{the latest}

Just wanted to pop in and share some fun projects. In addition to these projects, life and volunteer work have been happily filling my dance card these days. Though, if you do find yourself missing inspiration COOP, you can find me on Beach City Lifestyle (twice monthly) and, most recently, Pars Caeli. And, of course, you can always send digital love notes.

** i miss you all very much. sending all my best and lots of love your way. xo **


I'm just going to come clean and tell you that this post is completely indulgent. It's a bit gray and chilly outside, and I really needed to look at some pretty things. Let's call this a mood booster post. I hope you'll play along. Lately, I've been loving*:

R O W  O N E
~Laid back cool dressing via Andy Heart (Hello, Celine cross body!)
~D'orsay flat by Jenni Kayne (These will be mine, as soon as they're marked down 75%.)
~Floral photography by Kari Herer, especially botanical no. 4190
I just discovered Herer sells prints via Etsy, with pricing that's easy on your wallet.

R O W  T W O
~Salt chair via DWR. Simple, modern, and black. Pair six of these with a weathered French farm table and I'm already thinking about the dinner menu. (Our current dining situation needs a change and this is the new look I'm after.)
~Custom made rubber stamps by Besotted Brand. I'm thinking of making one for the new and improved logo. Then, I'm going to start stamping everything in sight. Watch out!

R O W  T H R E E
~The illustration work of Paper Fashion. And she teaches an illustration course via Skillshare! I'm thinking of signing up. Have you taken a Skillshare class yet?
~French farm table. See DWR salt chair above. Who's coming for dinner?
~Portia de Rossi and Ellen Degeneres's newly renovated ranch home nestled in the Santa Monica mountains via Elle Decor. Have you seen it?! Brace yourself. From the description, the ranch is perfect for a (bloggers) retreat with eight outlying cabins, barn, stable, and pasture. Can you even imagine?

Thanks, everyone, for letting me share some pretty with you today. I hope you found something amongst this group that made you smile. Now, it's your turn. Tell me what you've been loving lately. Come on, the sky's the limit.

PS~Oh, in case you missed it, I did a fun interview over on Not Merely Living. Pop over if you get the chance. (Thanks again for having me, Mere!)

*and hoping I win the lottery. [smile]

{mini-view: krochet kids}

The week before we left for our annual family trip to Oahu, our friend, Jared (you may remember his Mini-View here), traveled to Peru to document the collaboration between Vans and Krochet Kids. (Yea, Jared has a pretty cool job.) Krochet Kids is a company founded by a group of high school friends who desperately wanted to find a way to empower the women of Peru and Uganda after learning about their plight and struggle. When Jared returned from his trip, we sat together and poured through all the photos that he took. In the photos, he pointed out one of the co-founders of Krochet Kids, Kohl Crecelius, who was along on the trip. It was clear to me that Jared was inspired by the work that Krochet Kids was doing, and found Kohl's passion and spirit infectious. He said to me, "T, you have to interview Kohl for your blog. He is such a great guy doing amazing work in these countries." Well, my arm needed no twisting and, fortunately for me, Kohl graciously made time to answer the Proust Questionnaire, from high above the air on a plane and signing the email, "From my iPhone to your heart." Let's just say, I now understand Jared's admiration. Without further ado, herewith is Kohl's Mini-View:

Kohl, thank you so much for stopping by today. It was a pleasure and an honor. Keep up the powerful work that you're doing with Krochet Kids! And a big thank you to Jared for sharing this amazing journey with me and the corresponding images above.

Folks, if you're interested in learning more about Krochet Kids' mission "to empower people to rise above poverty," please visit their website where you will find inspiring story after inspiring story and where you can actually meet the women who are learning to proudly stand on their own. Such good stuff!

Happy new week, everyone! Let's make it count.

image source: all images c/o Jared Abe
ps~Christine of The Plumed Nest also wrote a wonderful post about Krochet Kids here.

{at this moment: quiet}

I often struggle a bit with how much I want to share and promote. "Struggle" is the perfect word to use in my case because I really do want to be more gregarious, chatting everyone up on Twitter and joining conversations. I want to join social campaigns that bring communities together. I want to go to cocktail parties and work the room, engaging in lively conversation. While I certainly have my moments in the sun, when they do happen, I find myself needing quiet reflective time after. To be social or not to be social - this is my tug of war. I'll be honest with you, I berate myself whenever I lose the battle. I mean, isn't the whole point of blogging and all the social platforms that exist to be more social, not less?

At the beginning of this month, I read the book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain. I was prepared to read this book to gain a better understanding about the differences between extroverts and introverts. Before reading this book, if I had to casually put myself into one camp, I would reluctantly peg myself as an introvert.  However, something I wasn't prepared for as a result of reading this book was understanding myself better and realizing that being an introvert isn't a bad word.

{monday muse: the selfless}

Sometimes an event takes place in our nation that holds us all captive.
We are struck speechless and stunned.
Such was the event that happened one week ago today.
Out of this tragic event, we witnessed courageous acts of selflessness.
Man helping their fellow man. 
First responders and Good Samaritans.
 The people of Boston and the greater Boston area. 
Federal agencies coming together and working together. 
The fallen and the injured.
I had planned a whole other Monday Muse for today.
However, these people and their stories are inspiring me.

Is there a moment from last week that has stuck with you?  

Here is a beautiful post written by Fourth Street regarding the different ways you can help.
Happy new week, everyone. Let's make it count.

image source: Boston photographed by Bram Platel via 500px

{quotable + notable}

Q U O T A B L E - I found this quote via Oprah a few months ago and it rang so true. If you're anything like me, it's easy to find yourself caught up in working towards that next big idea or exciting adventure or something you've been coveting for a long time, and maybe you even lose sight of the specialness of the small things in between. Appreciating the little things will ensure that you feel happiness every day, rather than some day when/if you achieve those larger goals.

N O T A B L E - Speaking of happiness, renowned graphic designer Stefan Sagmeister "spent ten years exploring happiness in preparation for The Happy Show," an exhibition being held at Los Angeles' Museum of Contemporary Art. "...Sagmeister has gathered the social data of Harvard psychologists Daniel Gilbert and Steven Pinker, psychologist Jonathan Haidt, anthropologist Donald Symons, and several prominent historians ... [including] a personal narrative, as Sagmeister's individual experience is portrayed beside social data detailing the role of age, gender, race, money, and other factors that determine happiness."

Sagmeister's name will sound familiar to many of you if you attended Alt Summit as he was the keynote speaker, and/or if you're interested in design. I hope to make my way over to MOCA to see Sagmeister's exhibition before it leaves on June 9th. Museum visits definitely make me happy, and Sagmeister's thematic exploration sounds fascinating.

Is there anything you do each day or on a regular basis to ensure your own happiness?

Update: In light of Monday's tragic event in Boston, I'm sending thoughts and love to all those affected. Boston was a city I once called home and I lived only a few blocks away, on Marlborough Street in what's known as the Back Bay, from where the bombs were set off. It saddens me whenever anyone (or a group) feels compelled to kill innocent people to slam their message down our throat. At the end of the day, Boston is a resilient city, full of unbreakable bonds and an immense love for their fellow Bostonian. Happiness is fleeting: from Monday's event alone we know this for certain. However, this fact should encourage us to make each day, each happiness count.

image source: The Happy Show via Forbes 

{musicality: stay}

Stay by Rihanna. If you been following along here for any length of time, you know that I once had a series titled, Musicality Mondays. When I settled into an abridged posting schedule, I decided to let this series float off into the distance. However, every once in a while a song comes along that stops me in my tracks and I'm compelled to listen to it until my ears bleed, and then share it with you. I've been listening to Stay on repeat for the last couple of weeks. Before this song, it was Intro by The XX. I'm not sure what these two songs have in common except that they both make me reflective and get me into a nice flow when I'm creating.  (I also listen to a lot of classical music.) While I realize, some (most :) of you won't share my taste in music, I am curious to know if there are particular songs you listen to for inspiration.  The only time I can't listen to music is when I'm commenting on your blogs. I need silence so I can concentrate on your words and the comment I want to write. How about you? Do you listen to music when you write and/or create? I would love to know which songs or type of music helps you create and propels you into a creative flow.

Happy Monday, everyone! Let's make it a great week.

ps~Hey, everyone, we decided to get out of town for a few days. Regularly scheduled programming won't be interrupted, but if i'm a bit quiet on the airwaves, you'll understand why. xo

{doing good}

On last Wednesday's post I wrote, "I sometimes think whether the time I devote to this blog might be better spent working on a worthy cause or for an inspiring business." I've had this feeling that's been gnawing at me for quite some time - the wanting to give more and have the time I spend here mean something.

W H A T    G O O D    S H A L L    I    D O    T H I S    D A Y ?

This question is handwritten on a piece of paper and pinned to my inspiration board. I am fair and realistic with myself. Most days, the best "good" thing I can muster is being a mama to my little ones. However, there's a constant part of me that wants to do more, give more.

Sometime after publishing Wednesday's post and the dinner dishes were washed and the kids were upstairs having their bath, I sat down at my desk and read an achingly beautiful post written by Erin (of Like / Want / Need) about The Lost Boys. (If you get the chance, please read this post and watch the videos.) Reading Erin's post and watching the accompanying videos directly touched that gnawing feeling. There are so many people that need voices in this world. Like all of us (and more than us), they need platforms to tell their stories. It got me thinking, wouldn't it be amazing to find a way to use our platforms for social advocacy? While the inspiration sharing is part of the journey, I would love to find a way to counterbalance all the pretty with something more meaningful.

In fact, over the last couple of months a friend and I have been brainstorming ideas on starting a site that highlights and brings people doing good things (to put it in simple terms) together into one space; People who are making a difference in their community and/or empowering people who need it most. (I'm not void of ideas, just the time and energy to implement them.) 

I hope you won't read this post and think of me standing on a soapbox. (I am the person who wasted hours trying to change a blog URL. Oi!). You know I'm always just trying to think about things out loud and share them with you here.  I know each of you has a cause that's dear to you and you do what you can in your own way. If you feel comfortable sharing, I would love to hear about them. Do you ever feel like you want to give/do more with your social influence?

image source: Sign from Best Made Co. found via Design for Mankind

{moodboard / april}

Happy April! I would have posted this salutation on the first, but I didn't want you to think I was pulling your leg. Did you pull any pranks on April 1st? I'll admit, the day slipped right by me. (This prank was pretty funny.)

This month... 

{at this moment: spring break}

You may have heard me mention that the kids are off from school this week for spring break. Playing on that theme, and since I seem to be breaking rules this week, I wanted to share a rare family photo moment. Rare because I don't normally share family photos here and rare because it's a small challenge to get our whole family into one photo. As I look back through this blog, my role as mama and wife gets buried a bit. However, that's me in that photo as mama and wife, and that role is 100% of who I am outside of this blog. It's a full time job (as many of you know) and utilizes all of my resources. There are so many ideas I have for this space and my creative self, but my role outside of this blog pulls me in the other direction. I find myself in quite the conundrum as I try to honor this creative outlet and nurture my creative interests while embracing the gift I've been given to stay home with my kids. Just the other day, I was telling a friend that I'm desperately trying to work my way back to a MWF post schedule, but two per week seems to be the magic number right now. At the same time, I think about all the time I spend on this space and, if I'm being real honest, I sometimes think whether the time I devote to this blog might be better spent working on a worthy cause or for an inspiring business. This space is a labor of love, for certain. And I am still in love with it. 

Here's the other thing, I feel as though the story I want to share here has gotten watered down. I know why. Fear. Fear that it has already been said, fear that no one is interested, fear that I might offend someone, fear that I will be seen as a narcissist…Fear. It's a tricky and risky thing to put all of yourself out there. Even sharing a family photo here has me fearful. Let's just say self-promotion isn't my strong suit. I would much rather highlight and promote someone else. As my husband advises: People want to see and know more about you, not the filtered version - The real you. Hmm...

I'm not entirely sure where I'm going with all of this except to say that I have to believe my feelings aren't novel or unique, and I thought they would be worth sharing.  Like kids in school, perhaps sometimes we need a spring break in order to get perspective. I'm curious, have any of you grappled with any of these feelings? How do you ensure you're living a life worth sharing while maintaining a blog? Do you struggle with how much to share about yourself? Have any of you ever taken a break from your blog or toyed with the thought?

Anyway, I'm not going anywhere anytime soon, just doing a little free associating here. I suppose spring break has got me thinking that I want to live more. As always, thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts. I appreciate you guys, a lot.

Some required reading that has been helping me sort through these feelings:

*Found via Not Merely Living. Thanks, Mere!

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