So Thankful!

This week I wanted to highlight the differing things I’m thankful for, and I realized something. I have just too much to be thankful for. I was talking about it earlier with my roommate and I just feel so lucky lately for everything I have. So today is going to be a bit of a “things I’m thankful for” list:

1. My city.

I love this town. The neighborhoods, the bridges, the restaurants and bars and people- this is really a fantastic city, and I find myself thinking at least a few times a week just how lucky I am to live here. I even love the rain in moderation! Biking today in a huge downpour on my way to the grocery store, I couldn’t help thinking just how grateful I am for this community.

2. My health.

I’m sorry to say that I’ve had a few people in my life lately that haven’t been in the greatest health, and it has just made me so much more appreciative of my own health. Sure, every person might have a little something they might change about themselves, wanting to lose a little weight or be able to run a 6 minute mile or whatnot- but it’s important to stop and realize just on a basic level, how lucky you are to have your health.

3. My work.

In this last year, I’ve had quite a big career change. From where I’m sitting today, I couldn’t be more grateful for my work and my clients. Looking back over the last 6 months, I’ve been challenged to make and create and learn things I never could have anticipated. I’ve made friends with clients, seen my work help their businesses, and had it all help my own business as well. I am so lucky to work with clients whose understanding and commitment continue to encourage and challenge me as a designer.

Well, there you have it! Tomorrow’s the big day of thanks and I’ll be wrapping up my list then.  Safe travels to those of you leaving town!

My Home.

This last weekend made me especially grateful for my new home. Decorating for dinner, finally getting artwork on the walls, adding in new personal pet projects- the place is really coming together. I want to share a recently finished project: my painted rug!

In this picture, I had just realized that I matched the rug. That’s what spending all night painting it will do for you. 

This was a recent Pinterest find that I decided to try out for myself! I did a little reading around, and figured it couldn’t be too hard. Here was the basic process:

1. First, I designed a couple different options on my computer. I solicited votes, and decided on the version to the right:

2. Then, I hammered my rug to the wall. Following my big painting project, I felt that I had perfected the “project and paint” technique. A stencil or taping would have worked well also. I then started painting, with the help of this handsome guy:

3. …and that was about it! I guess I didn’t really need step-by-step instructions. The materials included house paint in multiple colors, a drop cloth and a few nails, in addition to the projector to use. And just because I love it so much and it looks so great, here’s just one more picture of this rug: 

 

I’m also loving how that book shelf is coming along! We look smart, right? My new home is great.

 

Manic Monday

This week, I want to highlight some of those things that make me feel incredibly lucky. Call it the Thanksgiving spirit, but recently I’ve become acutely aware of how good I have it and how much I have to be thankful for- especially after this weekend!

I am thankful for my friends. New friends who invite me out dancing, old friends who bring food and fun to my home for Friendsgiving, and my roomies who help make my house feel very much like a home. You guys are the best.

A few pictures from this weekend:

 

Fall-inspired flowers | A new coffee table from my grandmother and a Thanksgiving mantle | Cooking turkey | Herbed Butter  | Star Wars figurine yoga class | Sharing with friends

A few links to fill your short work week:

  • Sending out a bunch of invites? This tool (featured on Bridal Blog Once Wed) helps you get your addresses from friends.
  • With my painting projects coming to a close, I’m tempted to try this photo transfer project from Poppytalk.
  • Speaking of projects, these are letters AND pillows. Pretty much everything I love- I’m thinking I’ll need about 20 of them for my room.
  • This video (found via beautiful type) is mesmerizing. I love really good, hand-lettered calligraphy.
  • I decided last week to give Pandora a rest and try out 8tracks for a few days. Here’s one playlist I really enjoyed– I’m a sucker for good cover songs.

 

Word of the Day:

I recently downloaded a new Dictionary app on my iPad (because I’m so cool) and I thought the following was interesting:

It’s the list of the “trending” words right now. I love the idea of multiple people across the country looking up some of these words. I imagine them all reading the same NY Times article, or watching the news and an interesting work piques their interest. It makes me glad that people are still out there learning and growing, I guess!

In that vein, here’s a new word I’ve recently added to my vocabulary that I’m pretty excited about: Beatitude. I’ve always related it to Beatniks for some reason, but here it is:

Beatitude;

  1. Supreme blessedness; exalted happiness.
  2. Any of the declarations of blessedness pronounced by Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount.

The thesaurus likens this word to “blessedness,” “euphoria” and “delirium”

Used in a sentence: With the holidays right around the corner, I have begun humming Christmas tunes and dreaming of a decked-out “deck the halls” with a beatific smile on my face.

Definition via thefreedictionary.com. Illustration by me.

Back in the swing of things

This post is really late. But its because today is the first time in quite a while that I’ve felt like I’m back into a routine. Between my big painting project, moving and many other wonderful client projects that have been demanding of my time, the last month or so has been go go go.

But today, I woke up a little later than usual. I made myself a warm breakfast and took my time getting ready. I did things like exercise, work and read. I talked to my mom on the phone, texted a bit with friends and got some forward movement on a fun side project. This might sound busy, but to me it was heaven.

I’m finally having personal time again! Now that I know how incredibly important and valuable it is, I will try to use it wisely, in the company of family and friends, in the pursuit of learning/creating/expanding, and in the hope that next time I find myself busy, I won’t so easily discard my time.

Fries with Friends

Remember how I sometimes get mixed up and file emails from friends away in a file called Fried?

This has nothing to do with that.

On Sunday the roomies and I made a delicious crock pot meal, and while it was cooking for hours and smelling all delicious, it became clear we needed a snack to tide us over. Enter two sweet potatoes and conflicting views on how to prepare them, and you have a Sweet Potato Fries competition!

The Details: Two french fries, one baked, one fried in vegetable oil. The truly “fried” version utilized this recipe suggestion from Bon Appetit that tells you to put the uncooked potato in cold oil, letting it fry slowly. The potatoes were both cut by me to account for any variable in width/consistency.

The Recipe:

  • Fried Fries: A lot of vegetable oil, sweet potato and salt and pepper to taste. Place in cold oil in cast iron on stove, and once the oil starts crackling, it’s ready to come out.
  • Baked fries: tossed in olive oil, salt, pepper and paprika then baked at 425 for about 20 minutes.

The Results:

Kyle produced the fried fries, I produced the baked….and we both preferred our own versions. One thing to keep in mind is that apparently Kyle isn’t a fan of sweet potatoes, so he really preferred the version that tasted mostly like fried grease. I, on the other hand, love that sweet yammy flavor and loved the baked version for that reason. So there you have it! Inconclusive.