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
i’m beyond loving designer caroline z. hurley’s home featured in the latest edition of rue mag. i’ve long been crushing on caroline z. hurley’s work and now i’m head over heels for her home.
that couch is like my dream as far as couches are concerned. big. squishy. pillowy.
do you live in a small space? what are you secrets? i love the bed above the kitchen (above). why not?
this 3rd small space edition by rue and it is a gem of ideas for small spaces. you can read the full issue here.
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
do you make your own valentines or do you buy them? while, i would love to share with you some brilliant crafty cards i came up with on a whim, i am one of those that buys kung fu panda and hello kitty cards at my local walgreens. we are usually traveling during february and just don’t have the time to bother. i’ve been spying some really cute ideas on the interwebs that don’t look that difficult or time consuming and i think we just might attempt to make our valentines cards this year.
here are a few of my favorites :
lets start by saying that if making cards is too much, how about making envelopes? this might be the winner idea for me.
glow stick valentines!
i spy valentines printables (shown above). oh, and another cute printable here.
and, valentines photo puzzle (as shown above).
if you’ve seen some great ones, share the link with us in the comments section. love day is one week away!