L I V I N G | music

There’s this past time of mine that I never grow tired of doing, it’s browsing through cd’s at the store. I used to sift through them at the mall as a teenager and preview them until I found a cd to purchase. But I got older and don’t have time to sit in a music store all day, not to mention, our local mall is a complete ghost town. As an adult, I find myself picking up more music at Barnes & Noble. It’s kind of place where the kids can browse their area and we can browse ours, everyone wins. But even then, I don’t always have time to get out to the store. So, then I lose track of current music. Because it’s hard for me to keep up with unless I hear about something new by word of mouth. However, I was out and about today Christmas shopping without the family and I dropped into Barnes & Noble to pick up a few gifts. After finding a few books, legos, and puzzles for the kids, I thought I deserved to treat myself to browse the media section. I was happy to find a new album by She & Him. It’s not quite Christmas music, but the classic cover album fits perfectly in this mellow, indoor, cold weather season. Stay Awhile!

D O I N G | in Zuni, Va

There’s something about picking out a living Christmas tree that I just can’t get from opening an artificial one from a box. Maybe it was growing up always having a real tree at Christmas time that I just want to pass on to my own kids or just the fresh pine smell I love. Nonetheless, picking out a living Christmas tree is our family tradition. From playing hide and seek through the rows of trees and laughing about all the different shapes and sizes, feeling the fresh cold wintery air and burn on our cheeks, touching every single tree you pass, growing tired of being there because Mom is still looking for the perfect tree, but the most exciting part is cutting it yourself and loading it on the rooftop of your small car. Last Saturday, we drove about 45 minutes outside of Portsmouth to Zuni Tree & Alpaca Farm to pick out this years Christmas tree. HAPPY SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY!

^ This is the “Wife, can you stop taking photos and help hold the tree?” look.


A B O U T | humble pie

Be present. This morning I ran out to the garden to cut a few of our last living herbs to roast with our Thanksgiving ribeye.  (No one really likes turkey, so, we cooked accordingly.) Naturally, I felt the need to update a photo via social media to capture the moment of feeling proud of my summer garden herbs still surviving through fall. I quickly cut the herbs, took a photo and figured I’d finish sharing my update when I got back inside the house. When I turned around, my husband was smiling through the window at me with his phone in hand.  He had taken a photo of me attempting to Instagram a photo. I felt silly, like a moment of realism.  We take all these extra moments to share our lives with complete strangers compromising time with the ones we love them most. Today, I wanted to spend it with just my family. I chose to keep my phone away the rest of the day, to be present with my family during Thanksgiving. Taking photos is one way of capturing moments, but living them is even more important. For instance, my favorite part of the day was starting a new tradition.  We didn’t want to not eat dessert because we were too full from dinner, so we ate it first while dinner was being prepared.  It was a homemade pumpkin bourbon cheesecake, made from a few pie pumpkins we picked back in October at College Run Farms. Now, I don’t have any special Thanksgiving photo to share besides these, but I do have some great stories to tell and priceless memories made.

NOTE: The first photo I have attached to this post is from my point of view, a photo capturing my freshly picked herbs. The second photo is the one my husband captured. It’s just a truly honest photo of me wearing a towel on my head while taking a picture in my dead garden. How life looks outside of Instagram. HAPPY LATE THANKSGIVING as I chose to update during my OWN free time a day later.



L I V I N G | art

The beauty of being an individual. Two people can look at the same thing, but see it completely differently. There’s so many characteristics that influence each person, like age or experience. No one is going to form the same picture because no one’s influences are exactly the same. But if you can bridge the gap between the parallel of each person’s perspective, you’ll be able to appreciate the beauty of one being an individual and you’ll realize, there’s so much to learn and gain from another person’s way of seeing things.

D O I N G | an IKEA hack

I bought an IKEA STUVA shelf for Rain’s bedroom, one that was small, simple and white. This shelf has 4 predrilled screw holes under the base of the shelf, allowing you to customize and build with other STUVA series furniture. I chose to customize this shelf with a new set of legs. Well, actually, the legs were salvaged from an old, red painted mid century credenza my neighbor was tossing out. I unscrewed the legs from the credenza knowing I can use them for a future project. Now, 1 year later, I dusted off those red legs to create my own IKEA hack.

NOTE: I’ll eventually sand and paint the legs white, but for now, I kind of enjoy the fun, bright red legs for my little 5 year olds room. I think it suits her well.