happy friday lovelies. happy valentines! before anything else. i have to know. do you love or loathe it? i told you here how my ritual used to be to wear all black and hand out photocopies of cupid with his arrow in his back (there might have even been a pool of blood). ask my friends. i’m somewhere in the middle. we don’t usually make a big deal out of it. usually, we are in tucson every february with some of our besties and i’d have to say those are some of my best valentines memories. we’ve planned some fun times as a group and made some really funny memories.
however, yesterday might take the cake – - the mister came home with a kitty – - for real. all of my pleading and instagramming and pinning kitties was not in vain. seriously, this is one of the nicest things anyone has ever done for me. total sacrificial giving, since the mister doesn’t “like” cats. although, don’t tell him i said this, but i think he likes (no loves) the tat (as rocco calls him) more than any of his. he held him all night and couldn’t wait to get him up. tat came with the name theodore / theo and i’m just not sure i can change it. i kind of love it (esp. after reading the goldfinch – my heart went out to theo). and, i’m just going to apologize for the cat pictures, in advance.
he’s so cute, but all like tiger too . . .
as for this past week, i took a quick 48 hour trip to austin for if gathering. i was tired, my kids had been sick all week and i really didn’t feel like going. wah wah wah. but, i went because i had a plane ticket, had a friend there waiting for me, and had a hunch that i was supposed to be there. i think i was. it was one of those crazy times that was busy but restful. a lot of learning but a specific word. how did i end up here and yet a definite dot on my map. do you ever feel like you are on a journey that you didn’t even plan for? that’s me right now. it started in london last year, with stops in new york, and now austin. austin, which held a piece, like the other places. a piece i needed in my putting back together. i’m not sure what stop will be next, but i think there will be more. anyhow, i made new friends and was able to spend time with a dear friend. it was good. and i am grateful.
how was your week, lovelies?
looking for more love on this love day? i shared my love story on how stephen and i met many moons ago (and how love changes over time) right here.
A FEW OF MY FAVES THIS WEEK +
01 / the downton cast not in character offering a chance to meet them in order to help a serious cause all done with the best possible british humor. love.
02 / i dreamt i was on my way to france last night. this might be as close as i get this weekend.
03 / i love a good day in the life. especially when it’s my fave handbag designer.
04 / a DIY minimalist table for $90. bet you never knew you wanted to make your own dining table.
05 / this home has me totally swooning.
06 / my friends kitchen transformation on design sponge – a cookie cutter becomes anything but.
LOVELY Pictures : INSTAGRAM / Inspiration : PINTEREST / Chatter : TWITTER / Conversation : FACEBOOK
do you love love stories? ruche asked me to share my love story on their blog, and since i’ve never really shared my story online so i thought i’d go for it.
i thought you might like to read it too? if you like that sort of thing. if you are all black and death to cupid on valentines day, thats ok too. i wore black all through high school and photocopied a picture of cupid shot by his own arrow. serious angst, but in the middle of it…there was a bit of love — more below.
Love is a thief and we are its captives.
You never know when love might strike or steal. It’s usually when we aren’t looking for it that it finds us. I certainly wasn’t thinking of husbands and marriage at 14, but that is when, my now husband, Stephen stole my heart.
It was early July, 1992 and I was brooding over a bad breakup, as far as freshman break ups go. You know, typical end of the world, I’m never going to be happy again business that consumes your every thought. It was bad news, so i thought, and I certainly wasn’t looking to date anyone else.
On a humid Wednesday I packed up all of my angst, and my youthful confusion along with my umbro shorts and a can of Finesse hairspray and headed to a summer retreat with my youth group in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. It was on this retreat that I met a junior from Georgia with a sweet Southern drawl. Stephen came to visit his aunt and uncle and attend the same retreat. Fate would have it that we ended up in the same small group (a group I wasn’t even supposed to be in, but got moved to at the last minute). I thought he was nice, but I was busy thinking about my about my bad breakup. Stephen and I hung out quite a bit that week and as I got to know him, I really liked who I got to know. There was something substantially different about him. Manners for one. Southern charm was new to me. But what really caught my attention was that he had a certain kindness about him and a gentle spirit that I just wanted to be around. And, I suppose I shouldn’t leave out that he was a tall blonde, handsome, quarter back, who really won me over by doing a flip flop for me on a warm summer’s night. I clearly remember walking back to my room and thinking, “I could marry this guy.”
Stephen went back to Atlanta and we exchanged letters, the hand written kind, throughout the year. I rationalized with my young mind and maturely told myself that he lived in Georgia and I lived in Illinois so likely nothing would ever come of us this. I let it go, but firmly held onto the idea of Stephen or maybe I should say the ideal of Stephen.
Another summer rolled around and another summer retreat. Stephen came back, but this year he brought his girlfriend. With many laughable moments and a few tears, I again tried my best to be mature and let it go. We talked occasionally that week and we were both grateful to still be friends. Off he went, and so did another little piece of my heart.
I tried not think about him. Only when there was nothing to think about … I thought about him. I wondered what he was doing, how he was doing, and if he ever thought about me, too?
you can read the rest of teenage drama turned true love a.k.a my love story right here!
and speaking of love, i’m loving this sweet video on the definition of love. if you want to join in, share a photo of how you live beautifully using #livebeautifully and you’ll be entered to win $50 to shop at ruche!
p.s. i’d love to hear about your love story.
still thinking hearts? here are a few diy valentines cards that are as simple as they are darling.
also, ruche is offering a discount to la la lovely readers : Enter the code BLOGLOVE20 at checkout and receive 20% off your order. Expires 2/15 at 11:59 p.m. Cannot be combined with any other discount.
little big girl – - that is who you are at this very moment. caught between the two different worlds that are seemingly connected. like the north pole grabbing hands with the sandy beach or the ocean washing over the desert. that business of wanting to grow up, and yet still loving to play. can i tell you a secret dear daughter and little friend? not the secret about growing up being over rated, which isn’t much of a secret at all, anyways. but the one i haven’t mentioned yet, is that it’s ok to still play. not many will tell you this, or have even figured this out for themesevles, but, the truth is, you will be a better, most creative, and more balanced grown up if you don’t loose the art of play. don’t let that brilliant and interesting imagination of yours wander off into the seriousness we grownies are now being smothered by. god gave you that wild imagination of yours, and the gift of play, not just to be used and then tidied and tucked away after 10. no! he gave it to you to use each and every day of your life. the first 10 years are just the beginning. they are the ones filled with games, and adventures, and far away places. days where you climb trees and eat ice cream covered pizza, for dinner, with a squirrel and a mermaid queen all before breakfast. these periwinkle days are the ones that will color your tomorrows. so go ahead and start your coloring. and, while you’ll want to stay in the lines and make a pretty picture, i urge you to forget all about those pesky bold lines and make a big crazy mess all over that paper. the more colors the better.
dear want to be big girl… i know you so well. i know you better than you know yourself. i wanted my way into big girlness my whole little girl life. and, i got there faster than i figured. only i never really got what i thought i wanted. i never really considered that i might miss all of the good, magical, wonder-filled things that little girls get to do (this is why my bike makes me so happy now, you see). your big girls days will come, no doubt, but i’m wishing for you that you won’t, just yet, let your little girl days go. play school. play store. play mermaids (just don’t put my jewelry in the pool for your treasure, please) until your properly pruned.
you can still play in makeup and talk about what you want to wear. yes, that is fun and part of the playing, too. just pinky promise that you won’t forget to travel in your imagination from here to there. because, when you are older, as you will certainly be, you’ll want to remember how to get from there to here. and, i promise you now, that in still engaging in play you are mapping your way.
+ you are my little baker. apparently all those years of watching giada and nigella have paid off. although, you seem to be a fan girl of the pioneer woman.
+ you are a jr. mommy. thank you. thank you.
+ you’ve started stealing my clothes (and coat) this year. i’m just happy you think my clothes are cool enough
+ you love to ask really deep and, of course, spiritual questions right before bed. good timing!
+ you have a new love for volleyball and sports in general. i never knew my girl would be an athlete and so competitive.
+ you’re favorite way to study is to play school and teach your class
+ instead of, “can we go to mcdonald’s?” it’s more like “can we go to starbucks and get a mocha?”
+ you eat your swedish pancakes with powdered sugar
+ your favorite movie is grace unplugged
+ dork diaries are on your nightstand along with ruby redfort and peter pan
+ making a snack now consists of baking cupcakes, cookies or concocting smoothies
+ you skype with your cousins for hours
+ you still make up songs and i hope you never stop
+ you curl your eyelashes every morning with a pink eyelash curler
i feel behind and a little out of sorts. i like my goals, resolutions, or whatever you like to call them best, written, then typed, and and sometimes shared. because, as a blogger isn’t that what i’m suppose to do? share? and share on schedule? i took a little break from blogging, as i do, which unexpectedly turned into a break from social media too. and, subsequently, i’ve had a hard time getting back into the swing of things. i felt like a holed up hermit hibernating with honeys in my home, safe from the cold cotton like snow and the snowy white noise of the online world. it was strange, and weird, and kind of wonderful. not being hurried strangely kind of makes me feel harried until i can just hunker down and be. and, in the being, i had a hard time resoluting and gathering goals. the thing is, i like to take my time to ponder. ponder, reflect and process, to be exact. this year, there just happens to be a lot (more than i wish) to ponder, process and reflect upon. i started feeling the pressure when no list materialized by the second of january. as someone who has been systematically writing out new years goals since i was a girl, i initially felt troubled. i continued to ignore the pressure to tick it off my list and concluded that a lingering list would work wonders as opposed to the list i usually force in two hours time. i gathered that it may take a few days (maybe even a few weeks) to reflect on this past year and to wonder about the next. i started writing things here and there as they came to me (paper and pen always near by) and let go of the pressure of completing it all. i did find some alone time (which i highly recommend) to really think about the last year and after i did that, i was able to clean up that lingering list, which i am proud to say is not, yet, 100% complete. it is lingering after all.
everyone has a different system. some of my friends choose a word for each year (i’m working on one of my own) and others write goals that are so detailed they border on being a full fledged business plans. finding what works for you, personally, takes time and may change over time. i just encourage you to find the time to reflect, wonder and dream a bit. my lists are personal, professional, specific, vague, attainable and unattainable. i like them that way. i know i’ll do some crossing off and i know some things will work themselves right over into next years list. some years i’ve surprised myself by crossing off a few unattainable things which makes me more apt to write down a few crazy things. you just never know. but, what i do know is that life is a little more intentional (and often more exciting) when there is a list of dreams before us.
how do you do goals / resolutions? and, do tell me, what are a few things on your list this year?
a few things on my lingering list this year are:
four. i’m not sure about four. four is that year where munchkins turn to (little) men. somewhere in the year of four, you go to bed one night a baby, and wake up the next morning a boy. and, the thing is, you never really know which night that might be. you, though, liam have always been somewhat of a munchkin and a man. my old soul. words of wisdom, kindness and understanding, only known by those who have lived life, seem to float out with ease in a mini pitch. while, i know your voice will change with age, i pray your tone never will.
+you’re favorite food is spaghetti and pepperoni pizza, besides chocolate, of course.
+you ask if everything has coconut in it (which you are very against).
+all you seem to talk about these days are four wheelers.
+you say the most hilarious things like”you just got owned like a dog dog on a bun with mustard.”
and you tell me, “i’ll marry you everyday, cause your my wife.” #liambravesays
+you make sure we never miss “best part + and worst part of the day” at dinnertime. and, everyday your answer is : ”the best part of my day was going to gommy’s house” and if you haven’t been to her house, than the worst part of your day, obviously, is “i didn’t get to go to gommy’s house + ride 4 wheelers.”
+you’ve started growling like a cheetah, which actually sounds more like a snake hiss. i’m not sure? but, it is your favorite response when asked a question.
+you ask me if you can pray for me, if i’m having a hard day.
+you’re favorite show at the moment is peter rabbit (i love this)
+you’re very insistent on picking out your own clothes, more particular than most girls, and you always want to wear jeans and your tiger shirt. or, anything that you think makes you look like a worker (as you say).
+you learned to jump off the diving board + swim without water wings this summer.
+you are slightly obsessed with duck dynasty + have some how picked up some sort of twang accent. i’m puzzled.
+you love going to chicago. i think you will be my little traveler.
+you think your the boss (you kind of are) and you have no problem speaking for our entire family (like when the fireman came to our house – burnt food – and you answered the door and proceeded to introduce the entire family to the fire-chief).
+this year you asked santa for shoes + a stuffed animal reindeer.
+you’re favorite book is iggy peck architect.
bravey, although you are sandwiched in the middle, i hope you know how much you stand out. you are one of a kind. a kind that oozes kindness and curiosity, which makes for the best personality. you’re little arms uplift my tired ones and your little prayers help me to have big faith. i hope you will grow to know that you can always count on my arms and prayers too. lets always offer this to each other.
happy birthday, liam brave, age 4.
more birthday posts here.
i am all about little corners or happy spots, as i like to call them. and, my happy spot now happens to be in our family room thanks to my custom made day bed by adams and august.
it’s so great, i thought it deserved its own post. i wanted a piece that could be versatile and ultimately cozy. the piece nestled up to the bookshelves instantly turned our corner into a reading nook. but don’t think us to brainy. we also push the piece around (since its on casters) and cozy up on it for movie night. and, since it is actually a day bed it works great for an extra bed when guests are here (like this week)!
while i was busy dreaming up ways to stack and and pile blankets to make the piece soft, squidy and princes and the peay, jason of adams and august was busy working on all of the gorgeous details like the pretty circles on the edge of the piece.
i couldn’t be happier with my daybed. it’s fits our style and life style perfectly.
you can see more of adams & august work here + if anyone is intrested you can purchase the same model here.
tell me, do you have a happy spot in your home? i’d love to hear about it.
p.s. you can see the daybed in action on our video.
all images by white shutter photography
hi friends. it’s me. duh, of course it is. it’s monday morning and i have 11 guest arriving in a few short hours. but, that’s not what i’m writing about (its whats on my mind – so it came out). for the past couple of months i have been a very busy bee coordinating 9 holiday trunk shows across the country for The Land of Nod.
before i go any further i want to make mention that Nod is offering la la lovely readers 15% november 25-27th (code : LOVELY). This is good news because there are so many cute things to buy (for your kids, for yourself, for your tree!)
ok, you all know how much i love nod (remember when they came to my house). i mean, let me count the ways…. they have gorgeous, quality products (for the whole family), their creative direction is superb (hello catalog that is more like a magazine, which i can’t ever seem to throw away) and oh, the people – i heart them all.
the concept the holiday parties was a trunk show, showcasing Nod’s super rad holiday decor + toys, hosted by bloggers in 9 different cities. each blogger host was able to use Nod product to design their space uniquely…..
i headed out to LA to help with the trunk show there, which was hosted by kelly lanza of studio diy (do you know kelly? if you don’t, you should) at the honest company (love them too).
kelly has some serious mad diy skillz (sorry there is no other way to put it). i found myself either gushing or feeling pangs of jealousy because, truthfully, i am not even this crafty in my mind (and, i try to be very crafty – in my mind). i mean look at this dollhouse . . . each host was given a cottage dollhouse to design and display. do you see the little mac computer? kelly transformed her house into a loft space. it’s LA. of course.
there was crafting, and chatting, and shopping ,and the tiniest tacos that you ever did see. we had such a fun time. and this was only one event (hey look, its me in the blue dress in the left hand corner). you can see more photos from Nod’s party at Honest here.
i hope you’ll take advantage of the discount and get in on this holiday goodness :
Nod is offering la la lovely readers 15% november 25-27th. use the code LOVELY
here are some of the items kelly used in LA. i love it all …
All the Colors of the Rainbow Ornaments / Candy Cane Ornament / Festive Felt Garland / Candy Cane Garland / Peppermint Twist Felt Garland / This Garland is Shaping Up / Confetti Stocking / Rainbow Stocking / Kardboard Kingdom / Cottage Dollhouse /Toot Sweet Hanging Pinwheels / Gingerbread Girl / Gingerbread Boy / Candy Cane / Prefab Housing
AND, pop on over to the other hosts sites to take a look at all of the events (equal amounts of creativity and total awesomeness) and how the product was styled differently :
Lay Baby Lay / Simply Grove / Look Linger Love / No Monsters in My Bed + A Feteful Life /Ampersand Design Studio / Finding My Feet / 6th Street Design School + Small Fry Blog / Simplified Bee + Michaela Noelle Design + The Makery
more photos on instagram under #nodevents
Photos by Mary Costa Photography
i often gaze at your sweet face and try to figure if it is your glass blue eyes or beaming infectious smile that lights up entire rooms. yes, your eyes radiate life, still in it’s purest form. and, your smile . . . it is a window, wide open, giving voice to the happiness of your heart, through the sound of laughter. a sound which is best described as a giggle of thousand happy babies combined. however, i find it not to be your baby blues or your window of a smile but your soft heart that warms every room it enters.
+ if you were a care bear you’d be tenderheart bear
+ you like to buy shoes more than i do. and every pair has to be high tops, of course.
+ you’re still a candy thief and wrappers are turning up in the most interesting of places
+ this year reading is not your favorite but i’m working on changing that
+ you’re still trying to get rid of those curls but they aren’t going anywhere (thank god)
+ you wear your shaun white ocean motif tank top from target at least every other day and with basketball shorts (much to my dismay)
+ you write raps about your best friend. ”you’re so cool, you rule the school.”
+ you wear sports socks pulled up to your shorts and don’t like to leave the house without a flat bill
+ you still like to snuggle more than any other and i’m certain that won’t change
+ you love your friends and your family feircly
+ pink is your favorite color because it is a manly color (?)
+ your favorite thing to do is ride 4 wheelers with your dad
+ you are so great at literally every athletic thing that you try
+ you love to carry around your little brothers
+ your favorite show is duck dynasty
don’t ever change. only grow. grow stronger. grow smarter. grow taller, if you must. but don’t change the you that you are at eight.
happy birthday luke, age 8.