this last weekend before the official start of the holiday season? I will be busy gathering up all the ingredients needed to make some super delicious Thanksgiving dishes. I think I'm in charge of potato rolls and at least one type of pie this year. Bring it on.

Here are some things that have been going on around here lately:

  1. I enjoyed Veteran's Day by spending some time with my friend Kat and her kid
  2. Andrew experienced his first swim meet as a coach
  3. I spent two days in Jonesboro (home to my college years) & took a lovely stroll down memory lane
  4. We sort of killed it on the baking/cooking front this week: bagels, rolls, cookies, soups, and quinoa tabouleh (and then ate everything)
  5. I ate a pumpkin pie concrete from Andy's. Twice.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

I love:

I stumbled upon this article about a horse mask (?!) on Amazon, and it is so hilarious, I had to share it. So, apparently there's this horse mask for sale on Amazon and people have started taking photos wearing the mask and then uploading them to the product page. And like, a million people have gotten on board and there are hundreds of photos now. And they are awesome. Check them out here. But be prepared to experience a total time suck. Because it is addictive. Seriously, you should just clear your schedule now. You won't be able to stop.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Calm down:

I'm a worrier. That's what I do. I worry. I actually spend a lot of time worrying. And I hate that about myself. I'm attempting to knock it off already so I made this as a reminder to myself. Sometimes a girl just needs a reminder to cool it, ya know? 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Go and get yourself some cheap sunglasses:

I really love my Ray-Ban Wayfarers. I wear them all the time. I'm hopelessly devoted to them. Always will be. But sometimes there's nothing like a pair of cheap plastic sunglasses in a bright color to shake things up. Right now, I'm loving these ($10) for their round shape and pop of color. I think they were technically more spring/summer glasses but I can really appreciate the interest they bring to my fall/winter wardrobe (which tends to be more drab, anway):

Monday, November 12, 2012

New Moon:

We've been in a committed relationship with our telescope -- the one I got Andrew for our anniversary (more on that here) -- for about six months now. And we've been stalking the night skies like crazy ever since (hence the oh-so-cheesy Twilight reference in the title). There is not much documentation of this. You would be surprised just how hard it is to take photos through the eye piece of a telescope. A few weeks ago we managed to do it though, and captured some pretty awesome images of the full moon:

That telescope is the jam.

Speaking of Twilight, here's what I'd look like if I were a vampire:

Oh, and happy Veteran's Day! Hope you're enjoying your day off (if you do, in fact, have the day off).